This is a Dutch “Scheepjes Schelling” or in English a “Ship Shilling” from 1678, and it’s also a special variant of the Dutch Ship Shilling.
For a Dutch collector this is just one of those domestic silver coins that you just got to have in your collection.
The value of these coins vary between the $30 and hundreds of Dollars depending on condition, rariety and variations.
The lettering on the Ship side in Latin states Deus Fortitudo Spes et Nostra, which in English translates to : God is our Strength and Hope.
MO NO ORDIN WEST FRISIA is the lettering on the other side in Latin abbreviation. Mo No Ordin is the standard text, New Money Issued By, followed by the name of the Province where it was minted.
Only in this case it isn’t issued by an official Province, but by the region of West-Frisia, and also not by the official mint of West-Frisia.
History of the 6 Stuivers Ship Shilling
The Ship Shilling is based on the Medieval Shilling coins that have an extensive history and reputation in a lot of countries, and is still used in a Shilling form, for example in Africa.
I’m not going to delve deep into the history of the Shilling itself, but I’m going to pick it up when the “Shillings” are first issued in the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands.
Shillings were first minted in the Dutch Republic since 1581, and had a value of 6 Stuivers. To give and idea : One Stuiver is equal to 5 cents, and until the introduction of the Euro in 2001 we still used Stuivers in the Netherlands. This means that the Shilling had a value of 30 cents.
The “Snap Cock Shilling” was the first type that was issued, and was based on an earlier design of the “Snap Cock Coin”.
The Snap Cock Coin doesn’t get its name because there’s a rooster depicted on the coin, but because there’s a Rider depicted on the coin, and among the Dutch population the Rider was jokingly called a “SnapCock” which means “Thief on a Horse” or “Freebooter”.
The “Snap Cock Shillings” were minted till 1670 and were generally circulated in the eastern part of the Dutch Republic and the hinterland of Germany.
The Eagle Shilling
Starting from 1595 the “Eagle Shilling” was minted primarily in the Eastern Part of the Dutch Republic, and the reason why it’s called this way is because on this type of Shillings the Imperial Eagle of the Holy Roman Empire is depicted, together with the name of the at that time residing Emperor.
The reason for this is that area of the Dutch Republic once fell under the Holy Roman Empire, and large cities in the Eastern Part of the Netherlands are some of the oldest in my country with connections to the Holy Roman Empire.
Just like with the “Snap Cock Shilling”, the “Eagle Shilling” was mainly used in the East of the Netherlands and Germany.
The Rose Shilling
The “Rose Shilling” was the successor of the “Eagle Shilling”, and was introduced in 1601 by the Province of Holland which is in the West of the Netherlands.
The Shilling gets its name from the rose that’s depicted in the middle of a flowered cross on the reverse of the coin.
This type of Shilling was minted until 1683, when other variants of Shillings would take over the currency scene.
The Hat Shilling
After the “Rose Shilling” came the “Hat Shilling” in the 17th century which was minted in the Province of Zeeland.
The “Hat Shilling” owes its name by the depiction of a lion holding a spear with a freedom-hat on it.
This type of Shilling was almost exclusively minted for the Dutch East India Company, and primarily used for trading in the Orient.
That’s also the reason why the “Rose Shilling” was mainly minted in the Province of Zeeland, because being near the sea, inland rivers, and the arrival and departure of fleets going to the Orient for trading.
The Ship Shilling arrives on the scene
In the year of our Lord 1670, the Province of Holland and West-Frisia decided to reorganize the Shilling system because there were too many inferior Shillings in circulation. It was time for a new, domestic regulated Shilling which would be flanked on one side with the Coat of Arms of the respective Province in which the Shilling was minted.
On the other side a Dutch warship would be depicted to emphasize the importance of The Dutch Republic as a seafaring world power. The weight of the coin was set at 4.95 gram / 0.1591 ozt and the composition is 0.583 F.S.
During the course of my story so far it’s noticeable how the importance and power-balance shifted from the Eastern Part of the Netherlands, to the Western Part of the Netherlands where all the major cities were situated with access to the sea and thus global trade.
The Ship Shilling would be produced by the Province of Holland and West-Frisia until 1778, and would be minted in West-Frisia from 1671 until 1771…
Now I can hear you thinking : wait what ? what do you mean with that last part ?
Let me explain that for you and why it makes this certain Ship Shilling even more special than an usual Ship Shilling.
Province of Holland versus West Frisia
The Province of Holland was one of the largest and most powerful provinces in the Dutch Republic, and is now broken up in a South and North Holland province.
But the historic Province of Holland, or what’s is now North Holland, consists of another important area which is West-Frisia.
This area was conquered by the Counts of Holland in the 13th century, and regained some freedom again, when it was separated from the rest of the Dutch Republic in the Eighty Year War against the Spanish Empire.
This is still visible in the Coat of Arms of today’s North Holland province where the Red Lion stands for the Counts of Holland, and the golden lions on an azure (blue) field stands for the conquered and incorporated region of West-Frisia.
The region of West Frisia housed some of the richest cities in the world at that time, and because being separated from the rest of the Republic, started again minting their own coins until the Netherlands fell under French occupation and became a kingdom end of the 18th century.
Coat of Arms – Counts of Holland.
That’s one major reason why coins minted in West-Frisia are special. Because coins were minted in the Province of Holland where West-Frisia fell under, but also in West Frisia itself, and considered just as legal tender as would be minted in one of the seven formal provinces.
Private Mint Dirck Bosch
Another huge reason why this Ship Shilling from West Frisia is special is because… It isn’t minted by the official West Frisian Mint, who started minting Ship Shillings from 1705 until 1771.
And this Ship Shilling is from 1678. The reason for this is that the State of West-Frisia granted a private person the patent and rights to mint coins. This private person called Dirck Bosch wanted to produce coins in a cheaper way that could be accepted comparable with the normal circulation coins.
The early coins that he minted were stamped with B.P. which stands for Bank Payment, but a few years later they were set at the same conditions and rate as the coins issued by the official Provincial Mints.
The system that he wanted to introduce didn’t catch on, and through the years he started to lessen the silver content in the coins, and he was stripped of his rights to mint coins.
A cool difference with the Ship Shillings minted in the Province of Holland is the weight and silver percentage.
6 Stuivers 1677 – West Frisia. B P = Bank Payement.
Like mentioned the Ship Shilling by law was set on 4.95 gram and a composition of 0.583 F.S. This means that the actual silver content is 2.89 gram / 0.0929 ozt. This Ship Shilling had a starting weight of 3.3 gram / 0.1061 ozt, of which now 3.0 gram is left because of wear and tear.
But the silver percentage was a lot higher, namely 0.875 F.S. When you calculate the actual silver content it also comes in at 2.89 gram / 0.0929 ozt.
Check out this 6 Stuivers “Ship Shilling” from 1678 on my Youtube channel :