Please explain the difference between an essai, a piefort, and a proba.
An essai, or essay, is a trial strike of a design, made to test the dies. It may be in a different metal and a different thickness than the normal coin and may also be considered to be a proof coin or a pattern. A piefort, or piedfort, is an exact double-thickness, double-weight coin struck with the normal dies.
They may also be quadruple-thickness on rare occasions. Usually they are the same metal as the normal coin but may be struck in other metals. Proba is a term used on Polish coins to indicate a trial strike, usually in proof. These are often struck in fairly large quantities. It is similar to the German “probe,” which means test or trial.
What is the historical basis for the “L,” “S” and “D” abbreviations?
“L,” “S” and “D” are used for the British pound, shilling and pence, respectively. They are also used to a lesser extent for the French livre, sol and denir. Both come from Roman librae, solidi and denarii.
Why are some Israeli medals struck in platinum?
It was due to the restrictions on gold ownership. There were none on platinum, especially for sale in U.S.
Who were the 12 Caesars?
The family name was carried on by Caius Julius, Augustus, Tiberius, Califula, Claudius, Nero, Galba, Otho, Vitellius, Vespasian, Titus and Domitian. Otho ruled 95 days, shortest of the family.
Can you solve the perennial problem of determining the difference between the (unmarked) British penny, half penny, and farthing of the early 1800s?
From about 1800 to 1860 all three carried the same designs, the only difference being the diameter, so this is the secret to telling them apart. The farthing measures 22 mm (7/8 inch), the half penny measures 27 mm (1-1/16 inch) and the big penny measures 33 mm (about 1-5/16 inch).
What is a Tanner?
A nickname for the British sixpence.
What is a Cross Pattee?
Several readers asked about this one. It’s the cross on some British coins. The cross arms have triangular ends, or the arms are rough triangles.
Did someone actually counterfeit the Aztec “bean” money?
For a price, they’ll counterfeit anything. Cocoa beans were used as currency by the Aztecs. The counterfeiters used hollow beans filled with dirt, or they varnished lumps of clay to look like cocoa beans.
Does King Edward VIII appear on any Canadian notes?
He can be found on the Canadian 1923 $2 note as Prince of Wales.