Benton County Historical Society, Philomath, Oregon, USA U.S. fractional currency paper twenty-five cent piece Silver Great Seal of the Confederacy Katanga Cross, copper money from Belgian Congo, Africa Bronze commemorative medal Theodore Roosevelt Manilla African slave money Coins, Currency & Commemorative Medals | museum collection, Philomath, Oregon, USA
Benton County Historical Society, Philomath, Oregon
Coins, Currency & Medals museum exhibition
Coins, Currency & Commemorative Medals
"Curator's Favorites" from the Benton County Historical Society artifact collection:
Swedish Plate Money, Copper Coin, 1715

Swedish Plate Money, Copper Coins
1749 and 1715

Sweden issued copper "plate money" as legal tender from 1644 to 1777. The money was very unpopular because of its weight. On March 3, 1719, the Swedish central banker who was blamed for the plate coinage was beheaded.

1 Daler Swedish plate money, 1715H1893-004-1538

Bronze Coin, Manilla, or Slave Trade Money, pre-1949

Manilla, or "Slave Trade Money"
Bronze Coin
West Africa

The use of the manilla as an exchange medium may date back to the ancient Phoenicians who traded on the West African coast hundreds of years B.C. European traders arrived in the late 1400s and found they could use the manilla to buy slaves. The British outlawed the manilla in 1902, but its use continued until 1949.

Katanga Cross, Copper Coin, Belgian Congo, Africa

Katanga Cross, Copper Coin
Belgian Congo, Africa
Early 20th Century

The sand-cast Katanga Cross was valuable coinage in the Belgian Congo during the 19th and early 20th centuries. One cross weighs about 2 pounds. When the Congo issued standard sized coins in 1961, the coins featured an image of a Katanga Cross. Today Belgian Congo is called Zaire.

Fractional Currency, Paper Quarter-Dollar, USA, 1863

Fractional Currency
United States

The United States Government issued fractional currency notes from August 21, 1862, through February 15, 1876. Hoarding of gold, silver, and copper coins led to the use of paper "coins" during the Civil War.

Great Seal, Confederate States of America, circa 1870

Great Seal of the Confederate States of America
Circa 1870

The original Great Seal was engraved in 1864 in London, England. It was the symbolic emblem of Confederate sovereignty. In 1874, the same British engraver certified this reproduction "to be a faithful reproduction of the identical Seal engraved in 1864."

Great Seal of the Confederate States of America
Confederate Fifty Dollar Bill

Currency, Confederate Fifty Dollar Bill,
Richmond, Virginia, USA

This Confederate fifty-dollar bill features the President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis.

Currency, One Dollar, Virginia Treasury Note, 1862

Currency, One Dollar, Virginia Treasury Note
Commonwealth of Virginia, USA

In 1861, during the American Civil War, the Commonwealth of Virginia withdrew from the Union and began printing its own money in support of the Confederacy. Serial no. 47199.

Chinese "spade" coin

Spade-Shape Chinese Coin
Non-precious "base" metals

China Spade money was first issued in the Shantung Peninsula and south of the Yellow River Valley around 600 B.C. 

Knife Coins, China, dating to 500 BC

Knife Coins
Non-precious "base" metals

The shape of spades and swords inspired the shapes of ancient Chinese coins. Archaeologists found Chinese "knife money" from the Yellow River Valley dating to 500 B.C. This is one of the earliest known coins on the Eurasian continent. Eurasia comprises the traditional continents of Europe and Asia.

Chinese Copper Coins

Chinese Coins (Copper Coins)
Date unknown

This collection might be a remnant of a Chinese coin sword of the Quianlong Dynasty (1736-1793).

chinese coin

Chinese Coin

This coin is believed to be a Ta Kuan T'ung Pao coin from the Northern Sung Dynasty (960-1127 A.D.).

Lewis and Clark Medal, Portland, ORegon, 1905

Bronze Medal
Portland, Oregon

This medal is a commemorative medallion from the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition, held in Portland, Oregon.

Bronze Medallion, Louisiana Purchase, 1904 World's Fair

Bronze Commemorative Medallion
U.S. Mint, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
St. Louis, Missouri, USA

A celebration of the Centennial of the Louisiana Purchase, the largest land acquisition of the United States, took place at the World's Fair of 1904 in St. Louis, Missouri. In memory of this event, 39,158 bronze medals were given out: 33,158 as prizes and 6,000 as souvenirs.

1904 Louisiana Purchase expo commemorative medal
Bronze Medallion, World's Columbian Exposition, 1893

Bronze Commemorative Medallion
World's Columbian Exposition

This medallion commemorates the 400th anniversary of the landing of Columbus.

1893 World's Columbian Exposition commemorative medallion
Medallion, Theodore Roosevelt Inauguration

Copper and Zinc Commemorative Medallion

This medallion commemorates Theodore Roosevelt's presidential inauguration.

Bronze Commemorative Medallion, Presidential Inauguration, 1961

Bronze Commemorative Medallion

This medallion commemorates the presidential inauguration of John F. Kennedy.

Old Oregon Trail celebration

Bronze Commemorative Medallion
Oregon Trail Celebration
United States of America

R.F. Wade Company, of Portland, Oregon, made this medallion as a souvenir for the 1865-1965 "Old Oregon Trail" commemoration.

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