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Sorry about the tiny image.

 

Some Dutch people altered coins during the German occupation, and sold them in secret to help finance the resistance. They replaced the queen's hair with a helmet, and removed parts of her name to make the inscription read "Wilhelmina in Londen."

 

My dad joined the Dutch underground when he was 18. I'd like to add one of these coins to the colllection that he started, but haven't found a lot of info about them.

 

I do know that there are lots of fakes out there. How would someone authenticate an altered coin? And is there an English word for these types of coins? I'm hoping someone can educate me.

 

 

 

120058.1922.88.2.jpg

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Those are very very interesting, unfortunately as with the "Hobo" nickels in the USA, it is so easy to make something like this, and age it and who would know whether it is original or not, since the host coin itself is indeed original.

 

Having travelled in Netherlands several times, and seen just seemingly everything there is to see, I really enjoyed the WWII history there and all that people did to circumvent the invaders there. Hopefully your father was willing to share his experiences with you, I sure would have liked to have heard the stories myself.

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The Royal Dutch Mint had one of these for sale, but it was already sold when I saw it. I liked that the Mint didn't balk over carrying a defaced coin. History trumps finicky. But I did wonder how they could be confident that it was an original, unless it had some sort of provenance.

 

Scottishmoney, I've heard amazing stories - mostly from my mom, since my dad didn't like to talk about some parts.

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There is a whole fascinating history which has been largely overlooked in coin collecting, that is coins which were altered for political reasons in adverse times.

 

This even happens today, some people are writing anti-Bush and anti-war statements on $1 bills and circulating them. At least at present it is not something that could cost you your life as it would have occupied Netherlands.

 

The first time I travelled to Amsterdam in 1993 I visited the Anne Frank Museum on the Prinsengracht, it was well worth a visit. However the last time I saw the museum in 2001 it has been seriously updated, and in my opinion looks "commercialised" and modern. It was a good microcosm for understanding those times not just for people the Nazi's wanted to exterminate, but rather for for everyone living under their tyranny.

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Coins like the ones you mention are often referred to as being`trench art'.

 

Coins have been carved / altered through the ages by people seeking to make political statements and soldiers/prisoners of war simply whiling away the time.

 

I have a few `trench art' coins from the battle of Sedan (France against Germany 1870). These typically change the Bust of Louis Napoleon on the 5 and 10c coins to show him wearing a German helmet and chin strap or with a skull cap on. The reverse can also sometimes have the eagle transformed into a vampire bat.

 

80,000 French soldiers were taken prisoner in France's biggest ever military embarassment. Many of these coins were carved by these captives. The notion was copied by opponents of Louis Napoleon and it was not long before actual coins were being struck with the same message to whip up the opposition to his remaining in power.

 

I also have a few Kruger shillings from the Boer war period which depict President Kruger as wearing a smokers hat and sporting a pipe.

 

Other numismatic forms of trench art take the form of `box ' coins. That is, coins that have been transformed into so called `smugglers' pieces, but which typically were made to hold small images of loved ones.

 

Here's a couple of examples of what i'm talking about, the first being carved coins related to the Battle of Sedan

carved.jpg

 

The next are `smugglers' pieces, the first being in the form of a US trade dollar. If you look closely at the rim you will see the join. The second is a French 10 centimes and was probably `created' at the time of or shortly after the Battle of Sedan by a french prisoner. Have a look at the right hand side of the coin and yuo'll see a slight difference in colouration. That's where the opening mechanism is centred. It is one of the finest pieces of trench art i've ever come across. The third image shows the two `smugglers' pieces open. The US trade dollar had the image of a lady in it which was also `perfumed' (Gardenia I think). Obviously it was used to keep someone cherished close to the mind and heart at all times. The French coin rather strangely has a small photograph of Queen Victoria inside. I would surpmise that it changed hands at some point along the line and perhaps a British soldier saw fit to have his queen close by. I bought it at auction in England a few years back.

 

smugglerspiece1.jpg

smugglerspiece2.jpg

smugglerspiece4.jpg

 

I have other examples but these will probably suffice to provide a different dimension to the subject for you. ;-)

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Those are wonderful, Ian - I'll be reading up on trench art.

 

You can still smell the perfume in the smugglers' pieces? That's almost frightening.

 

Only in the one made from the trade dollars. The remaining perfume is just sufficient to subtly betray its presence. Open up the coin and not only see a friendly face but get a reminder of her through the perfume she usually wore. It would have been a very neat memento for the owner, whoever he was.

 

Trench art was of course by no means limited to `coins'. For example, I have a cigarette lighter made from a .303 calibre bullet. The .303 was standard calibre for British rifles during WWII.

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This is definitely sometihng I'd like to have too :ninja:

 

I did a quick search on internet and could not find a whole lot about it now.

 

Here's something:

 

Tijdens de oorlog door het verzet uitgegeven gehelmde guldens (en rijksdaalders). Guldens uit 1940 werden op de voorzijde voorzien van helm en de tekst "Wilhelmina in Londen". De opbrengst van rond de vijfentwintig gulden per stuk kwam ten goede aan het verzet. Er zijn veel imitaties in omloop, waaronder ook guldens met het jaar 1939.

 

By the resistance, during the war issued gulden coins (and rijksdaalder coins) with helmets. Guldens from 1940 were modified at the obverse, a helmet was added and the legend was changed into "Wilhelmina in Londen". The proceeds od afout 25 gulden per piece went to the resistance. There are many fakes circulating, including coins dated 1939.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Proof restrikes were made of the 1940 1 gulden "Wilhelmina in Londen", occasionally one can be found on ebay, but those are not the real thing obviously.

