MEXICO GUERRERO-MICHOACAN circa 1250-1540 AD tajadera “hoe money”


MEXICO, GUERRERO-MICHOACAN, Post-classic “Tarascan,” circa 1250-1540 AD, tajadera “hoe money”, Obverse: thin, flat sheet, lightly curved, copper-arsenic alloy, 157x66mm, 9.22g, F

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They started smelting gold and silver and copper in Mexico some centuries before the appearance of the Spaniards. These thin, hoe-shaped things from Guerrero have been found in such large quantities that it seems reasonable to imagine that they were used as some kind of standard value “proto-money.”

Because of all of the silver and gold the Spanish colonialists found in Latin America Spain was able to prosecute the wars of the Counter-reformation. They built nice buildings for themselves but otherwise neglected local development. Mexico in particular was rich in resources and people, and was an economic power in the world. By that I mean that for about 300 years world trade was done mostly in what they called, back then, “Spanish dollars.” The vast majority of those were Mexican.

The North America category: the big three, the Central American nations, and a bunch of island nations and other political entities in the Caribbean Sea. Greenland we’re putting with Europe. By that criterion we should put Martinique and Aruba with Europe too, but we’re not. I’m not even sure why. Doesn’t matter anyway. Almost all of you are searching for modern coins by country, not by region.

By “Modern World Coins” we mean here, generally, the round, flat, shiny metal objects that people have used for money and still do. “Modern,” though, varies by location. There was some other way they were doing their economies, and then they switched over to “modern coins,” then they went toward paper money, now we’re all going toward digital, a future in which kids look at a coin and say “What’s that?” We’ll say: “We used to use those to buy things.” Kids will ask “How?” The main catalog reference is the Standard Catalog of World Coins, to which the KM numbers refer.