Origin: These coins of the Dutch East India Co. were struck within the 1700's, and were worth half a duit in the Dutch guilden system of currency. They feature the company monogram (VOC) on the obverse side and a crowned shield denoting where the coin was minted on the reverse side.
It's hard to comprehend just how massive the Dutch East India Company (or VOC) really was. The corporation was the sole trading company in all of southeast Asia, and even had its own private military to defend its holdings. They minted their own corporate money, and literally created the modern day financial system by introducing the idea of international financial centers and stock trading. It existed over a span of almost 200 years, from 1602 to its dissolution in 1799.
Of course, the company had a notorious dark side. It was known to be ruthless to the native populations of the lands it controlled, often warring with them or simply using them as slave labor. It exemplified the evils of colonialism, mercilessly conquering and exploiting any land that came under its control. Despite this, its influence is still felt in many ways to this day. Cultures changed by being introduced to new spices and other goods, the foundations of modern economic systems were established, and corporate branding and culture were created for the first time.
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