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OUR COIN HISTORY

Designer Briana Erin has collected coins from their native regions across the globe, bringing you wearable, historic treasures. The coins in her designs are reproductions or sections taken from the originals.



CORNELIA - ROME

Lucius Cornelius Scipio Asiaticus (3rd century BC–aft. 183 BC) was a Roman general and statesman. He was elected consul in 190 BC, and later that year led (with his brother) the Roman forces to victory at the Battle of Magnesia. After his brother's death (c. 183 BC), Lucius was thrown in prison for this supposed theft and was forced to sell his property and pay the state a lump sum. His coins are the only ones of his family to survive. Front of coin features the laureate head of Jupiter, and the reverse is Jupiter in a quadriga galloping right, holding a scepter and the reins of the left hand and brandishing a lightning in the right hand. Silver casting, minted 106 AD.

REPUBLIQUE FRANCAISE Ft. MARIANNE (Dupré) - FRANCE

Valued at 1 centime (one penny), this bronze coin was minted in 1848 and engraved by Augustin Dupré, the 14th Graveur général des monnaies (Engraver General of Currency).

The frontside depicts a Liberty bust wearing the Phrygian cap, which signified freedom & the pursuit of liberty. The reverse simply denotes the value denomination. Circulated from 1848-1851.

REPUBLIQUE FRANCAISE Ft. MARIANNE (Lagriffoul) - FRANCE

Marianne is a national symbol of the French Republic, a personification of liberty and reason, and a portrayal of the Goddess of Liberty. Marianne is displayed in many places in France and holds a place of honour in town halls and law courts. Engraved by Henri-Albert Lagriffoul, a French sculptor who won the Prix de Rome in 1932. His work is displayed in many public spaces in France. His head of "Marianne" appeared on the French coins from 1962–67.

The reverse features wheat, an olive branch, and the French motto: FREEDOM, EQUALITY, FRATERNITY. This version circulated from 1962-2001.

REPUBLIQUE FRANCAISE Ft. CERES - FRANCE

Valued at 2 francs, this silver coin was minted in 1895 and engraved by Eugène André Oudiné, a French sculptor and engraver of medals and coins. The frontside depicts the head of Cérès, the Roman goddess of fertility and agriculture. The reverse translates to FREEDOM, EQUALITY, FRATERNITY and has a crown center.

This coin originated during The French Third Republic, which was the system of government adopted in France from 1870, when the Second French Empire collapsed during the Franco-Prussian War, until 10 July 1940 after France's defeat by Nazi Germany in World War II led to the formation of the Vichy government in France.

REPUBLIQUE FRANCAISE Ft. LIBERTY HEAD - FRANCE

Valued at 10 francs, this bronze coin was minted in 1916 and engraved by Daniel Dupuis. The frontside depicts the Bust of Liberty on the right, wearing the Phrygian cap adorned with a crown. The reverse translates to FREEDOM, EQUALITY, FRATERNITY and depicts the Armored and Draped Republic, seated on the left on a rock holding in its right hand a flag-banner and in its left hand an olive branch; on his right a child holding ears of corn and a hammer.

This coin originated during The French Third Republic, which was the system of government adopted in France from 1870, when the Second French Empire collapsed during the Franco-Prussian War, until 10 July 1940 after France's defeat by Nazi Germany in World War II led to the formation of the Vichy government in France.

REPUBLICA PORTUGUESA - PORTUGAL

The Portuguese ‘escudo’ was the currency prior to the introduction of the euro in January 1999. This particular version was the equivilant of one penny. The frontside depicts a liberty head, and the backside features a coat of arms of Portugal.

Copper-nickel casting engraved by José Simões de Almeida, a highly esteemed master sculptor born in Portugal who trained in Italy and France and became a head professor at the School of Fine Arts in Lisbon. This coin circulated from 1927-1968.

CLAUDIUS II GOTHICUS - ROMAN EMPIRE

Claudius II, commonly known as Claudius Gothicus, was Roman emperor for a couple years, from 268 to 270 AD. He fought successfully against Germanic and Gothic tribes. He died of a plague while preparing for another war campaign against the Vandals, and the Roman Senate quickly deified him. The 'DIVO CLAUDIO' inscription on the coins means 'Deified Claudius' or 'Saint Claudius'. These coins were struck in the name of Claudius II for about a year after his death.

The obverse shows Claudius wearing a radiate crown. The Roman coins didn't explicitly state the denomination, and this radiate crown meant that coin was an antoninianus. The reverse shows an eagle. Minted, roughly, AD 270.

