The Dutch Silver Rider finds its origin in the Italian “Scudo d’Argento”, which was produced first in Milan in 1551, and translated means “Silver Shield”.
This type of coin spread throughout Europe and would be produced by different countries varying in size, weight and silver percentage.
Ducaton in the Habsburg Netherlands
In 1618 the first Ducaton was introduced in the Spanish Netherlands, weighed 32.48 grams / 1.0443 ozt, and depicted the effigies of Albrecht of Austria and his wife Isabelle of Spain.
The value of the Ducaton was set at 63 stuivers, and to give an idea this would be approx. 315 cents, or a bit more than 3 Guilders.
It was the heaviest silver coin produced in the Netherlands at the time, and had a composition of 0.944 Fine Silver.
Ducaton 1618 – Spanish Netherlands.
Emergence of the Dutch Silver Rider
Starting from 1659 the Dutch Republic would also mint Ducatons in their Provinces with a weight of 32.779 grams, and a composition of 0.941 Fine Silver.
The actual silver content from the start would be 30.85 grams / 0.9919 ozt, or almost 1 troy ounce of pure silver.
The image of a standing knight was chosen for the Dutch Silver and Gold Ducats, and a mounted knight was chosen to be the image on the obverse of the Ducatons. Hence the name “Silver Rider” which is also used for Dutch Silver Ducatons.
The purpose of the Silver Ducaton was intended to be of the same value as an Dutch Golden Ducat, and just to show how much the silver to gold ratio has drifted apart :
The melt value today of a historical Silver Ducaton is between the $25 – $26 (18 October 2020), whereas the melt value of a Dutch Golden Ducat would be something like $210 at this moment.
But this specific type of Ducaton has quite a historical numismatic worth.
Dutch Gold Ducat – 1985. * Own collection ;
Is a Silver Rider Ducaton worth anything ?
The numismatic value is at least equal the melt value of a Dutch Golden Ducat, and is conservative estimated in the range of $225.
The reason for the high value is because Ducatons like mentioned being one of the heaviest historical Dutch silver coins. It has a very special deviaton and because it’s also in a very good condition still :
The mounted knight all though a bit worn is visible with his sword, sash and underneath the horse the West Frisian coat of arms are legible. The lettering is readable which in Latin abbreviation states :
- Mo No Arg Confoe Belg Pro West Frisae
That in English translates as : New Silver Money of United Netherlands Provinces – Region West Frisiae.
For a better understanding of the special place that West Frisae holds within the province of Holland and the Dutch Republic, I’m going to refer to my article & video of the 1678 Dutch Ship Shilling where I explain this.
This 1790 Silver Rider Coin is provided with what’s called a cable edge, and you can see it’s largely intact. One of the major reasons for the high value of this coin.
The other side is also still in a good condition with a readable text, namely :
- Crescunt Concordia Res Parvae
And that in English translates to : Strength through Unity.
The Dutch Lions are standing proud next to the General Weapon of the Netherlands, the crowns on their heads and manes on the legs are clearly visible, but the most interesting thing on this side is a deviation.
What's an overstruck / overstrike coin ?
I know it’s hard to see so I’ll just tell you what it is : there something up with the date of the year. When we look at the year of 1790 a bit more closely, we can see that the 9 also consists of an 8.
In other words : this is an overstrike date.
What is meant with an overstruck date or coin ?
Usually this means that either an existing coin has been struck with a newer stamp, or that an existing stamp has been modified. The latter is the case with this overstruck year of 1780 by the year of 1790.
I’m honored to have presented such a gorgeous Silver Rider to you all, and hope you enjoyed the presentation about it !
Close up of the overstruck date 1780 => 1790. * Own collection ;
Check out the Silver Rider Ducaton from 1790 minted in West-Frisia on my Youtube channel :