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Spitsbergen coinage

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gxseries
Pillar Of The Community
Australia
2142 Posts
 Posted 08/27/2013  11:27 am Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add gxseries to your friends list Get a Link to this Message

Spitsbergen coinage is interesting - it's issued for a Russian coal mining town off an island that belongs to Norway. All coins were issued in Russia in 1946, 1993 and 1998. I'm missing just three coins.

My collection can be found here:

http://gxseries.com/numis/spitsberg...tsbergen.htm

Please feel free to post some of yours.

My partial coin collection http://www.omnicoin.com/collection/gxseries

My numismatics articles and collection: http://www.gxseries.com/numis/numis_index.htm Regularly updated at least once a month.
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United States
1711 Posts
 Posted 08/27/2013  6:47 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Parklane64 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I only want one of each, now.
And chocolate coins. If I ever get past that one problem, I'll collect them, too.
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United States
1002 Posts
 Posted 08/28/2013  09:07 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add allranger to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I've had my eye on some Spitsbergen coinage for a while now. They just usually go for more then I have at the time.
Check out my Wish List.

"Worry about the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves."

I credit this thread for destroying any interest I had in precious metals, and kindling the flame for love of numismatic items.
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United Kingdom
1858 Posts
 Posted 08/28/2013  11:00 am  Show Profile Check Bacchus2's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Bacchus2 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
That's a neat series. Those coins aren't cheap either. Nice.
New Member
Hong Kong
32 Posts
 Posted 08/28/2013  11:04 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add 168Bagua to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Cool, coins for a specific town, interesting..
Valued Member
United States
457 Posts
 Posted 09/02/2013  01:33 am  Show Profile Check wheatiefan's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add wheatiefan to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I am wondering where on the spectrum of NIFC/NCLT these coins fall.

As you say, the 1998 coins were low mintage and probably did not circulate. This makes them Not Intended for Circulation in my mind.

Whereas the 1946 were minted before the NIFC fad and I presume were actually minted and circulated out of necessity. Of the three issues, this seems the most genuine to be included in an OFEC collection.

I also wonder what the people used from 1946 to the 1990s (Were there even people there engaging in commerce?) Surely the coinage from 1946 didn't last for 50 years.
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9184 Posts
 Posted 09/02/2013  8:58 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DVCollector to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Those are really interesting coins. I wondered if Barentsburg (the Russian mining town) and Longyearbyen once conducted trade, which is why Rubles did not return to Russia. By issuing these coins, they would be rather useless in trade and keep Barentsburg dependent upon Russia? Just guessing--I'm probably totally off here.
Edited by DVCollector
09/02/2013 9:01 pm
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Australia
10717 Posts
 Posted 09/03/2013  07:07 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The political situation on Svalbard (including Spitsbergen) is complicated. Norway technically owns the islands and the Norwegian krone is the technical legal tender there, but the Russians have considerable rights to mineral exploitation, which go far beyond the usual foreign-owned mining interests known in other countries. The coal mine workers were Russian, and the company would have wanted to pay them in a monetary form that they were both familiar with and could easily convert into funds for sending back home to their families. The Soviets would also have been reluctant to pay their workers in hard Norwegian currency, in case any of them got bright ideas about defecting with it. But I suspect there may have been political pressure from the Norwegians not to allow stockpiles of actual Soviet/Russian currency onto the islands. The mining token coinage was presumably a compromise acceptable to both sides.

If this is true, then it's highly likely that the periods when no tokens were issued were periods when Soviet/Russian money was being allowed to be imported onto the islands and used instead.

Then, of course, one would also draw comparisons between the Spitsbergen mining tokens and the various mining token series issued by Denmark for mining colonies on nearby Greenland, where none of the issues mentioned above came into play yet mining tokens were nevertheless deemed necessary.

As for the "legitimacy" of the three series, I'd count 1946 and 1993 as legitimate circulation coins; 1998 are not. This seems to be the conclusion of Krause as well; the 1946 and 1993 tokens are listed in the mainstream Krauses, but the 1998 series are now listed in the "Unusual World Coins" book and given KMX numbers.
Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise, you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. - C. S. Lewis
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9184 Posts
 Posted 09/03/2013  4:11 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DVCollector to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Well, I haven't read everything regarding Spitsbergen--I only guessed Russia wanted control of the money flow.
Pillar Of The Community
Australia
2142 Posts
 Posted 09/04/2013  10:20 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add gxseries to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks everyone. Had a few tips from other forums as well as here and I'll update them as soon as I get to it. There are also known counterfeits of 1946 coins - I'll have to find a scan of them.
My partial coin collection http://www.omnicoin.com/collection/gxseries

My numismatics articles and collection: http://www.gxseries.com/numis/numis_index.htm Regularly updated at least once a month.
Valued Member
Norway
493 Posts
 Posted 09/08/2013  08:18 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Litotes to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I have all of the 1993 ones and 1998 ones, but none of the 1946 ones. Not sure enough about the differences between fakes and genuine.
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