While I was watching “Civilisations” on the Beeb last week they mentioned how the introduction of the Trade Dollar was the first step in globalisation – this got me thinking, so I made a cup of tea and looked into the history of the Trade Dollar and it truly is a fascinating tale.
Way back in the 16th Century, the first trading currency came to be because of the popularity of the silver Spanish dollar (better known as pieces of eight – yes those!) in China and they created the “Dragon Dollar” or “Silver Dragon” which were not only used in China, but also became the preferred currency for trade with their neighbours.
In the 19th Century, the Chinese were defeated in the First Opium War and forced to open their ports to foreign trade. The British merchants from The East India Company were now able to take advantage of the silk, porcelain spice and tea trade in the Orient.
The Rise of the British Trade Dollar
Now, with so many routes to trade it made sense for each country’s traders to mint their own coins, from their own supplies of silver. BUT these new silver trade coins all had to be minted to the same specification as the famous Spanish Dollar weighing in at approximately 27g and minted in 0.900 silver. The trade dollar was truly born and trading was made easier for the world – hence the movement of goods (and people) became more prevalent and “globalisation” started.
Our British Trade Dollar was first minted from 1895 and designed by George William De Saulles – a British coin with an eastern feel, it was exclusively for use in the Far East. For the first time on a coin, it showed a helmet-wearing Britannia holding a trident and the British shield with a merchant ship in the background.
Although The East India Company had been trading since the early 1600s, the introduction of the British Trade Dollar secured them as the single most powerful economic force of its time – tea, silks, spices and so much more travelling across the world on their ships not only for Britain, but also the rest of the Empire and Commonwealth. Without the original version of this coin we would be waiting for a cup of tea for a very long time!
A 21st Century spin on a 19th Century coin
This year, The East India Company is launching a coin that has been faithfully inspired by the original British Trade Dollar – The East India Company 2018 Trade Dollar 1oz Silver Proof Coin features Britannia surrounded by an oriental pattern. The obverse for the first time, displays the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II surrounded by an arabesque cartouche.
A Faithful nod in these modern times to the coin that started it all.
If you’re interested:
You can own the 2018 East India Company 1oz Silver Proof Trade Dollar, but you’ll have to be quick as just 2,500 have been issued worldwide! Click here to secure yours now >>
This year, Her Majesty the Queen celebrates her Sapphire Coronation Anniversary – 65 years since she was crowned at Westminster Abbey in 1953.
As the world’s longest reigning living monarch, she will be the first monarch in British history to celebrate a Sapphire Coronation, an historic achievement to be recognised as part of her record-breaking reign.
Elizabeth ascended the throne at the age of 25, upon the death of her father, King George VI in 1952. After a year’s mourning period, she was crowned Queen in a coronation ceremony steeped with tradition. Millions tuned in to listen to the ceremony on the radio and, for the first time ever, the proceedings were able to be watched on live television.
In celebration of the Sapphire Coronation, a limited set of special commemorative 50p coins have just been officially approved by Buckingham Palace.
Fittingly, the first coin is engraved with the words of the Coronation Oath,
The things which I have here before promised, I will perform and keep. So help me God.
The other four 50p coins each feature a different element of the Coronation: The St Edwards Crown, The Orb, The Gold State Coach and The Imperial State Crown.
The UK’s most collectable coins…
The 50p coin has rapidly become the UK’s most collectable coin, spurred on by the release of the Olympic 50p coins, the Platinum Wedding Anniversary and more recently, the incredible demand for the Beatrix Potter 50p coins.
Most importantly, each of the five coins in the Sapphire Coronation 50p Coin Set have been authorised by the Isle of Man Treasury, have full legal status AND a very limited number will enter circulation in the Isle of Man.
British Isles 50p coins like this rarely turn up in UK change, which is bound to make these some of the most sought-after circulating coins around.
Due to its very limited nature, we will contact you directly to discuss owning the Gold Proof 50p.
Please complete the form below:
If you’re interested…
The 50p Set to mark the Queen’s 65th Coronation anniversary is available to purchase in Superior Brilliant Uncirculated collector’s quality.
This year Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II becomes the first ever British monarch to celebrate her 90th birthday. This significant moment in history will certainly be one to remember.
So I’ve compiled a list of my six favourite commemoratives for you to peruse. In my opinion any Royal collector would be lucky to have these in their collection, especially the 10 ounce gold coin!
The coin proudly displays the royal cypher atop a large “90”. The central design is flanked by the Royal Standard and Union Flags on either side.
2. Guernsey 2016 Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th Birthday Silver £5 Proof Coin
Featuring an oak wreath and crown to symbolise long life and the House of Windsor, this Silver £5 coin also features the limited edition one-year-only portrait.
At the center is EIIR, encircled by the words Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the years 1926-2016.
3. Australia 90th Birthday 1oz Silver High Relief Coin
Issued by the Perth Mint, this stunning silver coin has been struck with an incredible high relief finish. To achieve this, each coin must be repeatedly struck on specially prepared presses.
The reverse depicts St. Edwards crown surrounded by wattle branches – just 5,000 have been released worldwide.
4. The Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th Birthday Gold 10oz Coin
Featuring the special one-year-only portrait, this 90th Birthday Coin was incredibly popular – in fact, it sold out its entire edition limit in a matter of hours.
This limited edition Silver Coin Cover features the six UK stamps which have been issued by Royal Mail to mark the Queen’s 90th Birthday. All six evocative photographs feature on our stamps for the first time ever – including a rare picture of the young Princess with King George VI.
The new 2016 Silver Britannia coin is also encapsulated within the cover along with an official postmark by Royal Mail to mark the Queen’s birthday date – 21st April.
The coin has been expertly plated in 24 carat gold and features a full-colour birthday portrait – taken by renowned royal photographer Lord Snowdon for her 80th birthday.
This is a record-breaking moment in British history which will be remembered forever. And the coins and stamps which have been issued to mark the occasion really capture the moment.
Which of the six is your favourite commemorative? Let me know in the comments below.
You can add the Queen Elizabeth II 90th Birthday Proof Coin to your collection today