Tag: coins

Let the Games begin! New medals for the Olympic Games in Rio

2488! This is how many medals there are to win for athletes, over all disciplines, during the Olympic Games. The medals, commonly made of gold, silver or bronze, are the most sustainable ones in the Games’ history.

Marcel Rau: a versatile artist

Walking from Brussels Central Station to the National Bank of Belgium’s Temporary Museum, you can’t fail to notice round sculptures dotting the walls on both sides of the National Bank of Belgium’s head offices. Depicting a variety of occupations, these sculpted roundels are the work of Marcel Rau, the artist tasked with the decorative aspect of the new premises built after the Second World War.

Invisible women: portrayal of women on Belgian banknotes

Thinking of the Belgian franc, one would most probably remember a banknote bearing the portrait of Magritte or Mercator. These historic characters acted as ambassadors for Belgium. Women were never in the running when it came to selecting people to feature on Belgian banknotes.

Coin production through the ages: casting, and manual or mechanical hammering

Coins gradually came into use for everyday transactions from 700 BC onwards. Nowadays, we cannot imagine being without them. They are recognised as a means of payment in virtually all cultures. This month we are therefore putting the “Spotlight” on coin production.

New 2-euro coin on display in the museum

The newest Belgian € 2 commemorative coin is dedicated to the centenary of the start of the First World War. As of today, the coin is on display in the National Bank of Belgium’s temporary Museum.

Alexander the Great: between god and man

According to historian N.G.L. Hammond, no individual changed the history of civilisation more than Alexander the Great. Yet, Alexander as a person is still a topic of discussion: was he a military genius or rather a murderous conqueror? High time, therefore, to put this deified general and his coins ‘in the spotlight’.

The fur trade

The collection of commodity money at the National Bank of Belgium museum now includes a recently acquired beaver pelt from Canada. Beaver skins were once used not only for clothing but also as money.

When Milda joins Europe

2014 wordt een memorabel jaar voor de Eurozone. Om te beginnen is het op 1 januari vijftien jaar geleden dat de euro giraal werd geïntroduceerd en twaalf jaar dat de munten en biljetten bestaan. Dit getal is symbolisch belangrijk omdat het ook om het aantal sterren gaat die afgebeeld zijn op de Europese vlag. Maar het belangrijkste getal is 18. De Eurozone verwelkomt immers zijn achttiende lidstaat: Letland.

The royal portrait in our wallet

Royalty are the only Belgians to have been honoured by being depicted on a coin or banknote during their lifetime, so it is high time we took a close look at the royal portrait in this edition of ‘Spotlight’.

The Carolus guilder: an imperial coin

Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor, was born in Ghent in 1500. His almost legendary reputation is due to the statement that in his empire the sun never set. Charles V ruled over the Burgundian Netherlands, he was King of Spain (and Spain’s overseas colonies) and he was also the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire. During his reign the economy flourished. Herman van der Wee even talks of the emergence of a global economy led by Europe in the 16th century. It is therefore no coincidence that Charles V laid some of the foundations for the modern coinage.