Esperanto is the most widely spoken constructed language in the world. People who speak it are called Esperantists and the World Esperanto Association is their largest organization, with members in 121 countries (as of 2008) and in official relations with the United Nations and UNESCO.
The language was invented in the Polish town Bia?ystok by the ophthalmologist Ludwik Lazarus Zamenhof in 1887. Esperanto is easy to learn; only 30 hours of learning are enough to start using the language. Dr. Zamenhof was fascinated by the idea of a world without war, and he believed that a universal language could help that happen. The name Esperanto derives from Doktoro Esperanto which translated means 'one who hopes'.
The stelo (star; plural: steloj) is a monetary unit of Esperantists, again in hope of achieving a single world currency. Although not a coin backed by a recognized government, the Universala Ligo (Universal League) minted these coins for their own use and promotion throughout the world. You can find them on sale on eBay and other places around the Internet. There are other Esperanto coins, but this page applies only to 10 and 25 steloj as shown in the picture.
The first step in evaluating your stelo is to determine its metallic content. Some coins are made of silver, others of non-precious copper-nickel. Casual inspection usually is enough to determine content, but, if you are unsure, a jeweler can tell easily. The coin in our picture is a silver 25 steloj.
STELOJ IN SILVER
worn: $25 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $30
well preserved: $40
fully uncirculated: $60
STELOJ IN COPPER-NICKEL
worn: $5 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $10
well preserved: $14
fully uncirculated: $18
As always on CoinQuest, you must convert catalog values to actual buy and sell values using the information shown on our Terminology page.