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Gold Ducat

By Coin & Currency Institute ……
 

After a span of 32 years, the design of the Dutch Gold Ducat is being given a new, historically accurate, and international image that reflects its role as the most important trade coin in history. The Dutch Coinage Act first included Ducats on August 4, 1586 and the first coins were struck in Holland soon after. The first Double Ducat came from the province of Friesland in 1612. The coins have had the same basic obverse of a standing knight accompanied by an ornate inscribed tablet on the reverse ever since. The only variations reflect artistic liberties taken by mint engravers.

The 2018 issues are offering a new interpretation based on the design of the engraver Johan Willem Marmé, who was the die cutter at the Utrecht Mint from 1763 to 1795. Marmé’s present-day successors in Utrecht have taken his original design, characterized by a distinct helmet and accurately positioned, detailed buttons on the knight’s outfit, and adapted it to the requirements of 21st century minting.

The 2018 issue is also the first of four annual issues that will focus on the ducats’ international use over four centuries. The coins will use the points of the compass as a guide to explore the trade routes in which the Gold Ducats played an important role. The 2018 coin points north to the Baltics, where the grain trade in particular led to enormous profits for Dutch traders. The following years will direct attention to the East in 2019, South in 2020 and West in 2021.

Trade was essential for the food supply in the Netherlands and formed the main source of Amsterdam’s prosperity. The basis of the Dutch Golden Age was the grain trade with the Baltic states, also known as the mother of all trade. 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, benefiting from the price differences between the East and the West. The ships that sailed to the Baltics were often weighed down with roof tiles and bricks on their outward journey.

The grain trade is symbolized on the reverse by a group of four corn ears and the letter “N” at the top pointing north. The scroll work around the tablet has been embellished this year with decorative acanthus leaves and shells.

The single Gold Ducat and its companion coin, the Double Gold Ducat, are both minted in proof quality and are being offered on a reservation only basis until June 30. Sales will then close and the mintage will be restricted by the mint to the number of orders received. In 2017 the issued amounts were 2,501 Gold Ducats and only 836 Double Ducats.

The coins are struck in the traditional ducat standard of .983 fine gold. The Single Ducat is 21 mm in diameter with a weight of 3.494 grams. It is available until the ordering deadline for $269.75 The Double Ducat measures 26 mm and weighs 6.988 grams. It costs $489.95. Deliveries will commence in the last half of July.

For more information on the coins or to order, contact the Coin & Currency Institute at P.O. Box 399, Williston, VT 05495. Toll-free 1-800-421-1866 or Fax at (802) 536-4787. Email: mail@coin-currency.com. Add $5.75 to each order for shipping and handling in the U.S.A. Vermont residents add 6% sales tax. Those desiring to receive information and photographs electronically on a regular basis can provide their email address to mail@coin-currency.com.
 


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