This small Islamic harbor kingdom on northern Sumatra is known under various names, which can make searches difficult: 'Samudra-Pasai', 'Samudera Pasai', and 'Samudera Darussalam' are most commonly encountered. Located in a great location for trade with a variety of peoples, from the Indians at first to the Portuguese at later times, this kingdom prospered for a while. It became necessary to strike these small gold coins - tiny little things weighing just 0.55 to 0.65 grams.
They are quite scarce, and carry a large numismatic premium over their gold content. Each coin contains around 0.019 troy ounces of gold. Use a website like Kitco.com to look up the current value of gold, and then multiply it by 0.019 to get the approximate gold value of one of these coins. The number 0.019 corresponds to a coin weighing 0.59 grams. There are 31.1 grams in a troy ounce, and 0.59/31.1 = 0.019.
This is a czar Nicholas II 'Romanov Dynasty' rouble struck by the St. Petersburg mint, a popular one-year type commemorating the 300th Anniversary of the Russia's ruling family, the Romanov Dynasty. By 1917 the Romanov Dynasty came to an end when the Russian Empire dissolved to the Marxist Bolsheviks, paving the way for the Soviet Union.
These coins contain 0.579 troy ounces of silver, but their numismatic (coin collector) value out-shadows their silver value:
Thanks for your thorough description, Caley. Sure enough, we did not have this issue of the British penny in our database. Now it is here.
All the old pennies and half pennies from Great Britain make wonderful collectibles. They come from a time when a penny was *worth* something! But millions and millions were made, so their value today is not that high. Here is a run-down:
worn: $1 US dollar approximate catalog value
Aethelred II achieved the rather unfortunate moniker of Aethelred 'The Unready' after a mistranslation of Old English 'unræd' as 'unready'. A better translation might be 'ill-advised' or 'poorly-counseled'. He had not even reached puberty when the previous King was murdered (his half-brother Edward), and as such he was definitely not ready for the task of ruling a kingdom. His short reign consisted mostly of paying Danegeld to the Vikings, and tired this, he ordered all Danish men in England to be massacred on 'St. Bryce day' (November 13th, 1002 AD). In 1003 the Viking king Sweyn Forkbeard of Denmark-Norway invaded England in retaliation, and thus Aethelred's rule came to an abrupt end.
This coin created quite a stir in the numismatics community when it was discovered by a detectorist during 2001. It is a unique gold coin (21 mm dia. 4.33 g) discovered by the River Ivel, at Biggleswade in Bedfordshire, UK. The obverse legend reads: COENVVLF REX M (Coenwulf, king of Mercia). The reverse is inscribed: DE VICO LVNDONIAE (from the wic of London). In 2006 the was bought by the British Museum, at a cost of £357,832. The picture below comes from Spink in London who handled the genuine piece.
Most people think that old fashioned wheat-backed Lincoln cents (pennies) are very valuable. In fact, millions and millions of them were minted and all but a handful carry no significant value. When worn or in average circulated condition, most wheaties are worth a few cents each. Even in fully uncirculated condition, coins dated after 1933 are worth a few US dollars each. For most coins before 1934, here is how the catalog values run:
LINCOLN CENTS DATED BEFORE 1934 (except as noted below):