 

 

 

 

During WW2, all coins bearing the portrait of the queen had to be handed in at the germans, in return for "silver certificates". The dutch government in London promised that all coins that were not handed in, would still be legal tender when the war would be over, so many people didn't hand them in.

 

All portraits of the royal family were forbidden too.

 

One way to wear a portrait of the queen, was to change one or more coins into jewelry (bracelets with 10 cent coins), broches (gulden and rijksdaalders) and utensils, like tea spoons made of a 10 cent coin and a half gulden, connected by a strip of metal.

 

There's a thread about that somewhere here.....

 

 

 

ah, found it again :lol:

 

http://www.coinpeople.com/index.php?showtopic=1565&st=41

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Trench art was of course by no means limited to `coins'. For example, I have a cigarette lighter made from a .303 calibre bullet. The .303 was standard calibre for British rifles during WWII.

 

I came across this comment while reading about trench art:

 

"Decorated shell casings... sometimes come with projectiles. Occasionally these may contain live explosives that can kill or cause serious injury."

 

Yikes. The Bud Vase of Destruction.

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This is definitely sometihng I'd like to have too :lol:

 

 

Then I'll keep an eye out for two. :ninja:

 

Thanks for all the info, and for the link to stuff made from coins. I have a large assortment of Dutch theelepeltjes (teaspoons) but none made from coins. This is a terrible omission.

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  • 8 months later...

The 'uitgezaagd'picture is also something of the warII. You put in on the inside of your coat and meant that you where against the germans.

 

 

and an other example of the wilhelmina with Helmet. I got this one from a armycollectionstore. THe owner asked me what it was. So thats why iam pretty sure this is an orginaal one. But it is like Scottishmoney says it is nowadays something what still can be made.

 

Gr Robbert

Uitgezaagd.JPG

london_2.JPG

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It is amazing to think in our time, that something as simple as a modified coin could cause you to be killed by the Nazis but often they did not need an excuse, just a desire to.

 

Wilhelmina did the right thing by leaving and going to exile in London, in contrast to the Belgian king who stayed and is alleged to have collaborated with the Nazis and stepped down from the throne in 1950 because of these allegations.

 

Then there were the willfully defiant monarchs, like King Christian of Denmark that would ride his horse through the streets of Copenhagen, just to spite the Nazis that prohibited demonstrations, he would attract crowds wherever he went, and the Nazis really couldn't do much about it.

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here are some carved south african coins done by British:

 

zar2bs.jpg

 

powshils.jpg

 

apzarfrs.jpg

 

The ZAR Crest in a normal 2 - replaced by a Victorian 3d

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Great stuff you guys, I have never seen those spoons before so thats something new for me ;) We do have a couple of carved shell casings that Mrs Orcs Grandfather brought back from the front in WWI, I keep my walking sticks in one LOL Drusus I realy like the Russian one it is super neat :ninja:

 

 

 

;)

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Great stuff you guys, I have never seen those spoons before so thats something new for me ;) We do have a couple of carved shell casings that Mrs Orcs Grandfather brought back from the front in WWI, I keep my walking sticks in one LOL Drusus I realy like the Russian one it is super neat :ninja:

;)

 

the copper one. The one with 1/2 cent and 2 1/2cent, you don't see very often. This is because of the terrible taste you get from it when you use it.

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the copper one. The one with 1/2 cent and 2 1/2cent, you don't see very often. This is because of the terrible taste you get from it when you use it.

 

 

That would be a good spoon for taking nasty-tasting medicine.

 

Welcome, Robbert! I hope you'll start a thread in the New Members forum and tell us about your collection.

That's a nice Wilhelmina with helmet. Ik ben een beetje jalours. :ninja:

 

I've seen a few coins with OZO (Oranje Zal Overwinnen/Orange Will Overcome) etched on them.

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That would be a good spoon for taking nasty-tasting medicine.

 

Welcome, Robbert! I hope you'll start a thread in the New Members forum and tell us about your collection.

That's a nice Wilhelmina with helmet. Ik ben een beetje jalours. ;)

 

I've seen a few coins with OZO (Oranje Zal Overwinnen/Orange Will Overcome) etched on them.

 

 

Thank you very much Marianne and rest!

 

Yes indeed. There are also coins with this mark (like the shown attachment). This is an example and not from my collection, this one is currently on Ebay. ( :ninja: € 80,-) The problem is that this is really! easy to make nowadays so I would only buy this piece from somebody who is very reliable

OZO.jpg

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  • 1 month later...

There are also German coins, which have been "improved" to express the people's opinion on politicans.

The 3 Mark coins of Wilhem II are very often manipulated for this pupose by a Zylinder hat.

 

Wilhelm-Zylinder.jpg

 

But also modern currency like al 2 DM coins of Adenauer, Heuss, Schumacher, Brandt, Erhard and Strauss you will find with different helmets or hats.

 

BRD.jpg

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But also modern currency like al 2 DM coins of Adenauer, Heuss, Schumacher, Brandt, Erhard and Strauss you will find with different helmets or hats.

 

BRD.jpg

 

 

Okay, now we are getting into major cool stuff. Great thread!

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This thread keeps sending me off on research missions.

 

research5, those are wonderful. They're the first satirical coins I've seen with the alterations soldered on rather than engraved, but this must not be uncommon.

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