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Bears on coins

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Hello folks,

 

One of my favorite topical collecting themes is bears. I've always loved the animal and my favorite football team is the Chicago Bears :ninja: I have a bear for my company mascot and his name is Ursus Maximus (Greatest Bear) or Vrsvs Maximvs for you Latin purists for spelling.

 

Anyway, I collect ancient and modern coins with bears on them and love to see images of coins in other collections to add to my want list ;)

 

Here are some of the ancient bears:

 

Hadrian-Hadrianotheri-Bear.jpg

 

Hadrian, AE17, Mysia-Hadrianothera. ADRIANOC AVGOVCTOC Bare head of Hadrian right. ADRIANOQHRITWN Bear head left. von Fritze, "Die antiken Munzen Mysiens", Berlin 1913, p.199, 565-6.

 

According to von Fritze, the bear depicted is apparently the she-bear Hadrian killed in a famous hunt, whereupon he founded on that site, the city of Hadrian's Hunt (Hadrianothera) as referenced to vita Hadriani 20, 13. Ex Moneta, March, 2001. Ex Dr. Busso Peus Nachf. Munzhandlung Catalog 366, Auction 25, Lot 583, October, 2000.

 

Spain-Ursone-Villaronga7.jpg

 

Autonomous Issue, AE26, 150-100 BC, Spain-Ursone. Helmeted head of Athena right, VRSO behind. Bear seated left, MAR[C Q] (MAR ligate) behind. Villaronga 7. Ex Melqart Coins, October 2001. Ex Alvarez Burgos, 1979.

 

And here are some not-so-ancient bears:

 

Switzerland-StGallen-1776-HMZ750.jpg

 

Switzerland-Abbey of St. Gallen, Half Thaler, 1776

BEDA . D . G .-S R . I . P .

Coat of arms surmounted by bishop's mitre, angel presenting branch to praying bishop with hand of God above in wreath below

ABB . S . G .-E . S . I . A . V . E .

Bear walking right, left paw raised, tree trunk in right paw, in laurel-wreath, 1776 in exergue, V below

Edged design of overlapping triple-leaves

Silver, 31mm x 33mm, 13.97g

KM 26; HMZ 750

Ex Swiss dealer, February 2002

 

Switzerland-StGallen-1774-HMZ753.jpg

 

Switzerland-Abbey of St. Gallen, 20 Kreuzer, 1774

BEDA . D . G . S . R . I . P . S .-G . E . S . I . I . V . TH . A . V . A . E

Coat of arms surmounted by bishop's mitre, 20 in wreath below

S . GALLUS . ABBAS

Saint Gallus, nimbate, seated left, shepard's crook in left hand, loaf of bread in right hand offering to bear standing right, tree trunk in right paw, 1774 / H in exergue

Milled edged

Silver, 28mm x 29mm, 6.57g

KM 24; HMZ 753

Ex Swiss dealer, November 2001

 

Note: When the Monk (who would later become Saint) Gallus came to the woods in what would become St. Gallen, a bear came to help him build his hut. That is how the bear made it into the arms of the canton of St. Gallen.

 

Switzerland-StGallen-1621-KM61.jpg

 

St. Gallen - 1621, AR Thaler. KM 61.

 

This piece was acquired, quite unbelievably, from a Florida dealer on eBay in 1999. He acquired it from an auction in Austria. It is the centerpiece of the Bears collection and the coin featured in our logo.

 

US-1925S-California.jpg

 

California - 1925-S, silver commemorative half dollar.

 

US-1936S-BayBridge.jpg

 

Bay Bridge - 1936-S, silver commemorative half dollar.

 

Most of my collection still needs to be sent out to my photographer, but at least that gives you a small taste of my favorite collection.

 

Enjoy!

 

--Beast

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WOW, you are going to make someone very happy. I know this guy in a forum that collects bears on coins. Maybe I should tell him to come in here :ninja:

 

http://forums.collectors.com/messageview.c...855&STARTPAGE=1

 

I have a Soviet medal that features a bear and a cub, but nothing as great as yours:

 

901781.jpg

 

There is a series of endangered animals or rather called "Red Book", or better known as "Protect the world" that Russia has minted recently, probably in 1993.

