Week #4 – You may have to work at this one
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Pirates and colonists mingled in the 18th and early nineteenth century in the Caribbean Islands. No mints were available to make coinage so local coinage was often created by mutilating existing coinage. On some islands, the Spanish 8 reales was cut into "Bits"(Bitts) and then counterstamped. For smaller change, French copper coins were often "borrowed" and stamped with this island's symbol, an "S" and a "T".

Name the island and the local name for this copper coin.

 

 

First post that correctly answers the above question wins a FREE one-year subscription to Coin World or Coinage (your choice).

 

Don't forget, we also draw for a runner-up prize from all posts with a correct answer.

 

Good Luck!

 

 

REMINDER: The Numisma-Quest ends/ended on Saturday at midnight EST. Entries after that time will not be valid. See the Trivia Info post for more details.

 

 

When you post your answer, only the administrators can see it. Stop back each Monday. We will make all the posts visible and announce the winners.

 

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The island was St. Thomas and the copper was referred to as a "black dogg", referred to in Creole as "sols tampes" and anglicised to "stampees".

 

I hope I'm right, I hope I'm right.... smile.gif

 

Hoot

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Nope. Can't take credit for it. Dena is the one who turned toward the darkside, I just pointed it out. wink.gif

 

Arch

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Looks like we have to take this one into sudden death!

 

While a couple of posts have part of the answer correct, there is not one that got it completely correct.

 

We will keep it open, so keep trying. The first to post a completely correct answer wins.

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St. Tropiz, Black dog?

 

Do we only get one guess?...3 would be better. wink.gif

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I'm going to steal from Hoot and modify his answer...pretty lame, isn't it?

 

The island was St. Tropiz and the copper was referred to as a "black dogg", referred to in Creole as "sols tampes" and anglicised to "stampees".

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How about giving us the answer and give the very few that even attempted a runner-up prize? Sound like a plan? I think I could persuade the others to agree with me. smile.gif

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Just realized my last answer had been tried so I'll go with St. Martin and Black Dogs. Probably my final answer.

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Well Dena - this is certainly an interesting question. I found with substantial digging that at least some of the counterstamping occurred in France before the coins were shipped to the respective colonies. But here's an interesting quote:

 

"The coin referred to in this context as a "Black Dogg" was probably the French billon sou of 15 deniers. ... That the Island of Nevis first attempted to set a value for these coins in April of 1698 and that they are first mentioned as circulating on Antigua under the name of "Souse marks" in the minutes of the Council and Assembly of Antigua of May 26, 1699..." From http://www.coins.nd.edu/ColCoin/ColCoinIntros/MA-Pence.intro.html

 

This author also states that "In later periods the term "Black dogg" was prominent in the British Caribbean where it was used for any foreign small change coin. It was often used to refer to the French stampee (or sol tampé), equal to 24 deniers. The stampee was first authorized for the French West Indies in 1738 and continued to be minted until at least 1764. It was a plain copper disk with a crowned C (for Colonies) on the obverse and a blank reverse..." And "...the term "Black Dogg" could refer to any small change coins other than British issues (British coppers would certainly have been known as halfpence and farthings). Black Doggs may have referred to the older French Sols Marqués of 15 deniers of 1692-1700 or some related foreign coins."

 

So, I am confused about the "ST" or "TS" designation, but I am fairly sure of the coin. It would seem that the best island of tribute is Nevis with the possible device of the counterstamp being attributable to a reference that is purely French.

 

frown.gif Hoot

 

 

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Looks like davefperry is the winner in sudden death!

 

The answers are:

Island: Tortola (British Virgin Islands)

Coin Name: Black Dogg

 

St. Kitts (St.Christopher) and St. Vincent were also acceptable island names since the coins circulated there as well.

 

Regarding the stamps of S and T, S represents St. Kitts and the T represents Tortola.

 

Reference: F. Pridmore "The British Commonwealth of Nations" Part 3 West Indies, Spink & Sons. Ltd, 1965

 

Thanks for playing! This was a tough one. However, I can't take credit for it. I got it from one of our resident numismatists.

 

See you all again on Friday. smile.gif

 

 

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Wow. Thanks Dena and Arch. Your questions are getting tougher and harder to research but it's fun. Educational too.

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Way to go Dave smile.gif - Where did you find your answer?

 

Hoot

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I found the answer in a book called 'Coins of the World 1750-1850' by William D. Craig. It says 6 black dogs=4 stampees=1 bit=9 pence. It's an old book that I don't use very often but it came in handy once at least.

 

And no, I'm not old enough to have bought it when it was currentsmile.gif.

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