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Dutch East Indies Company Copper Duits Coins


Author: The United Dutch East India Company (VOC)

Publisher: The United Dutch East India Company

Year Printed: 1745

Edition: First

Printing: First

Condition: Good

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Pages: 4

Height: 7.5 inches

Width: 5.25 inches


A set of 4 costs-of-arms from 4 provinces of the Netherlands.
Circulated in the southeast asia colonoal spice islands in the 17th and 18th centuries. Appears to have been recovered from the seas.

Also included is a rare Great Britain 1723 Silver Shilling, South Sea Company. Value $120.00 

The United Dutch East India Company-Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (VOC) was established in 1602 with the aim of sending ships to Asia to buy pepper and spices. It was the first publicly traded stock. The VOC developed into a multinational entity with branches in a dozen Asian countries. By the mid-18th century the company employed 36,000 people. It built its own ships, some 1,500, which in total made over 5,000 journeys to Asia, where a network of trading posts were founded from the Persian Gulf to the China Sea. The company was granted sovereign powers: it mintedcurrency, occupied territories and maintained an armada of warships and a small army, 10,000 strong, to defend its territories, facilities and ships. It was the first company ever to sell stock shares, and was arguably the most powerful enterprise of its kind in all of history. However, emerging British domination of the sea eventually took its toll. It took a Dutch ship three to six months to travel from Holland to Batavia. Pirates, storms, treacherous waters and warfare took their toll on these tall ships. More than 250 were lost during the two centuries the VOC operated, scattering countless treasure to the bottom of the shipping lanes from East Asia to northern Europe. This fact prompted curiosity about the origins of the specific group of copper duit coins from which these were selected.

Where and when these coins were found is in fact shrouded in mystery. The elderly merchant of Ceylonese origin who supplied them claimed to have possessed this hoard in his family for decades. Upon close inspection, the raw

coins showed clear signs of exposure to a marine environment. While we cannot know the actual origins, it is speculated that these genuine coins spent time in the sea before they were later recovered and expertly conserved.

We may never know the stories these coins could tell if they could speak.

To fulfill a shortage of currency in its expanding territories, in the 17th century, copper duits were struck at provincial mints in The Netherlands. Coins showing the VOC monogram and the coats of arms of Holland, West Friesland, Zeeland and Utrecht were minted for circulation in The Dutch East Indies, India, Ceylon and Malacca.

This collection of genuine VOC duits originated in these four mints.


What is the history of stocks?
What are the oldest stock and bond certificates?

The oldest post-cuneiform stock and bond certificates have several claims to fame. The most common earliest claim is the VOC (Verenigde Oost Indische Companie) United East India Company (also referred to as the Dutch East India Company), an international trading firm, dated 1606, which was stolen from the Amsterdam municipal archive in the 1980’s. Publicity surrounding this certificate has increased significantly due to the recent movie 'Ocean's Twelve', starring George Clooney and Brad Pitt, which is about the stealing of the oldest stock certificate in Amsterdam. There is a collector who currently has this certificate and claims rightful ownership. 

The oldest printed bond is purported to be a Holland & Westvriesland loan dated 1586 to support the war against Spain. The investors were actually forced to invest in these bonds, but the buyer could decide whether they would receive interest payments with eventual principal repayment, or receive annuity payments for life. 

An even earlier claim is a share in the Stora-Kopparbergs company dated 1299, handwritten on vellum (lambskin parchment). This is a Swedish business that is still an operating conglomerate.

What were the original Dow Jones Industrial Average stocks?

The original Dow Jones Industrial Average stocks, created in 1896, and what eventually happened to them, are as follows:

  • American Cotton Oil became part of Bestfoods

  • American Sugar became part of Amstar Holdings

  • American Tobacco Broken up in 1911

  • Chicago Gas became part of Peoples Gas

  • Distilling & Cattle Feeding Whiskey trust became part of Millennium Chemical

  • General Electric still in the DJIA

  • Laclede Gas Active

  • National Lead became part of NL Industries

  • North American Utility

  • Tennessee Coal & Iron became part of U.S. Steel

  • U.S. Leather (preferred) Liquidated in 1952

  • U.S. Rubber became part of Michelin