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Modern Times

  • The Taler - the Trade Currency of the 16th Century (Towards the end of the 15th century, innovations in the mining industry allowed for a more intensive yield of the European silver pits. The lack of gold coins could now be met by a coinage of large silver coins.) 
  • The Almighty Dollar (by Marcus Junkelmann; a 20-page summary of the history of the American Dollar).
  • China's Path to Modernity (by Dagmar Lorenz; Smoking factory chimneys, the rapid growth of industry, trade and consumption – these have been the features of Western modernity from the middle of the 19th century. Quite the opposite in China: here the dawn of a new age was linked not to signs of an upswing, but of economic decline. And it was not the development of industry that marked the beginnings of modernity, but the trade in drugs. The English merchants acted as dealers and flooded the Chinese market with, for the most part, Indian opium.)
  • Britain and the Pound Sterling (by Robert Schneebeli; a 5-page summary of the history of the British currency). 
  • Ingots Assets, Adornments and Trading Currency (Ingots have been in use as means of payment since about 2000 BC. They do not always consist of metal, but can be made from diverse materials – tea or salt, for instance. In Antiquity, ingots passed as money also in Europe; in Asia and Africa, diverse forms of ingots circulated well into the 20th century.) 
  • Globalisation (The Eight Deadly Sins of Globalisation, by Joachim Rau) 
  • Chinese Silver Ingots (A peculiarity of Chinese monetary history was the almost complete absence of coins made of precious metals, whether of gold or silver. For over 2,000 years, copper coins dominated the monetary scene in China. However, the most constant measure of value was silver, in the form of silver ingots.) 
  • The Fiorino d’Oro - Europe’s first International Gold Coin ("Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" they say, and that is certainly true in the case of the fiorino d’oro, the gold florin, first issued by the city republic of Florence in 1252.)  
  • Salzburg - a Jewel in the Holy Roman Empire (Who thinks of Salzburg today pictures "Mozartkugeln" – rum truffles with marzipan –, the international music festivals and perhaps the salt of the nearby mountain. But the small archbishopric was rich at culture and art already in former times. Additionally Salzburg had a very reliable currency ...)
  • Money in Modern Japan (With the beginning of modern times around 1600, a radical turn around took place in Japan. Under the government of the Tokugawa shoguns  the island nation cut itself off almost completely from the outside world. In this time an independent Japanese culture evolved – and a coinage system of its own ...)
  • The Swiss Reserve Banknotes (From the beginning of the first emission of banknotes in 1907, the Swiss National Bank had prepared eight series of banknotes. Reserve banknotes were produced to enable the Swiss National Bank in case of emergency to replace all circulating bills within short notice.)  
  • Coins of the Helvetic Republic (As a result of the French Revolution the Old Swiss Confederation collapsed at the end of the 18th century. The Helvetic Republic also attended to coinage. The single feudal states lost their coin prerogatives and the centrally governed state took over. As national currency the Swiss franc was introduced).
  • Spaniards in America (In 1492, Christopher Columbus found a new world on his search for a shorter sea route to India. A short coin tour).
  • From Pillar Dollars to Eagle Piasters - the History of the Peso (The Spanish peso was one of the most important trade coins of all times – if not the most important ever. Minted in the American colonies in large quantities, the peso can be found all over the world under different names up to this day. In some countries of the Ottoman Empire, it was minted under the name "piaster." The Chinese yuan is modeled after the Spanish peso, and so is the American dollar. And in many Latin American countries, the peso still is the national currency.) 
  • Swiss Federal Coins - Respectable and Trustworthy (Switzerland stands aloof from the European Union. But Switzerland too once introduced its own single currency – the first federal constitution of 1848 put an end to Switzerland's previously fragmented coinage.)  
  • La Grande Nation and Its Coinage (The history of France's coinage is as varied and colourful as the peoples who inhabit La Grande Nation. Not only that; a whole range of French coins – denier, gros, écu, franc, Louis d'or, Napoleon – once circulated all over Europe). 
  • South African Rand Coins - Donation by Cliff Gundle, London (The following Coin Tour recounts the history of South Africa, from the first colonization to the foundation of the republic in 1961. Because coinage set in rather late in South Africa, the MoneyMuseum shows this development on the basis of the modern South African rand coins which the MoneyMuseum received from Cliff Gundle, London as a gift). 
  • A Brief Survey of the Monetary History of the United States (The United States are a conglomerate of the most different cultures: In the 16th century, Spaniards first encountered the indigenous inhabitants, the so-called Indians; people from African und Asian civilizations and other European nations soon followed. It is thus not amazing that multiple forms of currencies marked the beginning of the North American monetary history. A coin tour from the beginnings to today.)
  • From Chinese Silver Ingots to the Yuan (With the ascent of the Qing Dynasty in 1644, China's modern age began. This epoch brought foreign hegemony in a double sense: On the one hand the Qing emperors were not Chinese, but belonged to the Manchu people. On the other hand western colonial powers began to influence politics and trade in the Chinese Empire more and more. The colonial era brought a disruption of the Chinese currency history that had hitherto shown a remarkable continuity. Soon, the Chinese money supply was dominated by foreign coins. This was a big change in a country that had used simple copper coins only for more than two thousand years.) 
  • British Coins - Turning Their Back on the Continent (Britain did not always insist on its "splendid isolation," and at one time was quite happy to be a part of Europe. This show the British coins – they number distinguished European coins such as the denarius, the pfennig and the German groschen among their ancestors.) 
