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Dutch coins during WW2

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In 1939, a shortage of guldens and rijksdaalders originated. This shortage and the continuing large demand for large silver coins and the smaller denominations, asked for a enormous production at the Mint. the demand for the smaller coins decreased in the summer, but after August 1940, it increased again. Specifically in 1941, there was a continuous shortage of the smaller denominations. Then there was also the plan of the Germans, to take nickel and bronze coins out of circulation, to use the metal in their war industry.

 

In the end of 1940, the Mint master was handed an "Anweising zur Erfassung der Münzen aus Kupfer, Nickel und Kupfer-Nickel-Legierungen in den besetzten Niederländischen Gebieten" (Instructions for capturing the coins of copper, nickel and copper-nickel alloys in the occupied Dutch territories) by a friend. In it, he read the plan to cancel these coins by 30 June 1940 and confiscate them. In an alleged attempt to solve the shortage of smaller denomination coins, the Mint then produces huge amounts of kwartjes, dubbeltjes, stuivers and centen (25, 10, 5 and 1 cent). A professional like Mint master Van Heteren obviously knew that this shortage would never be solved. But striking coins was his only option to remove the precious metals from the Mint. Although silver was not mentioned in the German instructions, Van Heteren feared that this metal was soon to be taken as well.

 

On request by the Minisery of Finance, the bars of sterling silver that were present in the Mint, were used for industrial purposes, and the Nederlandsche Bank provided large amounts of the large silver coins in order to strike the smaller silver denominations. To have all these coins before the fatal date in circulation, hard work was required at the Mint. The coin presses were set to a higher speed and starting in May 1941, two shiftst and later even three shifts were introduced. Result of all this effort: when the message arrived that all metal available at the Mint had to be handed over, no significant amounts were left! Unfortunately, in 1944 still a significant amount of metal was removed from the Mint and shipped to Germany. This metal came from handed in pre war coins.

 

After Mint master Van Heteren retired on 1 May 1941, dr. J.W.A. van Hengel was appointed as new Mint master. Later he was replaced and fired, being "unfit" for the job (unwilling to cooperate with the Germans).

 

Zinc coins

 

In Februari 1941, the German commissionar at the Nederlandsche Bank announced that preparations had to be made in order to replace the bronze and copper-nickel coins. On 5 June was also announced that the silver coins needed to ber subtracted from circulation. All smaller denominations had to be replaced by zinc coins. Only the half cent coins, which had no role in daily life, were allowed to stay in circulation; the amount of bronze in these coins was so little that a forced turn in and replacing the coins by zinc ones would give more work than profit.

 

3 July the diameters and weights of the future zinc couns were determined. Since all coins would be made of one metal, the serie required a different build up than the previous serie with three coin metals. Nico de Haas, editor of the weekly magazine Storm of the Dutch SS, was assigned to design drawings for the new coins. For the coins of 25, 10, 5, 2½ and 1 cent het fell back on "original Dutch symbols".

 

After approval of the patterns by the Secretary General of the Ministery of Finance, on 29 August 1941, production of the coins started. On 8 November, new examples were requested, this time for sending them to the Reichscommissioner Seyss-Inquart. He did not approve the 10, 2½ and 1 cent coins. The tree with three crowns on the 10 cent coins was not "German" and the hole in the 2½ and 1 cent coins to distinguish them from the other coins was considered shoddy. There were already 53 million of these coins struck; there were counted and packed and ready for shipment to the central post offices. They were all melted! As fast as possible new designs were made and approved and production started again, in order to be able to deliver the coins at 10 January 1942. In March, the copper-nickel stuiver and the bronze cent were retracted.

The 2½ cent and the dubbeltjes, kwartjes and guldens could not easily be retracted, These were often used in gas and electricity meters. Since the new coins had different dimensions, those could not yet be used in the meters. There had to be made zinc gas and electricity tokens, with the dimensions of the old coins. Nico de Haas made the designs for these tokes as well.

 

In August 1942, production of the tokens was ready, so retraction of the old coins could start. One had time until 19 September 1942 to hand in one's old silver, copper-nickel and bronze coins voluntarily. The response was so low that on 12 September a mandatory hand in was ordered: all coins had to be handed in before 5 October, or a high fine would be given or one could end up in prison. Alsmost everybody however kept his or her coins, only 7% was handed in.

 

996585.jpg

Netherlands 1 cent zinc, 1944

Weight : 2 g.

Diameter : 17 mm

Obverse : Cross and "Nederland" on ribbon

Reverse : Denomination and 4 waves and wheat ears

Edge : reeded

 

996590.jpg

Netherlands 2½ cent zinc, 1941

Weight : 2.8 g.

Diameter : 20 mm

Obverse : Frysian "ûleboerd"

Reverse : Denomination and 4 waves and wheat ears

Edge : plain

 

996594.jpg

Netherlands 5 cent zinc, 1941

Weight : 3.6 g.

Side : 18 mm

Obverse : Saxon horse heads under a sun

Reverse : Denomination in a ring, left 9 waves and right one wheat ear

Edge : plain

 

996603.jpg

Netherlands 10 cent zinc, 1943

Weight : 3.2 g.

Side : 22 mm

Obverse : Three tulips

Reverse : Denomination between two twigs

Edge : reeded

 

996608.jpg

Netherlands 25 cent zinc, 1941

Weight : 5 g.

Side : 26 mm

Obverse : Sail boat, facing right

Reverse : Denomination between two twigs

Edge : plain

 

 

 

Sources:

"Geld van het Koninkrijk", H. Jacobi and B. van Beek

Akdeveli collection on OmniCoin

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Terrific post. This is very interesting. Thank you for sharing it with us.

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Thank you for posting that! It definitely explains why I see so many late dated silver 10c amongst souvenirs brought back by Canadian servicemen.

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Very fascinating and thank you for sharing. The only benefit from the demonetisation of the pre-1945 guilder banknotes was that some of the lovely banknotes that would no longer be available because they would have been redeemed are available for collectors - though still fairly rare. I have a couple of the large denomination ie 100 HFL and 1000 HFL from the 1930s. Following the liberation of Netherlands in 1945 silverbons were issued which resulted in a ramped up minting of silver 1 and 2.5 gulden coins for redeeming the notes and restoring confidence in the guilder. Also whole new series of notes were made, though rare, they are still collectable, particularly 25 HFL of 1945 and the orange design of 1947.

 

With all the flack about the Euro lately one forgets that Netherlands had a strong currency that continued to appreciate vs. other currencies like the dollar and the sterling over time. Not many nations are in that club, only Germany, Japan, Switzerland and Austria.

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Sources:

"Geld van het Koninkrijk", H. Jacobi and B. van Beek

Akdeveli collection on OmniCoin

Geld van het Koninkrijk is one of the books you helped me buy from a seller in the Netherlands back in 2007, T3. :friends: I refer to it often, but it's much easier when you do the translating. Thanks for posting this.

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I've been researching the Netherlands coins minted in the U.S. during the war and wondered what the acorn privy mark signifies. The answer, according to Jacques Schulman: the Handels-Secretaris (???) of the Dutch Embassy in Washington, DC was related to the Badhill-Thornhill family, whose coat of arms includes acorns. Not the most inspiring explanation, but it's the only one I've found.

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I have no books that contain an explanation for the acorn as privy mark, just that it refers to "Dutch coins struck in the USA during WW2, to be used in The Netherlands". The USA also struck coins for "our" colonies, the Antillen, those have a palm tree as privy mark.

 

I will see if I can find an explanation later, it's bed time here now....

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How long these cons remains in use after the war? Third Reich's zinc and aluminum coins were retracted in April 1949.

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