QUEEN JULIANA - NETHERLANDS

Juliana Louise Emma Marie Wilhelmina (1909–2004) was Queen of the Netherlands from 1948 until her abdication in 1980. Her reign saw the decolonization of Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) and Suriname and their independence from the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In 1953, the Netherlands was hit by the most destructive storm in more than five hundred years. More than two thousand people drowned and tens of thousands were trapped by the floodwaters. Dressed in boots and an old coat, Queen Juliana waded through water and deep mud all over the devastated areas to bring desperate people food and clothing. Showing compassion and concern, reassuring the people, her tireless efforts would permanently endear her to the citizens of the Netherlands. Top coin minted, 1980 & bottom coin minted, 1962.

QUEEN WILHELMINA - NETHERLANDS

Wilhelmina Helena Pauline Maria (1880–1962) was Queen of the Netherlands from 1890 until her abdication in 1948. She reigned for nearly 58 years, longer than any other Dutch monarch. Her reign saw the First and the Second world wars, the Dutch economic crisis of 1933, and the decline of the Netherlands as a major colonial power. Outside the Netherlands she is primarily remembered for her role in World War II, in which she proved to be a great inspiration to the Dutch resistance. By 1948, Wilhelmina was the only survivor of the 16 European kings and one queen who were sitting on their thrones at the time of her coronation in 1898. Queen Wilhelmina also had a keen understanding of business matters and her investments made her the world's richest woman, as well as the world's first female billionaire. Top coin minted, 1932 & bottom coin minted, 1921.

MARIA THERESA & JOSEPH II - AUSTRIA

Maria Theresia, (1717-1780), was the eldest daughter of the Holy Roman emperor Charles VI and Elizabeth of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. She was an Austrian archduchess, and Holy Roman Empress of the Habsburg Dynasty from 1740 to 1780 and birthed Marie Antoinette and Joseph II. In 1740 she succeeded the Habsburg throne. In resistance, Frederick II’s army invaded and claimed Silesia. The war ended in 1748, after which she reformed her government and military. In 1756 Frederick II waged the Seven Years War against her. In 1765 she appointed her son her co-regent. Joseph II has been ranked, with Catherine the Great of Russia and Frederick the Great of Prussia, as one of the three great Enlightenment monarchs. His policies are now known as Josephinism. This coin circulated from 1764-1780.

FAUSTINA THE YOUNGER - ROME

Faustina the Younger (AD 130-176) was a Roman Empress and wife to her maternal cousin Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. She was held in high esteem by soldiers and her own husband and was given divine honours after her death. Faustina accompanied her husband on various military campaigns and enjoyed the love and reverence of Roman soldiers. Aurelius gave her the title of Mater Castrorum or ‘Mother of the Camp’. Faustina died in the winter of 175, after an accident, at the military camp in Halala. She was deified: her statue was placed in the Temple of Venus in Rome and a temple was dedicated to her in her honor. Halala’s name was changed to Faustinopolis and Aurelius opened charity schools for orphan girls called Puellae Faustinianae or 'Girls of Faustina'. This coin circulated from AD 161-176.

MAXIMIANUS HERCULIUS - ROME

Maximianus Herculius, (AD 250-310), was Roman Emperor from 286 to 305. Born of humble parents, Maximian rose in the army, on the basis of his military skill, to become a trusted officer and friend of the emperor Diocletian, who made him caesar July 21, 285, and augustus April 1, 286. Although long viewed by Christians as a persecutor of their religion, Maximian seems to have done no more than obediently execute in his part of the empire the first edict of Diocletian, which ordered the burning of the Scriptures and the closing of the churches. The top coin circulated from AD 297-299. Bottom coin circulated from AD 290-294.

WILLIAM III - NETHERLANDS

William III, (1817-1890), was King of the Netherlands and Grand Duke of Luxembourg from 1849 until his death in 1890. He was also the Duke of Limburg from 1849 until the abolition of the duchy in 1866. In the first two decades of his reign, he dismissed several cabinets and disbanded the States-General several times, installing royal cabinets which ruled as long as there was support in the elected second chamber of parliament. During his reign, the king became more and more unpopular with his bourgeois-liberal subjects, his whims provoking their resistance and mockery, but remained quite popular with the common man. This coin circulated from 1859-1868.

