Dutch silver 2 stuvier unearthed in Tainan


The findings are from this paper.

Dutch had the longest European presence here in Taiwan, however, in the past more Spanish silver coins were found in archeological sites.

A new finding in a site at the old establishment of Sinckan village (Tagloeloe village) of the Siraya tribe presented the first Dutch coin discovered in Taiwan.

The coin was made in Zeeland in 1640. One side has the image of a lion facing left, holding a sword up with one arm, and a bundle of arrows with the other. The other side has the inscription Zeelandia 1640 on it.

The lion symbol probably is the same as this one.

There is a similar coin in Japan made much later in 1745, but in better condition.

This coin is worth 2 stuvier. In the De Dagregisters van het Kasteel Zeelandia, an entry on June 17 1654 said that in order to combat the locusts swarm, the governor issued that anyone who brings 1 kati (jin) worth of locusts can be rewarded with 1 stuvier silver coin. So if one person catches enough locusts weighing 2 kati would be rewarded with a coin similar to the one discovered.

The locusts of the 1640s and 1650s eventually brought down the Ming government, which led to Koxinga driving out the Dutch from Taiwan in 1662.


Must have sucked to be the person that lost that coin back in the day.


The first? Really?

According to that paper, there was a Dutch Scheepjesschelling found embedded in an Amis body chain decoration. That one had the inscription of MO:NO:ORD:HOLL:ET WESTFRI:, which means something like Minted by the order of the parliament of Holland and West Friesland. That coin was minted in 1713. I’m not sure how that coin got to Taiwan, since the Dutch left Taiwan much early than that.

This coin and the one unearthed at the site of Sinckan are the only two Dutch coins found in Taiwan.


The body chain can be seen in this link.


I guess it just meant that even though the Dutch was present in Taiwan for much longer, 44 years all together (1624–1668), it was the Spanish dollar that’s more widely circulated in the region even well after both European powers left the island.

Spanish money was widely circulated, but you’d think there would be a few trinkets left behind. I guess the Dutch are known for frugality :slight_smile:


What was the purchasing power of that 1 coin?

1 stuvier is worth 8 duit, so that one coin is worth 16 duit. 160 duit is worth 1 guilder, so 10 of such coins get you 1 guilder.

In 1626, Pieter Schaghen wrote in Dutch of the purchase of “the Island Manhattes” (Manhattan) “from the Indians for the value of 60 guilders.”

So you can buy the island of Manhattan with 600 such coins.

The exchange is different in Batavia (Dutch Indonesia), you can get 1 stuvier for just 4 duits. That might be due to the stuvier minted by the VOC in Batavia had less silver in it.


Yeah, but how many Big Macs is that?


It’s a little more than one gram of silver, so that is probably like a dollar with silver price now.

Although, since it was used as a currency, we probably have to adjust for inflation instead of just the price of silver today.

Not exactly sure how to go about figuring that out.

Someone worked out a person could buy 188.8KG of rice with 1 liang (兩) of silver in Ming dynasty.

Using that as a basis, that coin would worth the equivalent of 2.53 USD today. So, I guess around half a Big Mac in the US.


So in 1626 you could buy all of Manhattan for the equivalent of $15,180 in 2020 USD (or 6000 BM’s)? Probably a smart investment.
:hamburger: :desert_island: :money_mouth_face: