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SPAIN

Mints: Until 1980 6-pointed star – Madrid. Letters after date are initials of mint officials. After 1982 Crowned M – Madrid
Currency:
Rulers – RULERS Alfonso XIII, 1886-1931 2nd Republic and Civil War, 1931-1939 Francisco Franco, 1939-1947 as Caudillo and regent, 1947-1975 Juan Carlos I, 1975

The Spanish State has a population of 39.4 million (including the Balearic and the Canary Islands), capital Madrid. With an economy of agriculture, industry and tourism, and exports of machinery, fruit, vegetables and chemicals. In 1808 as colonists faced new imperialist policies from Napoleon or Spanish liberals revolution gave independence to the Vice-royalties of New Spain, New Granada and Rio de la Plata and the republic was caught in the Spanish Civil War of 1936-38. Leftist Republicans were supported by the U.S.S.R. and the International Brigade (mostly communist volunteers from all over the western world) while right wing Nationalists were supported by the Fascist governments of Italy and Germany. The Nationalists under Gen. Francisco Franco were victorious. The monarchy was restored in 1947 under the regency of General Francisco Franco, the king designate to be crowned after Franco’s death. Franco died on 20 Nov. 1975 and 2 days after his passing, Juan Carlos de Borbon, the grandson of Alfonso XIII, was proclaimed King of Spain.

From 1868 to 1982, two dates may be found on most Spanish coinage. The larger date is the year of authorization and the smaller date incused on the two 6-pointedstars found on most types is the year of issue. The latter appears in parentheses in these listings.

Somoan iconography displays the major plant exports of the island group.

SRI LANKA

Mints:
Currency:
Rulers – British, 1796-1948

The earliest known indigenous people of Sri Lanka, the Veddahs, were subjugated by the Sinhalese from northern India in the 6th century BCE who ruled until 1408 when the island was governed by China for 30 years. The Portuguese arrived in 1505 and maintained control of the coast for 150 years, followed by the Dutch in 1658, then the British who seized the Dutch colonies in 1796 with Sri Lanka (as Ceylon) becoming a Crown Colony in 1802. Constitutional changes in 1931 and 1946 granted a measure of autonomy and a parliamentary form of government with full independence as a self-governing state within the British Commonwealth conferred on 4 Feb 1948. On May 22, 1972 Sri Lankans adopted a new Constitution recognizing the Republic of Sri Lanka.

The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) has a population of 16.9 million and capital, Colombo. The economy is agricultural with exports of tea, coconut products and rubber.

Somoan iconography displays the major plant exports of the island group.

UNITED KINGDOM

Mints: H-Heaton, KN-Kings Norton
Currency: Pounds, shillings, and pence. Decimalization introduced in 1970 as dollars & cents.
Monarchs: Charles II (1660–1685), James II (1685–1688), William III (1689–1702) and Mary II (1689–1694) as co-monarchs,
Anne (1702–14), George I (1714–27), George II (1727–60), George III (1760–1820), George IV (1820–30), William IV (1830–37), Victoria (1837-1901), Edward VII (1901-1910), George V (1910-1936), Edward VIII (1936), George V (1936-1952), Elizabeth II, 1952-

After the departure of Roman garrisons in about 410 AD, the United Kingdom of Great Britain (England and Scotland) and northern Ireland was invaded by peoples from Scandinavia and the low countries with free Britons restricted to parts of Scotland, Wales and Cornwall. England, divided into various kingdoms was united under Danish King Canute in the 11th century. Invasions of the Normans in 1066 established stronger continental connections and the social institutions we recognise today. Henry VIII turned Britain into a naval power that was consolidated under his Tudor successor Elizabeth I (1558-1603). With the defeat of Napoleon and the world’s greatest navy supplemented by anIndustrial Revolution, Britain became a wealthy 19th century nation with a vast colonial empire. The expense and devastation of two world wars reduced Britain’s power as, by the mid-20th century, former British colonies had gained independence and, in 1942, the former empire evolved into a Commonwealth of Nations. In 2018 there were 54 member nations, including the United Kingdom with the British monarch as head of the Commonwealth.

Thrift, Allium porrum
George VI – 3d – 1943
101,702,000 NiBr/20mm/2mm/unc/
$30
KM# 849

Floral emblems
Eliz. II – florin – 1962
35,147,903 London
CuNi/11.3g/28.5mm/
aunc $4.50
Obv:Mary Gillick Rev:C. Thomas, E Fuller

Floral Emblems
Three oak leaves & acorns
George V – 3d – 1935

Ag 5/1.41g/16mm
London 7,027,654
O: Bertram MacKennal
R:George Kruger Gray
KM#831 EF$4
Use of plants on coins from the United Kingdom of Britain and Northern Ireland is largely developed around the floral emblems of England (rose), Scotland (thistle), Wales (leek & daffodil) and Northern Ireland (shamrock).
Somoan iconography displays the major plant exports of the island group.