ST. RUPERT & ST. VIRGIL - AUSTRIA

Rupert of Salzburg, (660-710 AD) was Bishop of Worms as well as the first Bishop of Salzburg and abbot of St. Peter's in Salzburg.He re-established the convent at St. Peter's Abbey and laid the foundations of Salzburg Cathedral that was finished by his successor Vergilius. Vergilius of Salzburg (born in Ireland c. 700-784) was an Irish churchman and early astronomer; he served as abbot of Aghaboe, bishop of Ossory and later, bishop of Salzburg. Aside from being personally associated with Salzburg Cathedral, a number of parishes around the world are dedicated to him, mostly being founded by small populations of far-flung Irish Catholics, like himself. Both are venerated as saints in the Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church. Minted, 1694.

FRANCIS II - AUSTRIA

Francis II, (Florence, 12 February 1768 – Vienna, 2 March 1835) was the last Holy Roman Emperor, ruling from 1792 until 6 August 1806, when he dissolved the Empire after the disastrous defeat of the Third Coalition by Napoleon at the Battle of Austerlitz. As the leader of the large multi-ethnic Habsburg Empire, he led Austria into the French Revolutionary Wars and was defeated by Napoleon. He again fought against France during the Second and Third Coalition, when after meeting crushing defeat at Austerlitz, he had to agree to the Treaty of Pressburg, which effectively dissolved the Holy Roman Empire, weakening the Austrian Empire and reorganizing present-day Germany under a Napoleonic imprint. Top coin minted, 1795, middle coin minted, 1812 & bottom coin minted, 1798.

COUNTY OF GORIZIA - ITALY

The front of this coin depicts the crowned shield of Gorizia arms with a baroque frame. The reverse side depicts the value (1 soldo), date (1788), and mintmark (K) with baroque frame. This was a common coin for the Italian region of Gorizia, which was a state of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1751, the Archdiocese of Gorizia was established as its legal successor on the territory of the Habsburg Monarchy. Gorizia thus emerged as a Roman Catholic religious centre. Copper mint, 1788.

SAINT BLAISE - CROATIA

This coin originated in Dubrovnik with a limited run and was only used in 1723 & 1797. At that time, worth 40 Dinarića, the coin was considered highly expensive currency. One side depicts the city's code of arms, while the other features Saint Blaise. Seen holding the city in one hand, this Patron Saint of throat illnesses and animals is considered a physician of souls, and people turn to him for healing miracles. He is still regarded as the protector of Dubrovnik.

His feast day is Feb 3rd. He died in 316 A.D. The coins writing translates to, "Under God’s granted Guidance."

SAINT BLAISE - CROATIA

This coin originated in the region of Dalmatien Kroatien Ragusa. It is a silver denar or grosso from the XV century depicting St. Blaise on the face and Jesus Christ on the flipside. From the 13th and 14th centuries until the 17th the Ragusan money system was based on the Denar (or Dinar, and Grosetto in Italian), which was a small silver coin and a common denomination throughout Medieval Europe.

The Republic of Ragusa was a maritime republic centered on the city of Dubrovnik (Ragusa in Italian, German and Latin; Raguse in French) in Dalmatia (today in southernmost Croatia) that carried that name from 1358 until 1808. With the weakening of Byzantium, Venice began to see Ragusa as a rival that needed to be brought under its control, but an attempt to conquer the city in 948 failed. The citizens of the city attributed this to Saint Blaise, whom they adopted as their patron saint.

GEORGE II - GREAT BRITAIN

George II (George Augustus; German: GeorgII. August; 30 October / 9 November 1683 – 25 October 1760) was King of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg (Hanover) and Prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire from 11 June 1727 (O.S.) until his death. Throughout his life George II maintained a passion for anything military. He displayed courage while fighting the French at the Battle of Dettingen in 1743—the last time a British king appeared on the battlefield—and he organized each day with the precision of a drill sergeant. His other major interest was music; he loved opera and was a patron of the German composer George Frideric Handel.

LUCIUS CALPURNIUS - ROME

Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi (sometimes Censorinus), born around 180 BC, was a Roman politician and historian of plebeian origin. He is best known for the Annales, a seven book annalistic history of Rome that spanned from the mythical founding of Rome until 146 BC. His historical account, now lost and known to us from only forty-nine short quotations or paraphrases, was written in a simple style of Latin. Later historians relied upon his work. Piso's historical work is important because it was the first time that an account was structured into individual years, making it the earliest history to follow the so-called "annalistic scheme."

MEDUSA - GREECE

Apollonia Pontika was founded in 610 BC by Ionian Greeks from Miletus and named after Apollo. Among the most interesting, and controversial, Medusa coins are Apollonia Pontika drachms, minted c. 450-350 BC in the Greek colony of Apollonia Pontika, which was situated in Thrace along the Black Sea. Apollonia Pontika drachms feature among the most visually striking images on coinage of Medusa, with fierce gaze and tongue sticking out. These coins are also among the most reasonably priced Medusa coins. They may not be quite as shocking as Neapolis staters or Athenian wappenmünzen, but they don't cost as much as one month's worth, or a year's worth, of mortgage payments. Unfortunately, Apollonia Pontika drachms are also the most dangerous Medusa coins. But if you take into consideration the message of danger intended by the Medusa imagery, their danger can add to rather than subtract from their appeal.

