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The Silver Half Dollar's Blog

17 Sep 2017

Bearded Coins

Odd & Curious Money | The Silver Half Dollar

For a free membership in the Bearded Numismatists Society, I wrote this


Beards on Numismatic Articles

 

Beards show wisdom, strength, and power. But how does that relate to numismatics?

 

For one thing, there was a beard tax once. Yes, you saw it correct. If you had a beard, you had to pay an extra tax. And, you had to carry a token around with you proving you had payed that years beard tax and that you were registered as having a beard. But what else? Because beards show wisdom, power and strength , that is why many leaders on coins are pictured with beards. (sometimes even though they had no beard in real life) In the  Kingdom of Macedonia, you would never find a beard nor a bearded coin. Alexander the Great feared that beards were handles for enemies to take prisoners. It was illegal to own a beard there.  But yet, in Rome, the most advanced culture, they didn’t know what shaving was. During this time, most Roman coins had beards. 454 years after Rome was founded, they learned how to cut beards and most men had their beards cut. Sometimes, people with beards were banished from Rome till they cut their beards off. Most coins of honorable people have beards from the middle ages. Knights had them as a sign of honor and toughness. Holding someone else’s beard was an offense resulting in a duel or death. Priests though, had to have been shaven. During the Ming dynasty of China, emperors were all portrayed with beards. In the early 19th century, it was expected of powerful individual to go clean-shaven. That is why few coins of that era have beards. In the end of the 19th century, post-civil-war, most presidents wore full beards. In the 20th century, beards were declining in popularity. But, many coins displayed beards. Greek coins from Greek mythology always have Zeus and Poseidon with beards but Apollo never had one. Early coins of Hermes had him with a beard while late coins portrayed him with a clean shaven face. In ancient times, many philosophers on coins had beards. Most sports players are clean shaven to prevent injuries. In some countries military people must have beards while others ban beards. So, military coins from some countries always have beards while some never do. About 90% of ancient coins have beards while many modern coins don’t. Now, Lincoln cents have a fine, strong, and large beard.

 

 

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beard

http://www.coinworld.com/news/world-coins/2016/04/beards-on-coins-changing-styles-reflected-after-ancient-times.html

  

Comments

Kepi

Level 6

What a fun blog! Enjoyed it!

Mike

Level 7

Maybe I will join the club. Is there a certain length? It does sound interesting. I know of other collectors with beards I will have to ask them. Thanks

Longstrider

Level 6

Interesting blog... My beard does have power but it's a secret what it is..Thanks!!

Mike

Level 7

I enjoyed it. I'm glad they did away with the tax I have a beard. Many men wore beards. I can't tell you if it was for power just as many leaders didn't have them. Mine holds no power I wish it did. It is an interesting theory. I will have to look into this thank you very much you have my interest. Mike.

CoinLady

Level 6

Wasn't there a club called Society of Bearded Numismatists, or SOB? :)

They are SOB. Sorry, didnt see this.

Longstrider

Level 6

There was indeed .Might still be. The ANA even wrote a blog on them. It's on 17 Sept. 2015. A Tales From the Vault..

"SUN"

Level 6

Nice essay.

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