 

And finally... there are two trial Soviet coins that were minted as trial strikes... price tag is a horror but... well enjoy the pictures... ;)

 

http://www.numismat.ru/cgi-bin/auction.cgi...=asc&material=0

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Mexico $5 Black Bear, part of the endangered species series.

 

osorev2dz.th.gif

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Thanks for the interesting replies and images! Here is the link to the section on my site with all of the world bears (I have quite a few to add yet and the entire section needs to be rephotographed and redesigned with my new format and my photography skills are terrible!)

 

Bears:

 

http://www.beastcoins.com/Topical/Bears/Bears.htm

 

Enjoy!

 

--Beast

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Thanks for the interesting replies and images!  Here is the link to the section on my site with all of the world bears (I have quite a few to add yet and the entire section needs to be rephotographed and redesigned with my new format and my photography skills are terrible!)

 

Here's a couple of modern bears you don't appear to have. The first is a bi-metallic 2 diner coin from Andorra dated 1984. It just doesn't scan all that well (as you can easily see).

 

The second is a silver 10 diner coin from Andorra dated1992 showing a bear and his / her cub. I was reluctant to take it out of the holder hence it is a bit blurred.

 

bear.jpg

 

bear2.jpg

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I just received few days ago 50 Pennia 1991 Finland with a polar bear...

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I just received few days ago 50 Pennia 1991 Finland with a polar bear...

 

 

That reminds me, much of the coinage of Greenland has polar bears on it. I think i've got a 50 ore coin somewhere with Mr Bear on it...... must look it out.

 

Then of course there are the Australian gold and platinum bullion `Koalas' .

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I just received few days ago 50 Pennia 1991 Finland with a polar bear...

 

 

Yes, it seems that he already has that bear. I was going to offer one if he did not.

 

btw: it is not a polar bear, but a brown bear. There are no polar bears in Finland, except at a zoo. :ninja:

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Although my photos are terrible, here is the 25 Ore Greenland bear:

 

Greenland-1926-25Ore.jpg

 

And the 50 Pennia Finland bear:

 

Finland-1992-KM66.jpg

 

I don't have the Andorra bears yet (I pretty much just buy the bear coins when I happen upon them and don't actively go into the markets to but them specifically unless I need a particular one for a study or article or something), but I do add everything to my want list for when I attend shows :ninja:

 

Here is an Anhalt-Germany 2/3 thaler bear:

 

Germany-Anhalt-Bernburg-1808-20thMark.jpg

 

and a 1/6 thaler version:

 

Germany-Anhalt-Bernburg-1862-KM87.jpg

 

Here is a massive, 57mm silver medal from Switzerland with a gorgeous bear on it (that one cost me quite a bit at an auction):

 

Switzerland-Medal1-Big.jpg

 

Switzerland-Bern, Medallion of Sechszehnerpfennig (six-decimal pfennig), circa 1760

RESPUBLICA BERNENSIS

Bear standing facing, head right, in splint mail shirt, scepter in right paw, left paw on shield decorated with Bern coat of arms, standing on military items, flags and column in background

FELICITAS REIPUBLICAE

Felicitas standing facing, scepter and sword in right hand and resting on book placed on cippus, fasces in left, owl at feet, stork next to cippus

SENATUS ET SEDECIM / VIRI REIPUBLICAE / BERNENSIS in exergue

Morikofer designer, Dassier engraver

Plain edge

57mm, 90.78g

Schweizer Med. 633

Ex Jean Elsen, March 16, 2002, Auction 69, Lot 3109

 

and another 58mm silver piece:

 

Switzerland-Medal2-Big.jpg

 

Switzerland-Bern, Medallion of Sechszehnerpfennig (six-decimal pfennig), c.1818

RESPUBLICA BERNENSIS

Bear standing facing, head right and sticking out tongue, both paws on shield decorated with Bern coat of arms, standing on military and agricultural items, flags in background

FELICITAS REIPUBLICAE

Felicitas standing facing, scepter and sword in right hand and resting on cippus, fasces in left, owl at feet

SENATUS ET SEDECIM / VIRI in exergue

S. Burger designer

Plain edge

58mm

Schweizer Med. 635

Ex Jean Elsen, March 16, 2002, Auction 69, Lot 3110

 

Here is one from a set from Spitzbergen in 1993:

 

Spitzbergen-1993-KMTn8.jpg

 

and another from a 1998 set:

 

Spitzbergen-1998-2Roubles.jpg

 

Doggone bears are all over the place! ;)

 

Enjoy!