MENANDER I - INDIA

Menander I- "Menander I the Saviour" was an Indo-Greek King of the Indo-Greek Kingdom (165/[3]/155[3] –130 BC) who administered a large empire in the Northwestern regions of the Indian Subcontinent from his capital at Sagala. His reign was long, successful and prosperous, opening up trade between India and Europe. Generous findings of coins testify to the prosperity and extension of his empire (with finds as far as Britain) as well as duration of his reign: the finds of his coins are the most numerous and the most widespread of all the Indo-Greek kings. He was beloved for the prosperity he brought to India during that time and also for converting to Buddhism.

JUSTIN II - BYZANTINE EMPIRE

Justin II, nephew of Justinian I and Empress Theodora, a member of the Justinian Dynasty. He was the Eastern Roman Emperor from 565-574 AD and is best known for his participation in the war with the Sassanid Empire and subsequent loss of the greater part of Italy. During his reign, he discontinued the tradition of buying off enemies and paying for truces. This led to two disastrous campaigns and the eventual loss of his mind. The back of the coin shows Justin II and wife Sophie seated at a double throne. Bronze follis minted 571-572 AD.

CONSTANTINE II - ROME

Constantine II, “Flavius Claudius Constantinus”, (born 316, Arelate, Viennensis, died 340), was the Roman emperor from 337 to 340. The second son of Constantine the Great (ruled 306–337), he was given the title of caesar by his father on March 1, 317. When Constantine the Great died in 337, Constantine II and his brothers, Constans and Constantius II, each adopted the title augustus and divided the empire among themselves. Constantine II became ruler of Britain, Gaul, and Spain. He soon claimed Italy and Africa from Constans and, early in 340, unexpectedly invaded Italy. Penetrating to Aquileia, Constantine was met by the vanguard of the army of Constans and was killed in the ensuing battle. Siscia mint 320-321 AD.

ANONYMOUS - ROME

The face on this coin is unknown, but the coin itself, the denarius, was the standard Roman silver coin from the second Punic War to the reign of Gordian III. The word “denarius” is derived from Latin and means “containing ten”, as its value was ten asses, (plural of as - bronze or copper coin of the Roman Republic & Empire). The denarius was the precursor to the penny. Minted approximately 269 BC.

TREE OF LIFE - ITALY

During her travels, Tat2 Designs’ designer Briana Erin found this wax seal in a charming stationary store on a tiny side street in Venice, Italy. The shop had a huge book of seals and she was drawn to the “tree of life” design, as it reminded her of the antique coins she has always collected. The natural shape the wax creates when pressing a seal inspired the finished bezel design of the Patna and Kocki necklaces.

Athena and Owl

The Crescent moon represents the night and the owl’s wisdom to see in the dark. The Olive Branch, which was a common theme in Athenian currency, symbolizes Athena’s peaceful victory over Poseidon. The letters AOE is an abbreviation for “of Athenians” Athena is the Greek goddess of wisdom, war, the arts, industry, justice & skill. She was the favorite child of Zeus and Metis, the goddess of wisdom and Zeus' first wife. Athena and her uncle Poseidon both loved a certain city in Greece. Both claimed the city and it was decided that one that could give the greatest gift could claim the city. Poseidon struck the side of the cliff with his trident and a spring welled up. The water however was salty as the sea and was not very useful. Athena's gift was an olive tree, she prevailed since the olive tree provided food, oil and wood. Athena named her city Athens. Her attribute is the owl. This Ancient Greek Athenian Tetradrachm Coin from 450BC features the head of Athena wearing a crested helmet with olive leaves and floral scroll. REVERSE: Owl with olive branch and crescent within incuse square.

Zeus

Zeus is king of the gods, ruler of Mt Olympus, and god of the sky. His union with Demeter the Goddess of the harvest, resulted in the birth of twins; Apollo and his sister Artemis. His symbols were the thunderbolt, eagle, bull and oak. Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades drew lots for the Earth, in which Zeus got the sky, Poseidon the sea and Hades was left with the underworld. This coin features the Laureate head of Zeus. REVERSE: King Zeus, wearing kausia, riding horse, his right hand raised, the sun or radiated head of Helios above the exergual line.