Visit London Blog » coins Enjoy the very best of London Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:00:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Libya in London: Fatimid Dinar Coins in the British Museum Thu, 19 Jan 2012 15:00:21 +0000 We’ve highlighted the “riches” on display in the British Museum’s Money Room before in our World in London challenge, when searching for a trace of Liberia in London.

Now, we return to the British Museum’s incredible hoard, to look at a slice of Libyan life on display in the capital.

In Room 68, you can see the Fatimid dinar, which were minted in Tarablus in Tripoli, Libya in AH 465 / AD 1072-73.

The British Museum’s website explains the importance of these coins:

When the Muslim Fatimid dynasty (909-1171) came to power, they brought with them direct access to the gold sources of West Africa. On his arrival in Cairo, the caliph al-Mu’izz (953-75) is said to have come with 500 camels bearing gold and other riches. Islamic medieval gold coins were made of very pure gold, and so were highly valued in trade. They also had an impact on the coinage of their neighbours. Imitations of Islamic dinars are found in Sicily, Spain and in the Crusader kingdoms.

Do you know of any other examples of Libyan objects on display in London?

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Liberia in London: Copper Cent Tokens in the British Museum Sat, 30 Apr 2011 14:00:32 +0000 Room 68 in the British Museum is concerned with that most important of treasures: money.

Among the vast array of objects on display, you can find two coins from the Republic of Liberia in West Africa, dating from the 1830s.

Like the rest of the items on display in this gallery, the “copper cent tokens” from Liberia tell a fascinating story.

Just 28mm in diameter, and weighing less than 12 grams, these tiny tokens are powerful reminders of the relationship between Liberia and the United States, as well as being symbols of the liberation from slavery.

The coin depicts a figure planting a palm tree with a ship in the background, with the inscription LIBERIA, and the date 1833.

Liberia was established 10 years before this coin was issued, in 1821-22, as a settlement for freed slaves from the United States of America. Initially, money in Liberia consisted of American dollars and cents. However, in 1833 the American Colonization Society started producing low-value copper tokens for use in Liberia. The coins were valued as cent pieces.

The other side of this piece of 17th-century Liberia clearly indicates that this coin was issued by the American Colonization Society.

Liberia gained independence in 1847, becoming the first republic in Africa. By 1896, Liberia issued its own official currency, continuing to use the cent, and adding silver 10, 25 and 50 cent pieces. To this day, Liberian currency is based on the US dollar.

Don’t miss this little piece of Liberia in Room 68 of the British Museum next time you visit.

Do you know of any other examples of Liberian culture in London? Let us know in the comments below.

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London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic 50p Coins Launched Wed, 13 Oct 2010 16:00:20 +0000 The Royal Mint has launched a new set of London 2012 Olympic Games and London 2012 Paralympic Games themed 50 pence coins.

There are 29 designs, each featuring a different Olympic or Paralympic sport.

Nearly 30,000 members of the public from England and Wales entered a competition to have their picture featured on the coins. The winners include a policeman from Manchester and a schoolgirl from Bristol.

Some of the sports depicted are:

  • Swimming
  • Basketball
  • Boccia
  • Cycling
  • High Jump

See all 29 winning designs and meet the designers on the Royal Mint website.

Have you had one of the new 50p coins in your change yet?

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