Slave money, handcuffs..
Of all the means of payment used throughout history, surely the most savage and immoral has been that of the human being. It is true that slavery is as old as man, for in all ancient civilizations there were slaves, from Egypt to Mesopotamia, through Greece or Rome.
However, that slavery responded to a estates social model in which some were born slaves and other citizens, Lords or kings. Habitually, slaves belonged to some masters, who fed them all their lives in exchange for their services. These slaves were not used as merchandise, simply, they were not considered people.
With the discovery of the new World, from the 16th century onwards, the slave trade lived its golden age. The colonial powers needed labor to exploit the raw materials of America, and the Indians did not support the extreme working conditions, in addition to the majority died because of the diseases transmitted by the colonizers.
Alcohol for human Merchandise
For this reason, Africa became the starting point of slavery, and for three centuries sent over the other side of the Atlantic to more than 12 million of Africans, of whom about a quarter died along the way, during the long sea voyages.
The role of Arab slave traders for centuries was this time replaced by the European powers, and especially by the United Kingdom. Thus, the British carried their manufactured products from Europe to the West African coast, to change them there by slave labor, euphemistically called “ebony “.
Thus, the small local tyrants obtained textiles, firearms, gunpowder, liquors, household goods and jewellery in exchange for the human merchandise, most of the time captured after maintaining wars with other enemy tribes.
Slaves in exchange for gold and silver
Once in the new world, the settlers bought the slaves in exchange for the typical American products, i.e. tobacco, sugar and precious metals, mainly gold, silver and diamonds.
In America, black slaves were cruelly exploited in mines or sugar and cotton production. This is obviously why there are now so many black citizens in countries like Brazil, Colombia, or the United States.
Once the raw materials were collected, they were sent to Europe for processing, closing a macabre circle that greatly improved the quality of life in the old continent, although it did so at the expense of the lives of millions of Africans.
Investment coins, BULLIOM
Coins as an investment, which is known as bullion, is a phenomenon of Anglo-Saxon origin linked to the Krugerrand, a currency of South African origin born with the gold fever of the second half of the nineteenth century in the mines of the then British colony. Quickly, the big market for the gold coins destined for the investment reached Mexico, where the ounce, the first mint of pure American gold, appeared. Years later, this coin would be renamed as freedom.
In Europe, one of the most famous bullion is the Vreneli Switzerland, a coin of 20 francs of gold that has its origin in the Helvetia Libertas, which circulated between 1833 and 1896, until it acquired its later denomination.
From Great Britain to the United States
Another of the most well-known British coinages is the undertaking, born in 1879 from coins of common use appeared at the beginning of the previous century during the reign of George III. Also, the British Royal Mint coined in 1987 the Britannia, the first modern gold bullion that regained the ancient Roman allegory in which the United Kingdom of Great Britain was identified.
In the USA, in 1913 the American Buffalo, also known as Golden Buffalo, was coined, a coin linked to the old five-cent coin coined in 1913, on whose reverse the popular American Prairie Bison appeared.
Today, another American currency has become the most profitable bullion. We refer to the Golden Eagle, considered the most beautiful coin of all American numismatic, designed in 1907 by the artist Augustus Saint-Gaudens.
Before leaving the American continent, mention must be made of the Canadian Maple Leaf bullion, one of the most popular bullion on a global scale. The Canadian government guarantees both the nominal value and the gold content and the purity of this coin, which looks like the country’s distinctive mark, the Maple Leaf.
Again in Europe, another of the most famous bullion is the Philharmonic of Vienna, coined by the House of the currency of Austria, also responsible for the coin of 100 crowns Austrohúngaras of the Emperor Franz Joseph I, first issued in 1915 and recoined between 1950 and 1988.
On the other hand, the Isle of Man has two famous bullion: The 24 carat gold cat, and the Angel, which looks at the portrait of Isabel II on its obverse and the Archangel Saint Michael killing the dragon on the reverse. For its part, Australia has the popular Nuget/Kangaroo, Jerusalem began to emit recently Jerusalem, and China put in circulation at the beginning of the years 80 the Chinese Panda, its particular bullion of gold.