Commentary

What can be learned from the historical use of plant designs on coins?

Though coinage arose early in China, it was strictly ‘purpose-built’, the holes in the centre allowing them to be threaded on strings and rods and, until relatively recent times, with the surface carrying script only. The tradition of ornamented surfaces began in the Mediterranean and Near East passing to Persia and India.

Many coin traditions developed very early in coin history, partly as logical necessity and partly cultural tradition. From the Greeks came the convention of round coins as flattened flans composed of three series of denominations of increasing value depending on standardised weights and the increasing value of copper, silver, and gold.

Also from the Greeks came the use of a person’s head on one face of the coin. At first this was a deity (like Athena on the Athenian ‘owl’) and later a human, generally a religiously sanctified leader (like Alexander the ‘Alexander’). Across the world the depiction of political and religious leaders on the obverse face of coins still persists.

Above all, coins have been a statement of political and economic power. In ancient Greece the reverse face was often used to promote individual city-states. the honey-bee for Ephesus, flying horse for Corinth and so on. This has been expressed in the modern era by the use of heraldic symbols and emblems.

Though animal symbols of power were popular with the Greeks – the lion, eagle, bull, and horse – plants were also depicted, though less frequently, on ancient Greek coins.

Use of plants

Plants have been used on coins in three major ways: first, as decorative embellishments, seen in the pervasive wreaths of laurel, olive and oak appearing either around the periphery of the coin or decorating the heads of various dignitaries; second, as floral emblems, a specially selected plant used to indicate a particular country or territory – perhaps most notable here being the rose of England, the thistle of Scotland, the Shamrock of Ireland, and the leek/daffodil of Wales – or the maple leaf of Canada; third, to indicate economic products or uses appropriate to the region, such as the wheat sheafs displayed by many countries or the banana and breadfruit represented on the coins of Samoa.

It seems that botanical motifs stamped on Greek coinage, though few, were proportionately many by nation than on subsequent coins of the world. Better-known ones are: the Rose of Rhodes; the Parsley of Selinus Sicily; the Fan Palm of Kamarina Sicily; the Fig leaf of Kamiros, Rhodes; the Grapes of Boiotia; the Silphium plant of Kyrene; the Siculo-Punic Date Palm that was grown commercially in Carthage and Sicily; and the Wheat ear of Metapontion in Lucania where some of the world’s most beautiful and desireable coins were struck.

Roman coinage was more practical with wreaths but no individual plants.

Plant motifs

Plants are most evident on coins as embellishments or decoration.

Wreaths

Wreaths are known from deep antiquity used in assorted ceremonies and rituals by cultures across the world bringing an associated rich and diverse symbolism. They are also They can be worn as a chaplet around the head, or as a garland around the neck. Used as a head decoration (sometimes referred to as a chaplet, coronet, diadem) they are well-known from Etruscan and Greco-Roman ceremonies where they also appear in jewelry and are made from gold or other precious metals.. As a garland worn around the neck they are a feature of, for example, Polynesian culture. In English-speaking countries they are used as an Advent and Christmas decoration.

Evergreens symbolize strength, resurrection and eternity as they persist through winter. Roman magistrates wore golden wreaths as crowns, signifying their lineage back to Rome’s early Etruscan rulers and others used them as an adornment to represent occupation, rank, their achievements and status. The plants most commonly used for wreaths are the ivy, oak, olive, myrtle, laurel, wheat and vines.

Harvest wreaths
These were used as a pagan decoration in ancient Europe associated with animistic spiritual beliefs often related to the changing seasons and fertility. Wreaths were used at funerals where particular flowers were used to express specific sentiments in the ‘language of flowers’. Cypress and willow often formed the wreath and were associated with mourning by the Victorians and are laid at the tombs of soldiers at memorial cenotaphs during Memorial Day and Remembrance Day ceremonies. They are also thrown into the water to commemorate those lost at sea.

Laurel wreaths
Early Greek coins known as stephanophoroi or ‘wreath coins’ that features laurel wreaths as an enclosing element for their designs. In ancient Greece leafy twigs of the bay laurel (Laurus nobilis an aromatic broadleaf evergreen tree)[6] were woven into a coronet or chaplet that was worn around the heads of those victorious in athletic events. Apollo is frequently depicted wearing a laurel wreath. Romans adapted this tradition by applying it to military heroes but today it is used as a general symbol for victors or ‘winners’ and may apply to academic or other achievement, such as the elevated status of poet laureate or Nobel laureate. In art the wreath is frequently used for the decoration of architecture, furniture and textiles with flexibility in the kind of plant used, popular variants including oak leaves, flowers, holly, and rosemary.
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