  • Money in Denmark - from the Vikings until today (The northern Germanic peoples encountered money relatively late. Only in the 5th and 6th centuries did larger quantities of precious metals come to northern Europe. Gold soon became very cherished; it was not put into circulation, however, but treasured and carefully protected. Until this day, sagas such as the saga of the Nibelung or the epic poem of Beowulf give account of the northern Germanic hoards of gold.)
  • Money in Sweden – from Gustav Vasa until Today (When Sweden became independent under Gustav I Vasa in 1523, a regular monetary system was developed. Gustav introduced the mark as currency and had the first øre and daler struck, modeled on the German thaler.) 
  • Banknotes as Business Cards of Switzerland (The conception of what distinguishes a country, and the approach of representing it to its citizens and to the rest of the world, changes in the course of time. The development of the Swiss banknotes, from 1911 to present, illustrates this.) 
  • Currencies of Modern Times (The MoneyMuseum offers a chance to look at the various currencies that are still in circulation on our blue planet. The journey begins with the bath from Thailand, and continues via the Russian copeck and the United States dollar through the South African rand to the Japanese yen. One click, and the journey can begin ...)
  • Money in the Land of the Rising Sun I - The Copper Coins of Ancient Japan (Until the end of the Japanese Middle Ages (about 1200-1600) the Land of the Rising Sun was completely geared towards its great neighbour China. It was from here that it adopted cultural, political and economic achievements. One of these was money.) 
  • Money in the Land of the Rising Sun II - Japan’s Road to the Yen (With the beginning of modern times (which began in Japan around 1600), a radical turn around took place in the Land of the Rising Sun. Under the government of the Tokugawa shoguns, the island nation cut itself off almost completely from the outside world. In this time an independent Japanese culture evolved – and a coinage system of its own). 
  • Money in the Land of the Rising Sun III - The Yen (The year 1868 marked a turning point: the Land of the Rising Sun entered into modernity in the so- called Meiji period (1868-1912). A rapid reform of the state along Western lines took place. The old feudal patterns were abolished, the ban on travelling abroad was lifted. The army was remodelled on the Prussian pattern. Also, the various Japanese currencies were replaced by the new yen.) 
  • The Renaissance in Pictures (The humanistic ideal of the Renaissance has radically changed the world. It became the driving force behind the Enlightenment and modern times.)  
  • Euro Banknotes (What do the Euro banknotes reflect? Have you ever carefully looked at one? Besides a map of Europe and a flag, there are bridges and some other platitudinous elements. The design was chosen because the commonplace does not pose any political problems. Read more about the image of the European Union that will be represented by the Euro banknotes here ...) 
  • The Most Appealing Banknotes of Switzerland (Banknotes are the business card of a country. That is true for the bills of the USA, the new euro notes circulating from January 2002, and the banknote series of the Swiss National Bank. The change of Switzerland through time and the alteration of its self-manifestation are reflected in its banknotes of the past 100 years.) 
  • Best of Europe II - Europe’s Most Beautiful Coins from the Renaissance to Modern Times (Welcome to "Best of Europe II." Here I want to show you Europe's most beautiful coins from the Renaissance to modern times.)  
  • A Journey through Time in Ten Maps - The Wild East of Europe (How the new "states" of Eastern and Central Europe developed – these maps tell it.) 
  • The Russian Monetary System from the Kievan Empire to 1897 (The development of the Russian monetary system up to the rouble of today is a long story. It begins with the emergence of the very idea of money during the pre-Mongolian Kievan period (10th–13th centuries), the Mongolian period, and the Muscovite period (13th–17th century), continues through Peter the Great’s currency reform, the introduction of paper money and the Russian monetary system in the second half of the 18th century, and ends with the consequences of all that in the 19th century. Written by Anton Seljak for the MoneyMuseum.)
  • The Globalisation of Trade in the 18th Century (by Peter Wolf; Why do people drink so much tea in Britain? And since when? What did they drink before?)
  • The Guilder and the Golden Age - a nation sails out to make its fortune: Holland in the 17th century (In the 17th century Holland was the most important trading nation in the Old World. The ruling class of merchants lived in the lap of luxury, and the guilder lived up to its name, gilding the good fortune of a nation that was ahead of the rest of Europe, showing the others the way.) 
  • The “Japanese Miracle”: The Path to Modernity Taken by the Land of the Rising Sun (by Dagmar Lorenz; Japan as an economic power has not existed for just a few decades. Around the turn of the century, when the industrial states of Europe were consolidating their colonies in Asia and Africa by military force, the Far Eastern island state was the only country with a non- Western civilisation to succeed in standing up to the major Western powers. Japan's rise to the status of a great power in the Far East was virtually unstoppable.) 
  • Tulipomania (Edward Chancellor has done a great job in describing the history of financial speculation, the follies, bubbles and crashes during the past 350 years. The book: "Devil take the hindmost; a history of financial speculation", begins with an insightful analysis of the first great bubble in financial speculation – that of the tulip market in Holland in the 17th century.)
  • World trade under the spell of the peso (by Lucas M. Schneider; After their first wave of conquests, the Conquistadors in America soon found that the flow of gold taken from the natives had dried up, and that gold and silver would have to be mined. The exploitation of the silver mines was the foundation for the rise of the peso – the huge numbers in which it was produced and its global range made possible a boom in world trade.)
  • The Peace of Westphalia – the Birth of Tolerance (Tolerance as a vitally necessary political, religious and social attitude arose in the 17th century out of the chaos of the Thirty Years War (1618-1648) which raged over most of Germany and much of central and eastern Europe. It was ended by the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, which for the first time gave tolerance a legal basis. Tolerance is much in demand today too, so a glance back into the past can be helpful.) 

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