The VOC, with an impressive fleet of merchant ships, established Dutch colonies all along their trade routes; in western Africa, South Africa, and at various locations in the East Indies including the strategic islands of Java, in Indonesia, and Sri Lanka. The two main “hub” ports were Galle Harbor and fort in Sri Lanka, and Batavia (now Jakarta), on Java.
Note from Robert: I love working with these coins; the detailed artistry of the design is stunning. I created a special 2mm wide 18K gold frame to gently hold the coin in place, giving it an incredible regal presence perfect for both a lady or gentleman.
Working with these coins also reminds me of my early years diving on, filming and writing about historic shipwrecks. I featured Mr. Haskins in my first documentary, and while he was a very quite and private man, he always had time to answer my many questions. I especially love the Latin motto on the obverse (front) of the coin.
Historical Note: Until the 16th Century, much of the area now known as the Netherlands was under the control of the Holy Roman Empire and Spain. Led by William I of Orange, the Netherlands revolted in 1568. In 1578, the country adopted the motto: CONCORDIA RES PARVAE CRESCUNT: “through unity small things grow,” a quote taken from Roman historian Sallust’s (86 BC – c. 35 BC) monograph, Jugurthine War.
This Dutch coin is from the late Jack Haskins' personal collection. Mr. Haskin was one of the premier shipwreck archival researchers in the world, working with Robert's mentor and old treasure diving buddy, Capt. Carl Fismer, and other treasure salvors like Mel Fisher, Kip Wagner, Burt Webber, Duke Long, Jim King and others. As a high value trade coin, coins like this one made their way to Sri Lanka on board VOC ships hundreds of years ago. In the early 1990s, Robert and Carl recovered coins like these in Galle Harbor with a small team of local divers.