July 31, 2006

Contributors & benefactors
Schedule of events


Untitled Document


ChambersThe collection

The museum contains over 40.000 different pieces covering over 400 countries. This fantastic collection contains approximately over 110 different collection in itself, for example: primitive, strange, zoo, proof, counter stamp, over struck, mini, chop-coins, errors, leprosarium, gold, ration, F.A.O. dollars & crowns, commemoratives, center holed, scalloped, square, wooden-coins, tokens, medals, food-coupons en much more.

For those devoted to History, the Numismatic Museum, unique in this region, offers a view on the powerful "Roman Empire", "Ancient Greece", "Chinese Dynasties", "Mystic India", "Egypt", and the famous "Byzantine Empire".

1741 Pillar dollar were cut in yotins
5 Florin
Cob coins

1741 Pillar dollar were cut into yotins

5 Florin (endangered turtle)


Cob coins found on colonial site in Aruba

Further on there is a large set of German and Japanese occupation notes as well as special issues for the concentration camps. All these are well displayed and described with date, ruler, denomination and country.

Don QuijoteFor the lover of the Latin American continent this collection offers an extensive history, from the coins brought from the old world to the most modern ones. This one is led from the kingdom of Peter I of Brazil, through the Argentinean confederation, to the Colonial Bolivia, to the Republic of Granada, the Venezuelan Guyana, to Spanish Mexico and Mexico of Maximilliano.


Cuater Plaka
Dousoux Plakkies
Dutch West Indies
Old fLorins

Cuater plaka

Dousoux plakkies. All foreign coins were accepted and called plakkies...later plakas

Dutch West Indies Company

Old Florins


ChamberColonial coin from the early day conquest, salvaged from sunken galleons are all a small part of this collection. Of course all these items are well displayed and described with date, ruler denomination and country. A visit to this numismatic museum may conduct you through the endless passage of time, once crossed by the most primitive of man, a road marked by the swords and lances of great emperors, kings tyrants, dictators, pirates, dictators, presidents. Undoubtly this highway is covered by wars, blood and even glory. It will lead you to the birth of the newest independent country on the earth.


Numismatic History and timeline 1499-present

Quiripa (barter currency)/Boton

Later called “boton” in Aruba. Even a district was called boton after these man made “shell-disks”.


From 1000 to 1515 the Caquetio indians used beads made of shells and stones for their monetary system.

Photo: Painting in cave




The ABC islands (referred as Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao) were discovered by Spanish navigator Alonso de Ojeda. He claimed the islands for the Spanish. Because there was no gold he declared them: ”useless islands”. The islands remained virtually deserted and under the Spanish throughout the 16th century.


The ABC islands (referred as Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao) were discovered by Spanish navigator Alonso de Ojeda. He claimed the islands for the Spanish. Because there was no gold he declared them: ”useless islands”. The islands remained virtually deserted and under the Spanish throughout the 16th century.


*History Marking

Spain conquered Portugal and part of its territories in Brazil, like Bahia. At this time the Spanish Real was introduced in the new world when colonists and settlers started to trade in the Caribbean. This coin would develop later into the famous: pillar dollar.



*History marking:
The Dutch West India Company was founded.

Note: The Dutch W.I.C. was more power full than any other successful company nowadays with one goal: to make money.
It traded in fur, spices, sugar and slaves. It also fought battles against Spain to gain new territories.

The flag of the Dutch West Indies Company (WIC)



*History Marking
Dutch W.I.C. occupied a part of Brazil including Bahia whom was occupied by Spain.

*History Marking
The Dutch claimed the ABC islands and founded a Dutch settlement in Curacao. The area became a commercial meeting place for traders, pirates, American rebels and merchants. The French and the British both tried to take over the islands.


History marking
Portugal regains independence from Spain.

*History Marking
Portugal regains lost territory in Brazil form Spain.

History marking
Beginning of Portugal and British alliance, Catherine of Portugal married Charles II of England.

Losses, gaining and regaining of territories had al the influence imaginable in the Caribbean.

Money at this time was valued for its intrinsic value or metal value (gold or silver).

Gold Peça (6,400 Reis) = 90 reaal = 11 ¼ pesos
H is golden coin had different denominations according to the era and region/area. “joao” , “joe” and “johannis”.

Photo: dubloen (Spanish gold coin valued at 20 Dutch guilder) minted different part of South America. This particular one was minted in Lima.

Note: The “johannis” and the “dubloen” didn't’t really circulate in much quantity on the islands. These were poor islands and couldn’t afford these gold coins and were more into affordable silver coins.


The Spanish-American eight reales coin was first minted in Mexico City in 1535, as C.O.B. coin and was eventually produced in many other mints throughout Central and South America.

