SPAIN CASTILE and LEON Juan I 1379-1390 blanca Burgos mint


SPAIN, CASTILE and LEON, Juan I, 1379-1390, blanca, no date (1386-90) B – S, Burgos mint, Obverse: lamb L, + AGN VS DEI QVI TOL, Reverse: crowned J between B-S, + CATA MVNDI: MIS, billon, 22.5mm, 1.78g, ACC1461, double struck obverse, crude aVF

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The blanca (white) coin was a billon devolution of what in other times or places was called a groat. It was supposed to be equivalent to 4 denaros (pennies) but it never was. Official bad joke on the people, calling coin that started out grey and would wear to brown or black “white.”

Juan I spent his entire reign fighting with his neighbors over territorial and dynastic issues. He died after he fell off his horse during a theatrical pageant he was participating in. His son, Henry III became king while still a child.

Spanish towns were issuing coins in the days of the Greeks and Phoenicians. The united kingdom began with Ferdinand and Isabella and lasted, with interruptions, until today.

The political arrangements that resulted in the nations of modern Europe began to emerge out of anarchy starting in the 7th century AD or so. Europe, for our purposes stretches from Greenland to somewhere in Russia. Collectors of Europe would likely include Russia. Collectors of Asia, even though about 2/3 of Russia is in Asia, probably not.

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.