The place for coins

Theft of 900 thousand-year-old coins in the National Historical Museum

The historic collection had been bought in Europe during the presidency of Bernardino Rivadavia, between 1826 and 1827. The thousand-year-old coins, which had belonged to the Roman Empire, were kept in the National Historical Museum (MHN), in San Telmo. Without anyone discovering them, a group of unfaithful employees carried out an ant robbery of 900 historical pieces and sold them to collectors and reducers.

The investigation began after a presentation in court in Comodoro Py by an expert in numismatics and a complaint from a merchant dedicated to the sale of used objects, who acquired 133 of those coins for 200,000 pesos. A “modest” sum, since, according to experts in the field, the lot could have a value of no less than half a million dollars.

The loot not only included pieces from the Roman Empire, but also a collection of coins from Ancient Greece, according to LA NACION from official sources.

In the last hours, the investigation, in which federal prosecutor Guillermo Marijuan and judge Rodolfo Canicoba Corral participate, with the collaboration of detectives from the Interpol Cultural Heritage Protection Department, allowed the arrest of three suspects of having participated in the robbery .

“The detainees are employees of the National Historical Museum with unlimited access to the works and collections. Some 600 coins were recovered,” a source with access to the file explained to LA NACION.

The complainant stated that on February 14, four men had come to his shop and sold him 133 historical coins, for which he paid 200,000 pesos.

The theft became an open secret among numismatists who knew the valuable collection of the Roman Empire of the MHN. One of them appeared in the federal courts of Comodoro Py to denounce the theft of the historic collection and commented that the criminals were “placing” the pieces on the black market.

In addition to him, according to official sources, a merchant appeared at the Guard Office of the Neighborhood Police Station 1A of the City Police, accompanied by another specialist in coins.

The complainant, who has a place to buy and sell old objects in the San Nicolás neighborhood of Buenos Aires, affirmed that on February 14, four men had come to his shop and sold him 133 historical coins, for which he paid 200,000 pesos.

“The coin specialist who accompanied the complainant assured that the pieces were from the Roman Empire and that they had been stolen from the National Historical Museum. The merchant maintained that the sellers had left only their first names, but had been filmed by security cameras. of your local “, explained the consulted sources.

According to what LA NACION learned from sources with access to the case, some of the detained employees worked in the MHN department store and had been in the museum for more than 25 years.

The word of the Ministry of Culture

In a press release, the Ministry of Culture of the Nation referred to the theft of “old coins belonging to the MHN collection that are part of the cultural and historical heritage of all Argentines and Argentines” and specified that “a large part of the coins they have already been recovered and it is hoped to get all the material as the investigation progresses. “

It was added: “The corresponding investigations are underway in order to determine the origin, the exact date and those responsible for the theft and to achieve the recovery of this numismatic collection.”

In May of last year, according to the MHN website, there was an exhibition on numismatics. On that occasion, the specialist Damián Salgado spoke about the Greek pieces in the institution’s collection.

According to what had been announced, some original pieces up to 2,000 years old, specially selected for the exhibition, were to be exhibited at the meeting.

coins shopping

The community members of Couso make payments with the first Galician social currency

Turuta, jarama, grass … In Spain alone, there are more than thirty social currencies. The phenomenon now reaches all of Galicia from the hand of the Consello da Sabia association, which has launched the coin of the same name. It is a local alternative to the euro, “a place to catch air and offer what you have, without depending on legal tender money”, in the words of the association’s secretary, Carlos Moreira. The only Galician antecedent was the landra, locally in Santiago.

The wise woman is from Galicia and one of her first partners are the community members of Couso, in Gondomar. The secretary of this council, which is the bank that issues the virtual currency, is also from Gondomar and the other members are from Lugo and Santiago.

“It has already been created and will be distributed among associations, entities or consumer groups so that they, in turn, can put it into circulation by paying people who work for them. Then, people with wise or with whatever they want to offer and who use this Galician application can carry out transactions “, they indicate. Exchanges can be for food, clothing, or any other category, including time banks.

The community members of Couso will pay with that local currency to those who this year participate in the chestnut collection. “Let’s pay them with wise women to half a cent of comuneiros and tamén, because it is wrong, to a company that will carry out or transfer all merchandise to Manzaneda”, advances the president of the mountain community, Xosé Antón Araúxo. For him, who was the one who promoted the first Galician public bank of microcredits to entrepreneurs among neighbors, this currency is essential, especially valid after the pandemic.

«This formula is a book of salvation for the most vulnerable people and families. We avoid intermediaries and, before they disappear or physical damage and everything is controlled with cryptocurrencies, there must be an alternative so that people are not excluded, “warns Araúxo, defending at all costs a consolidated initiative both in other parts of Spain and in England, where there are mayors who collect their payroll in the respective local or social currencies.

The name refers to their scope and character because they are projects that, in general, seek to promote local trade and exchange in the geographical areas that adopt them, as in this case Galicia. Bernard Lietaer, the Belgian engineer, economist and writer, was the promoter of this idea that communities can benefit by creating their local or complementary currency, circulating parallel to the national one.

He defined this local money as “an agreement within a community to use something as a medium of exchange, both for products and for knowledge or services.”

It has been a non-profit Dutch association, Moreira explains, which has facilitated the promotion of these coins by donating the Cyclos 4 app, through which each community develops its project. In this case, all the information and registration can be done on the page It is already operational for new registrations in this new Galician alternative trade community.

History of money: coins and bills

Despite the fact that the coins we have in our pockets are made with little valuable metals, a few years ago in their compounds we could find gold, silver or bronze. However, the fiduciary system, based on trust, is the one in force today. Do you want to know when the money was created and some of the most curious bills? This is part of the history of money.

Primitive societies began exchanging goods thousands of years ago. In the absence of products that established a fixed value, the first forms of barter were produced: the peoples transferred their surpluses so that everyone could obtain a benefit. Over the years they began to exchange consumables with other products such as stones, beads or bones, which can be considered as the first forms that money had.

When were coins invented?

It was not until the 7th century BC that the first coins were invented. These were created by the Greeks in present-day Turkey. They were made from electro, an alloy of gold and silver, and hammered with its weight and the mark of the issuing authority.

A few years later, almost simultaneously, the first coins also emerged in China and India, but these had very diverse shapes, such as ingots, dolphins or halberds. On the contrary, in Greece they did have circular shapes, similar to the coins we have today. The most used materials were gold, silver and bronze and, depending on the weight and the metal, they had different value.

The advent of the fiduciary system

The precious metals were giving way, centuries later, to other alloys much cheaper and easier to obtain and to paper money: the fiduciary system arrived. The first banknotes emerged in Sweden in the 17th century. This new form of money was based on trust, since a number printed on a piece of paper marked its value. For several years this system would coexist with the gold standard.

The gold standard fixed the equivalence of a currency with the metal
The gold standard was a monetary system by which banknotes could be exchanged for gold and gold for banknotes, at a fixed exchange rate. The system disappeared between the end of World War I and the Great Depression, being replaced by a purely fiduciary system.

Inflation: how it occurs and what consequences does it have

The fiduciary system, made up of coins and bills that have no intrinsic value, sometimes gives rise to inflation (a situation that occurs when there is an exaggerated increase in the issuance of currency or a continuous increase in its face values).
Historically, the worst cases of hyperinflation have occurred after the great wars. During these periods, certain countries began to issue bills with exorbitant figures. These notes with many zeros were used almost exclusively for trading in the issuing nation, since abroad the currency was devalued by leaps and bounds.