It became better known in the colonies as the Spanish dollar. Pillar dollar was so-called because of the depiction of Hercules on the obverse. It was also known as the Milled-dollar because of the advanced method of production using water mills to drive the screw presses.
Called “patientje” on ABC islands f 2,50 Dutch currency.

Value of the pillar dollar depended on the silver price on the market. Therefore it was also called “marktgeld”.

Peso of eights


Full Peso


Eight (8) reaal


ten (10) reaal


F 2,00 D.cur.


f 2,50 D.cur.


Note: Mixture of colonist, merchants and slave traders were common on the islands at this time also.


At the end of the 18th century separate coins were struck for circulation in the Dutch West Indies, namely a 3 guilder, a 1 guilder and a ¼ guilder coin. These coins were distinguished from the ones circulating in the Netherlands by the letter "W". In 1826, the Dutch currency law regulated that Dutch coins, used in the Netherlands, were also officially legal tender in the Netherlands territories in the West Indies.

First ten decimal coinage was made for use in the Dutch W.I.C.


“dubbele stuiver” – “dubbele” – “dubbeltje” – “dibtjie”
Here the local name “dibtjie” finds its origin in the coin: dubbele stuiver

Mixture of colonists, merchants, rebels and even pirates traveled these island in search of the riches of the world. All kinds of coins were accepted. It just had to be gold, silver or even a lesser metal to be good enough. The Danish, British, Portuguese, Dutch, French and Spanish coins were widely and wildly accepted. Examples are the:

Danish two skelling

French one sol

Stubers and shillings

There were all together called “plakkies”. The word will change later on for “plaka” which means money in our native language Papiamento.

These particular coins were found on colonial sites in Aruba.

French double tournois
(2 sous 1789)

Spanish cob coin
(1 real 1743)



Governor Lauffer had 7000 pillar dollar (patienje) cut into 4 pieces valued at 3 reales each. These were the first “yotin” for these islands. Guillotine---Yotin corta---Yotin.

End 1798 the same bits (yotin) were stamped and valued at 3 ½ reales.

Photo : yotin


The Spanish money (coins) were in circulation for three ages on an international basis in South America, North America and the far east.

Value changes happened often in these times due that economy was based on the metal value (silver or gold) and had not a “face value” written on the coin. Golden dubloen was revalued at 16 patienjes or 24 peso of eights Patienje was revalued at 12 reales.

Currency of shilling and florin were introduced into the “new world”.

1 shilling 62 ½ cents, later this amount was called locally “chillin”

English florin

Governor John Hogdson had patienjes cut again in yotins (bits). This time they were cut in five pieces. These were badly cut bits and were not even pieces. Even the six pieces of bits of St. Thomas were introduced and not even recognized from the “yotin”.

* Currency law introduced and the official coinage was the Dutch currency.
Again the Governor cut the 8000 pillar dollar into “yotin” (bits) of five pieces and valued at 3 ½ reales (21 stivers) each. There was great need of small change and it was all these islands could afford.

All the small change flowed rapidly off the islands and Governor Kikkert cut pillar dollar into 3 pieces valued at five reales and into 5 pieces valued at 3 reales.


The problem of small change was not under control and Governor Kantsleer gave order to make a new real coin. 7500 new real coin was made for the islands. It had a maize stalk on one side of the coin trying to hide real substinance which was the slave tradery.

Origin “ria” – “doria”



1 real (cur.)

2 real

6 stivers

12 stivers

15 cents

30 cents

un ria

dos ria

360.000 new stivers were made with a nomination of 2 ½ cents. These were the first stivers bearing the name: Curacao. Circulated in Curacao and colonies.

Although there was a new currency law introduced in 1816 and the official coinage was the Dutch guilder (King Willem l), the following was still in circulation at the time:

*Dutch coinage
*Bits of the “patienje” (yotin) of 3 reales nominated at f. 0,50 cents, Dutch currency.
*Curacao stiver at 2 ½ D. cur.
*Old stamped “Johannissen” at f. 1,47 D.cur.
*Bits of 5 reales were in circulation until 1926

The patienje was nominated at f. 2,50 D. cur. Consequently years later f. 0,50 was still called yotin even though it wasn’t a cut piece but any amount of cents that has a total of fifty cents. Later on even a piece of coin of fifty cents was called yotin.


Governor Van Raders gave order to cut 6000 Dutch guilders in 4 bits to be stamped with “C” and nominated at f. 0,25 cents.

These were immediately put out of circulation by the General Commander Van den Bosch. He thought it was unacceptable to cut the Kings head in 4 pieces.



There was still great need of change in the colony. It seemed like all the coins flowed off the islands not to come back again. When the ½ guilder was introduced there was also the gourdes called “gourdain” (Haitian coin) with the same nomination of f. 0,50 D.cur. This is why they called it almost alike : “gourdijn”.


