- Second part in the series “Dutch trade history”
- Important trade coin from the Dutch Golden Age with a rich history!
- Discover the trade in cinnamon in the mid-17th century
- Only available to order in May, sold out after that
- Minted in the highest Proof Quality
- Very popular issue, don’t miss it!
Discover the latest issue in our series “Dutch trade history”
Every year, the Royal Dutch Mint mints Golden Ducats, after originals from the 16th and 18th century, on behalf of the Ministry of Finance. In 2022 a new series Golden Ducats has started, in which we continue to explore the Dutch trade history. Until 2025, we will highlight a different commodity each year, that played an important role in Dutch trade history during the Golden Ducat. We continue the series with the trade in cinnamon.
Travel along with the VOC: control over the cinnamon trade
Today, it’s easy to buy a jar of cinnamon in the super market, without having even one thought about it. This was quite different a few decades ago. Around the year 1600, there was only one area known that produced cinnamon: Ceylon, an island that we know today as Sri Lanka. Only one production area and many enthusiasts around the world: that meant heavy competition within the overseas trade. Cinnamon thus became one of the spices the VOC was eager to trade in. With the help of the natives, the Portuguese were driven out of Ceylon in the mid-17th century. This way, the VOC controlled the entire cinnamon trade for many years.
Cinnamon is a beloved spice for over decades. It’s not only used for baking, but also for cooking and making drinks. Traditionally, cinnamon was also used as a remedy for colds, problems with digestion and even bad breath. Logically, the VOC did everything in its power to gain the monopoly on this trade.
The trusted international trade coin is engraved with a historical image: a knight in armor with arrows, designed by engraver Johan Willem Marmé. From 1763 until 1795, Marmé worked as engraver of the provincial and urban Mint of Utrecht. On the obverse of the coin the Latin phrase Concordia Res Parvae Crescunt is engraved: “Small things flourish by concord” or better known as “Unity makes Strength”. On the reverse the Latin Mo. Aur. Reg. Belgii Ad Legem Imperii is found: “Gold coin of the Kingdom of the Netherlands by law of the Empire”.