Collectible Coins and Ancestry Visualization
Collectible Coins Ancestry Visualization
Collectible Coins Can Help Visualize an Ancestry
Collectible coins can tell a story. Ancestry is a story of the past as it pertains to an individual, or a family. Once one makes discoveries about ancestors, and what those ancestors were doing, the events found have often been preserved in coins. In some cases, if an individual was important enough, the individual may appear on a coin, allowing a glimpse at the appearance of that ancestor. While that is a rare case, it is not totally out of the realm of possibility. Finally, coins in use at the time of an ancestor’s life that are from the area in which the ancestor lived give some insight into what daily life might have been for that person.
Coin collectors frequently look at a coin for the history it represents. Sometimes a coin collector might imagine who might have had the coin, or for what it might have been used. While the province of any circulating coin might be lost, the idea of what might have been is not.
Some Collectible Coins Are Commemorative
Some Collectible Coins Celebrate People, Or Events
While collecting coins with an effigy of a past ruler of most countries is possible, some significant ruler’s coins are pricy. Such is the case with coins of monarchs or presidents whose fame is wide known, especially if the person lived hundreds of years in the past. So, if one were to find a connection to William the Conqueror, or a person in his army, that coin might be unattainable. But modern mints often commemorate significant people and events on commemorative coins, which are modern collectable coins.
Some coins celebrate events. The Royal Canadian Mint is currently issuing a three-coin set commemorating Viking ships. So, if someone can trace ancestors back to the Vikings, the coins can be used to depict the lives of those ancestors on a drakkar, or Viking longboat. This blog has an entire article on this, and can be read here.
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Some coins celebrate people. The French coins minted by the Mint of Paris in the series titled Clovis to Republic give images of various French leaders from Clovis to Francois Mitterand. This set was issued from 2011 through 2015, and a total of fifteen French rulers are included. So, if your ancestor had been alive in France during the period one of these people ruled you would have the image of the person who ruled the French people including your ancestor. Perhaps you are more fortunate to have descended directly from some of these people. Then you would be able to see what your ancestor looked like, and display that image.
The people on the 2011 coins in the series are Clovis (481–511), Charlemagne (768–814), Charles II (840–877), often called Charles the Bald. Then in 2012 came Hugues Capet (987–996), Philippe II Auguste (1180–1223), and Saint Louis IX *1226–1270), followed in 2013 by Louis XI (1461–1483), Francis I (1515–1547, and Henri IV *1589–1610). Continuing in 2014 are Louis XIV (1643–1715_, often called the Sun King,, Napoleon I (1800–1815), and Napoleon III (1848–1871). Finally, in 2015 we have Raymond Poincare (1913–1920), Charles de Gaulle (1959–1969), and François Mitterand (1981–1995)/ If any of these have a significance in your family’s history they are an excellent way in showing the connection. Of course you could find coins from the era but that might be more expensive. Although the possibility is worth exploring, since some really old coins are affordable.
For an article on these coins look here.
Collectible Coins from the Royal Canadian Mint
First Nation Coins and Older Canadian Coins
The Royal Canadian Mint often produces coins representing First Nations, whether it is First Nation people or customs. Currently, there is a thirteen-coin series titled The Teachings from Grandmother Moon that represent culture and beliefs of First Nation people. Canada appreciates the people who were here before Columbus, and often includes them in such things as coinage. This series is not the first coins to reflect on the people of the First Nations.
These coins contain about one-quarter of a Troy ounce of fine silver. They are also expertly colorized. If your ancestors were from the First Nation people the coins of the Royal Canadian Mint might provide an excellent view into your ancestral history.
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Historic Places Your Ancestors Might Have Seen
Collectible Coins with Castles
Many historic places are depicted on coins. Among them are castles and churches. If you can trace your family to a particular region you might find a coin that shows a building those ancestors might have visited. Perhaps your ancestors took refuge in a certain castle during an attack, or went to a cathedral in their city which is now shown on a coin.
Coins from European mints, such as the mints in Austria, the United Kingdom Royal Mint, France, and Germany might be a good place to search for such historic buildings.
Early American Collectible Coins
Colonial, Provincial, and Other Early Pieces
Some families can trace their ancestors back to colonial times. In what became the United States colonial coins, and even some trading company coins, can be found. Many colonies had their own money. In fact, not until well into the 1790s did the United States began to mint coins. Even after the American Revolutionary War did some former colonies still produce their own coins.
In present day Canada there was also colonization. The confederation of Canada came much later, in 1867. The confederation, at first, involved only three provinces, one of which split, so there were then four provinces that united to form the country. The other provinces came into the confederation later. So, Canadian provincial coins exist for many provinces, and if one can trace a family to a Canadian Province it may be possible to find a coin from the era that family was present.
All colonial and provincial coins are collectible coins.
Collectible Coins from Tribal Times
Coins from the British Isles
In the early British Isles there were tribal inhabitants. Some of the tribes had coins, others did not. If you can trace your ancestors to a particular part of the British Isles you might be able to find a tribal coin from the region. In other parts barter was the only commerce, so money had no role.
Many Other Collectible Coins Might Be Significant
Other Collectible Coins Exist
The above are but a few examples of how your family history might be made visible through coins. Many others exist. Whether it is old coins or coins representing a time, place, or event look for representation via collectible coins.
As for events, recently several major mints have produced coins for World War I and for World war II.
Displaying Your Heritage in Collectible Coins
Use of Coin Easels
Some coins come in a display case much like a piece of jewelry might come in. Often coin cases have a way of standing the coin with on an angle when opened, making a wonderful display case. Other times this is not possible, especially with old coins that are not found within a case, but also with coins whose case does not properly display the coin. For these cons a small, inexpensive coin easel works well. A coin easel can support a coin, whether or not the coin is in a protective capsule or slab. Larger coins such as five-ounce silver coins in capsules are easily displayed on easels. Smaller coins have no difficulty at all in being supported by easels. So, show off your collection, and enjoy viewing it yourself.
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