For posts on Netherlands, please visit the following links:
1) The Stelling Van Amsterdam (Defense Line of Amsterdam), Netherlands: Royal Dutch Mint: Latest "Dutch UNESCO Sites Series" coins in the denominations of 5 Euro (Plated Copper), 5 Euro (Silver) and 10 Euro (Gold) issued on 21.11.2017
2) Fanny Blankers-Koen - "The Flying Housewife" who won four Gold Medals at the 1948 London Olympics: 100th Birth Anniversary commemorated with the issue of Gold, Sterling Silver and Silver plated Copper Coins in 2018
3) Netherlands: Gold Ducats - 2018: Single Ducat and Double Ducat Gold Coins minted by the Royal Dutch Mint, Netherlands in 2018
Because of their reliable weight and content, the Ducats earned a good reputation. For centuries, Ducats were an important means of payment for international trade and were readily accepted in Scandinavia, Poland and Russia.
The Double Gold Ducats have looked the same for almost 400 years, apart from a few minor details and interim changes, say in the knight's outfit and the decorations on the Reverse, which were subject to "fashion" of the time.
Between 1659-1816, Netherlands also had a Silver Ducat, which was equivalent in value to the former Rijksdaaler (50 Stuivers).
A Ducat Gold Coin Obverse, issued in 2018 with the new design, placed against a background of a knight in armed combat on horse-back
The Single Ducats & Double Ducats - A Brief history:
Ducat had its origins in Hungary, when the Hungarian Ducat was minted for the first time in 1583 in the Dordrecht mint, Netherlands.
Initially only a few pieces were struck, but this minting started the process of a standardisation of the coin which has carried on for more than four centuries.
The 1583 Hungarian Ducats depicted a standing figure on the Obverse with a crown and a battle-axe and included the Latin legend around the periphery which read - "VIGILATE DEO CONFIDENTES" (meaning " God vigilantly watches over"). On the Reverse was engraved a shield, which included the Coat of Arms of the issuing province, along with the legend "MO NO AVR COMIT HOLI ZEEL" or "MOneta NOva AVRea COMITate HOLIandiae and ZEELandiae" (meaning "New Gold Coin of the County of Holland and Zeeland").
These coins had an intrinsic value of 5.75 Guilders.
The Dutch Ducat transited over to the more familiar and enduring Obverse design of a standing knight with seven arrows in his left hand - signifying the seven original Provinces of the United Netherlands and holding a sword in his right hand, rested upon his shoulder.
The peripheral legend promoted economic growth which read - " CONCORDIA RES PARVAE CRESCUNT" (meaning "In Harmony Small Things Grow") Also included in the design was the name of the Province or symbol denoting the issuer.
The Reverse included an ornately framed square which was inscribed with the abbreviation - " MO ORDI PROVIN FOEDER BELG AD LEG IMP" or "MOneta ORDInum PROVINciarum FOEDERatorum BELGIcarum AD LEGem IMPerii" (meaning "Gold Coin of the Federated Provinces of Belgium issued in accordance with the Law of the Realm")
Interestingly, the coin was never made legal tender in the United Provinces and at times there was legislature preventing the coin from circulating, as their primary function was to essentially be circulated in trade, and Gold Ducats which were eventually being repatriated by the Overseas traders had to be deposited into Dutch Banks, which was then exchanged for legal tender.
As trade increased, so did the use of this highly sought after coin, since the need for greater amounts of money was emerging and the use of heavy silver coins became impractical.
In the entire history of the Dutch Gold Ducat, only during the occupation by Imperial France of the Netherlands was the coin not minted or distributed.
The coin maintained its importance as a means of trade and transferring capital for most of the long reign of Queen Wilhelmina (1890-1948) to the Banks in the East Indies, as the vast majority of the Ducats minted during this period were used for this purpose.
Presently, the Ducat is still a very popular coin for purchasing gold in the form of bullion and many of the coins are available as collector's pieces since they are minted in Proof Quality only.
The Dutch Mint annually strikes Golden Ducats with the designs based on the original Ducats minted from the 16th to the 18th Centuries.
A 1724 Gold Ducat retrieved from the Dutch East India Company ship-wreck "De Akerendam"
Russian imitations and forgeries:
Imitations and forgeries of the Dutch Gold Ducats abound all over the world.
One striking fact about imitations and forgeries from Northern Europe is that even Russian and German governments minted imitations of the Dutch Gold Ducat.
The coin was so popular in Russia, that until 1868, millions of Ducats were minted in St. Petersburg and were indistinguishable from those minted in Utrecht.
The Hamburg mint even minted Gold Ducats of the Dutch type for nearly a century. Looking at all the imitations and forgeries, it is clear that over 30 countries or authorities had imitation Ducats in circulation.
The following years will direct to the East in 2019, South in 2020 and West in 2021.
The scroll work around the tablet has been embellished this year with decorative acanthus leaves and shells.
Trade with the Baltic Region:
The success of the Netherlands in the Golden Age was largely due to the ship-building skills, entrepreneurial spirit and trade with the Baltic Region.
The grain trade formed the basis of the Golden Age. The Dutch built ships which were capable of transporting bulk goods quickly and cheaply. The trade with these "fluyts" (Dutch cargo ships) in the Baltic Region led to huge profits for the Netherlands. A significant proportion of the trade in the Baltic Region revolved around grain.
In the Middle Ages, the Dutch started transporting rye and wheat by ship from the areas surrounding the Baltic Sea. They sold it in Amsterdam and to other Western European countries, benefitting from the price differences between the East and the West.
The ships which sailed to the Baltic Sea were often weighed down with roof tiles and bricks on their outward journey. Some of them can still be seen in the cityscape of Gdansk.
Trade was essential for the food supply in the Netherlands and formed the main source of Amsterdam's prosperity. The grain trade with the Baltic States was known as the "mother of all trade".
The 2018 Golden Ducats minted by the Royal Dutch Mint, Netherlands:
The Obverse and Reverse of the Single Gold Ducat
The Obverse of the Single Ducat
The Obverse of the Single Ducat Gold Coin shows a knight facing right, holding a sword in one hand and a bundle of arrows in the other. This face bears the motto on the outer periphery which reads "CONCORDIA RES PARVAE CRESCUNT" (in Latin - meaning "Small things flourish by concord" or "In Harmony, Small Things Grow", but better known as "Unity makes Strength").
The Reverse of the Single Gold Ducat
On the Reverse of the Single Ducat Gold Coin is the legend "MO.AUR.REG.BELGII AD LEGEM IMPERII" (standing for " MOneta ORDinum REGina BELGicarum AD LEGem IMPerii" (meaning "Gold Coin of the Federation of Belgium ruled by the Queen, issued in accordance with the law of the Realm").
The Obverse of the Double Ducat Gold Coin
On the Obverse of the Double Ducat Gold Coin shows a knight facing right, holding a sword in one hand and a bundle of arrows in the other. This face bears the motto on the outer periphery which reads "CONCORDIA RES PARVE CRESCUNT" (meaning "Small things flourish by concord" or "In harmony small things grow" but better known as "Unity makes Strength").
The Reverse of the Double Ducat Gold Coin
The wooden box in which the Double Ducat if presented/housed
The chart showing the salient features of the Single and Double Ducats engraved thereon