The hole in the center, of course, is the main distinquishing feature of these old coins from Belgium. There are several variations on this theme, and we will attempt to cite them all for you. Just about all of these coins are not very valuable, worth a few US dollars.
First, there are two flavors for the inscriptions on these coins. One is Dutch: KONINKRIJK BELGIE; one is French: ROYAUME DE BELGIQUE. These inscriptions do not affect value except in a few rare cases (see below).
European interest in ancient coins started as far back as the mid-1700s and these forgeries of ancient Jewish shekels were soon pawned off to unsuspecting enthusiasts. When Darwin proposed that mankind evolved from lower life forms, rather than being created by God, new vigor entered the study of the Bible and ancient Jewish culture and, again, false coins produced tidy income for the ethically challenged. In more modern times, Jewish and Masonic influence caused false shekels to be manufactured for use as gifts and in ceremonies.
This is a medal of the Blacksmith's Guild (SMEDENGILDT) in Utrecht, the Netherlands. ELOYEN GASTHUIS translates to 'St. Eloy Hospital.'
We have not seen many of these medals, but a few appear in our professional database of coin auctions. Based on these auctions, our estimated values are:
worn: $50 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $100
well preserved: $200
Catalog values are almost always inflated over actual buy and sell values. See our Important Terminology page for more info.
These are valuable coins. The one in our picture is a full guinea (not half guinea) dated 1785 with no problems such as scratches, nicks, or cleanings. It sold for 1400 British pounds (about $1850 US dollars) during a 2016 auction by Spink in London. CoinQuest thanks Spink for use of the coin photo.
Here are the stats:
HALF GUINEA, 1762 to 1786: 20 mm diameter, 0.123 troy ounces gold
GUINEA, 1761 to 1786: 24 mm diameter, 0.246 troy ounces gold
These are beautiful gold coins from Austria with 0.6807 troy ounces of gold. The catalog says that all coins minted were proof coins, made expressly for collectors. Usually proofs are found in protective holders with zero damage. Should they be removed, any subsequent damage lowers value.
First, find the base value (BV) of the coin, that is, the value due to gold content alone. If gold were selling at $1500 US dollars per troy ounce (look it up, it changes every day, on web sites such as kitco), the BV is then 0.6807 x 1500 = $1020. Find BV by multiplying the current price of gold by 0.6807.
The seal of the Confederate States of America (the 'South') was designed and created by Joseph S. Wyon in London. He also designed the Great Seal of England. The Seal shows George Washington on horseback, surrounded by the South's principle crops: tobacco, cotton, rice, sugar cane, corn, and wheat. The outside edge bears the inauguration date of Jefferson Davis as President of the CSA. The motto DEO VINDICE means GOD WILL VINDICATE.
Older renditions of the Seal are found in electrotype, an electrical and chemical process of the 1800s that formed metal parts to reproduce a non-metallic model. In this case the model was of the CSA Seal, and the metal was copper. Original electrotypes of the CSA Seal are quite valuable.