Currency law introduced. Netherlands tried to replace the golden standard for the silver standard. The colonies were also encountering problems with devaluation. This did not work because Netherlands introduced a gold coins itself in 1847 and the double standard was used again.

Trading was a still common way of doing business. It seemed almost impossible to get rid of all the other coinage that still entered the islands through trading. The monetary system still consisted of a mixture of foreign coins, Dutch coinage and Curacao coinage.

Nomination of the Franc was f. 2,50
Patienje f. 2,50
Gourdes f. 2,50

* Yotins (cut bits) remained in circulation officially until 1854 and in practice for many more.

The silver “patienje" was later also called “patinco” and it still was the most used coinage of all on the islands. That situation caused mayor problems the moment the silver devaluated. Salaries were all paid out to the silver value (normal standard).

History Marking
Slavery was abolished. The means of subsistence for the colonies was to make big changes.

The threesome J & Co – Jeserun & Co., L & C - Leon van Leyba & Co and J.J.N. – Jacob Joshua Naar received rights to make coins because of the money shortage.

Private societies and clubs solved the money shortage by using their own means of payments, which in this case they used bons (emergency money).

Curacao stiver put out of circulation.

Traders and merchants began to refuse the pillar dollar, called “patienje” or “patinco”. They were all trade in the by the Royal fiscus at f. 2,50. The international currency for the pillar dollar was also brought down at f. 1,00. This brought the pillar dollar to its original nomination.

Publication nr: 22. Currency law of May 1899: the colony of Curacao and dependencies (Aruba & Bonaire) went over to the Dutch unit of account: The Dutch guilder. These were accepted officially by the law:
-The golden f. 10,00 Dutch guilder
-Dutch silver “rijksdaalder” f. 2,50
-The guilder (f.1,-)
-All other parts of the Dutch guilder: f 0,25 , f 0,50 etc.
-Foreign coins of the non-Dutch colonies

The rest, except the “fuerte” (bolivar) was trade in and not accepted anymore.

New coinage was made for the colonies with the silver of all trade in pillar dollars. The “dibtjie” en “kwartje” were all made of the silver of the pillar dollar and marked with a “C”.

¼ guilder was also introduced with de legend: “Kolonie Curacao”.


The international gold currency law was revised:


Double eagle

f. 49,-


f. 38,65

English sovereign

f. 12,-

20 francs

f 9,40

25 bolivars

f. 11,75

20 bolivars

f. 9,40



History Marking:
The first airplane named “idoor” landed on Aruba.

All the silver coinage was send back to the Netherlands at the end of W.W. ll.

Emergency currency
During German occupation of the Netherlands in W.W. ll new coins were minted in Philadelphia (USA) for circulation in the Dutch colonies including Surinam, with the legend: “Koningkrijk der Nederlanden”.


In the thirties de first air balloon flew in the USA. This was enough reason to call the 5 cent coin after the inventor count “Zeppelin”
Photo zeppelin (5 cents)

Here came the first, almost complete series of actual Curacao coinage in Denver (USA) and bearing the legend: “Munt van Curacao”. From that day and not from 1899 as the Dutch tried to show, it was legitimate to speak of a currency specific to the colony.

Due to money shortage some companies in Aruba made their own tokens. A good example is the “Coca Cola” token and the “bus” token of unclear date. Some larger companies like the “Aruba Fosfaat Company” and “Eman Bank” made bons (emergency currency).

History Marking:
Liberation of the Netherlands of German Occupation.

The Netherlands signed the Geneva Convention in order to diminish money forgeries in the Netherlands and its colonies.

History Marking:
The Dutch colonies were given complete domestic autonomy and granted equality within the Kingdom. The Netherlands Antilles was established.

Fact: The W.W.ll prevented the independence of the Antillean monetary system from immediately being expressed in completely Antillean coinage. When they came they bear the legend: “Nederlandse Antillen”.

“Munt van Curacao” was not legitimate anymore and was put out of circulation.

Complete new coin series of “Nederlandse Antillen” introduced.

History Marking:
On January the 1rst 1986, Aruba was given “Status Aparte” within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Aruba made its own coin series for the very first time. A selection committee consisting of J.M. Driessen, L. Tromp, F.M. Nicolaas, L.G. de L’isle and J.M. Odor made the selection of whom was to design Aruban money.

The coin commission made a selection. Coins and bank notes were designed by the Aruban artist : Evelino Fingal.

For the past 12 years the “Central Bank of Aruba” made different commemorative coins.

Numismatic (Historical) Timeline Aruba 1499 -




© Aruba Numismatic Museum