Beatrice K. writes: I have two eighteen century coins. They’re smaller than a nickel, on one side there’s “HOLLANDIA”, on the other side there’s a roaring lion in a shield with a number 2 on the left side and a “S” on the other. What do I have?
You have a 2 Stuiver also known as a “Double Wapenstuiver” (1.6 grams, .583 silver) from Hollandia (Holland) which was a Dutch maritime province on the North Sea. Because of its use as a port, it was the most important region of the Netherlands.
The 18th century Holland monetary system is a bit confusing to our decimal sensibilities:
- 8 Duits = 1 Stuiver
- 6 Stuivers = 1 Schelling
- 20 Stuivers = 1 Gulden (also called a florin)
- 50 Stuivers = 1 Rijksdaalder (Silver Ducat)
- 60 Stuivers = 1 Ducaton (Silver Rider, named for the design on the coin)
- 14 Guilden = 1 Golden Rider
Other fractional or multiple denominations existed in The Netherlands such as 1/2 Ducaton, 2 and 3 Ducaton, double ducats and fractional guldens.
Approximate value range (and this is a good example of the fact that “age doesn’t necessarily make coins rare or valuable”): US 50 cents to $10.