By the late 1500s the Netherlands was one of the most famed nations in the world. The Spanish were busy exploring and exploiting the New World, while the Dutch and British were building their trading organizations, journeying to India and the Far East to trade silver and gold for silks, spices, gems and exquisite blue and white porcelains.
In 1600 the British East India Company was granted a charter to trade in the Far East. The Dutch quickly followed, and in 1602, the Dutch East India Company, with their monogram, VOC (Verenigde Oost-indische Compagnie, meaning United East India Company), emblazoned on their goods, was founded and soon developed a massive trading organization throughout the East Indies.
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.
Denomination: 6 Stuiver - Affectionately known as a "Ship Shilling" by the sailors of the day, as they are the same size and were about the same relative value as the British shilling of the day!
Coin Metal: Silver
Bezel Metal: Sterling Silver
Jewelry Artist: Robert Lewis Knecht
Size: 1 1/4” Across, 1 ½” Tall
Historical Note: Until the 16th Century, much of the Netherlands was under the control of the Holy Roman Empire and Spain. In 1568 the Netherlands, led by William I of Orange, revolted, and the country adopted the motto: CONCORDIA RES PARVAE CRESCUNT: “through unity small things grow,” in 1578, a quote taken from Roman historian Sallust’s (86 BC – c. 35 BC) monograph, Jugurthine War. The Netherlands’ struggle against Spain can be seen on the coins. The 6 stuivers from different mints have varied Latin mottos around the edges of the coins. ITA RELINQUENDA UT ACCEPTA translates to “spend it as you received it.” Another is DEUS FORTITUDO ET SPES NOSTRA: “God is our refuge and strength.” And the motto and swimming lion on some coins is: LUCTOR ET EMERGO: “I struggle and survive.”