 

--Beast

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There's a German state...maybe Anhalt, that has a bear on it's coins.

Quite possibly so, since today's Saxony-Anhalt also has a bear in the state's CoA. The bear also appears on the coins from Berne, CH ...

 

http://secure1.moneymuseum.com/frontend.re...mVDZ71ybFgk.jpg

http://secure1.moneymuseum.com/frontend.re...1B28p5TW0Dg.jpg

http://secure1.moneymuseum.com/frontend.re...lWaCDoR7aAH.jpg

 

... and can be found in the CoA of Berlin, DE, which in turn is displayed on some coins such as these modern commems:

 

http://www.inkoze.de/deutschland/ddr/geden...zpraegungrs.gif

http://www.muenzpage.de/bilder/001/00050a.jpg

 

Christian

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Canada ROCKS when it comes to bears! Here is a 2000 twonie:

 

Canada-2000-2Dollars.jpg

 

They have a ton of different bears I still need to get, but some of them are ungodly expensive in gold and platinum, so they are on my want list, but down the road a bit :ninja:

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Yeah, Bern-Switzerland has a ton of bears as well (I think I have something like 50 different pieces from there):

 

Switzerland-Bern-1819-KM172.jpg

 

Switzerland-Bern-1826-KM195-1.jpg

 

St. Gallen-Switzerland does too:

 

Switzerland-StGallen-1732-6Kreuzer.jpg

 

as well as the Swiss Canton of Appenzell:

 

Switzerland-Appenzell-1816-KM6.jpg

 

Ancient bears are the tough ones though. I've been averaging one example per year over the past six years. Next to impossible to find!

 

--Beast

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Nice, thanks for sharing.

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Switzerland-StGallen-1776-HMZ750.jpg

 

Switzerland-Abbey of St. Gallen, Half Thaler, 1776

BEDA . D . G .-S R . I . P .

Coat of arms surmounted by bishop's mitre, angel presenting branch to praying bishop with hand of God above in wreath below

ABB . S . G .-E . S . I . A . V . E .

Bear walking right, left paw raised, tree trunk in right paw, in laurel-wreath, 1776 in exergue, V below

Edged design of overlapping triple-leaves

Silver, 31mm x 33mm, 13.97g

KM 26; HMZ 750

Ex Swiss dealer, February 2002

 

Switzerland-StGallen-1774-HMZ753.jpg

 

Switzerland-Abbey of St. Gallen, 20 Kreuzer, 1774

BEDA . D . G . S . R . I . P . S .-G . E . S . I . I . V . TH . A . V . A . E

Coat of arms surmounted by bishop's mitre, 20 in wreath below

S . GALLUS . ABBAS

Saint Gallus, nimbate, seated left, shepard's crook in left hand, loaf of bread in right hand offering to bear standing right, tree trunk in right paw, 1774 / H in exergue

Milled edged

Silver, 28mm x 29mm, 6.57g

KM 24; HMZ 753

Ex Swiss dealer, November 2001

 

Note: When the Monk (who would later become Saint) Gallus came to the woods in what would become St. Gallen, a bear came to help him build his hut. That is how the bear made it into the arms of the canton of St. Gallen.

 

 

I love that story. How did the monk get a bear to build a hut. Did he use honey, or just the power of the Lord?

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I think he must have had some honey on that loaf of bread he was giving the bear or something....

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Yes, it seems that he already has that bear. I was going to offer one if he did not.

 

btw: it is not a polar bear, but a brown bear. There are no polar bears in Finland, except at a zoo. :ninja:

When the rust will attack the coin, the bear will be brown. Until then, the coin is white, so bear is polar... ;)

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I don't have a pic, but there's a very nice Bear medal struck for the state of California's centennial. I've had one before but don't have one now. The medal is about 48mm and is either copper or bronze. If another turns up, I'll let you know.

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