Michelle H. writes: I am by no means a coin collector or expert, but I am certainly very keen on history, particularly the eighteenth century. I’ve had in my possession for a long time now, a mysterious coin, dated 1752. What I really want to know is, what is this coin, and is it contemporary? I really have no idea, but I would very much like to find out as I have puzzled over it for a long time now.
It appears to be French, with a profile of who I can only presume to be Louis XVI, and a Latin inscription, too abbreviated for me to translate – FRANC.D.G.R.I.S.A.GER.IER.REX. On the other side there is a coat of arms and another Latin inscription which is somewhat easier to translate – TU DOMINE SPES MEA 1752. The coat of arms is hard to describe – it consists of what appears to be a griffin with two heads, holding two swords with a crown covering both heads and another smaller one below the heads. The coat of arms is in the centre of the bird and at the bottom on either side of the tail are printed the tiny letters: C and A.
The coin itself appears to be in good condition, the markings clearly defined, which makes me wonder if it IS contemporary or not. It is a strange colour – it may have been a silver colour, but it is almost a dirty yellow now. (But still shiny). I would love to hear your thoughts on my ‘mysterious’ coin.
This is a German Coin. The Legend, FRANC.D.G.R.I.S.A.GER.IER.REX. says Francis, By the Grace of G-d (D. G.) Emperor of the Romans ever August (Romanorum Imperator Semper August or R.I.S.A.) and King of Germany and Jerusalem (GER. IER.REX). The reverse says, TU DOMINE SPES MEA 1752 or Thou Lord is my hope, 1752. Fortunately most of Europe used Latin in their coin legends irrespective of the national language. At least one only has to learn the Latin abbreviations.
I’m not sure which German City State this coin is from, though I will guess it is a silver Thaler (approximately the size of a English Crown) and could very well be from Nuremberg. The value depends on the which type, denomination and grade but the most common of these Thalers trade in decent condition between US$100 – $300.