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"salt money"

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also in ancient to not so ancient India where hot weather means salt is life when sait was really scarce at times the weight of salt was worth more then any precious gemstones by weight :flamed:

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It funny how we value different things at different times throughout history.


Excerp from Newsweek-


Around 1624, the Amsterdam man who owned the only dozen specimens was offered 3,000 guilders for one bulb. While there's no accurate way to render that in today's greenbacks, the sum was roughly equal to the annual income of a wealthy merchant. (A few years later, Rembrandt received about half that amount for painting The Night Watch.) Yet the bulb's owner, whose name is now lost to history, nixed the offer.


Who was crazier, the tulip lover who refused to sell for a small fortune or the one who was willing to splurge? That's a question that springs to mind after reading Tulipomania: The Story of the World's Most Coveted Flower and the Extraordinary Passions It Aroused by British journalist Mike Dash. In recent years, as investors have intentionally forgotten everything they learned in Investing 101 in order to load up on unproved, unprofitable dot-com issues, tulip mania has been invoked frequently. In this concise, artfully written account, Dash tells the real history behind the buzzword and in doing so, offers a cautionary tale for our times.


The Dutch were not the first to go gaga over the tulip. Long before the first tulip bloomed in Europe--in Bavaria, it turns out, in 1559--the flower had enchanted the Persians and bewitched the rulers of the Ottoman Empire. It was in Holland, however, that the passion for tulips found its most fertile ground, for reasons that had little to do with horticulture.


Enter the tulip. ''It is impossible to comprehend the tulip mania without understanding just how different tulips were from every other flower known to horticulturists in the 17th century,'' says Dash. ''The colors they exhibited were more intense and more concentrated than those of ordinary plants.'' Despite the outlandish prices commanded by rare bulbs, ordinary tulips were sold by the pound. Around 1630, however, a new type of tulip fancier appeared, lured by tales of fat profits. These ''florists,'' or professional tulip traders, sought out flower lovers and speculators alike. But if the supply of tulip buyers grew quickly, the supply of bulbs did not. The tulip was a conspirator in the supply squeeze: It takes seven years to grow one from seed. And while bulbs can produce two or three clones, or ''offsets,'' annually, the mother bulb only lasts a few years.


Bulb prices rose steadily throughout the 1630s, as ever more speculators wedged into the market. Weavers and farmers mortgaged whatever they could to raise cash to begin trading. In 1633, a farmhouse in Hoorn changed hands for three rare bulbs. By 1636 any tulip--even bulbs recently considered garbage--could be sold off, often for hundreds of guilders. A futures market for bulbs existed, and tulip traders could be found conducting their business in hundreds of Dutch taverns. Tulip mania reached its peak during the winter of 1636-37, when some bulbs were changing hands ten times in a day. The zenith came early that winter, at an auction to benefit seven orphans whose only asset was 70 fine tulips left by their father. One, a rare Violetten Admirael van Enkhuizen bulb that was about to split in two, sold for 5,200 guilders, the all-time record. All told, the flowers brought in nearly 53,000 guilders.


Soon after, the tulip market crashed utterly, spectacularly. It began in Haarlem, at a routine bulb auction when, for the first time, the greater fool refused to show up and pay. Within days, the panic had spread across the country. Despite the efforts of traders to prop up demand, the market for tulips evaporated. Flowers that had commanded 5,000 guilders a few weeks before now fetched one-hundredth that amount.


Tulipomania is not without flaws. Dash dwells too long on the tulip's migration from Asia to Holland. But he does a service with this illuminating, accessible account of incredible financial folly.


Tulip mania differed in one crucial aspect from the dot-com craze that grips our attention today: Even at its height, the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, well-established in 1630, wouldn't touch tulips. ''The speculation in tulip bulbs always existed at the margins of Dutch economic life,'' Dash writes. After the market crashed, a compromise was brokered that let most traders settle their debts for a fraction of their liability. The overall fallout on the Dutch economy was negligible. Will we say the same when Wall Street's current obsession finally runs its course?




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Sahara Salt Trade-Camel Caravans




Salt is produced in the Sahara (and has been for over 2½ thousand years-mentioned by Herodotus) at several places. It is mined from underground (solid blocks hewn from around 8 metres below the surface) at Taoudenni and is also made by evaporation in the region around Fachi and Bilma in the Ténéré desert.


Evaporation pools in the area around Taggiddan n' Tessoum are used to refine and create moveable salt cargos. The salt industry is a family one for the Kanuri. It is then traded across Africa by the Tuareg. Camel caravans of up to 8,000 animals are involved.


Salt (Sodium Chloride, NaCl) is an essential part of the human metabolism and is not used just for flavoring. The body needs salt to replace that lost through evaporation (sweat) and excretion (in urine) People whose diet is animal based (meat and milk) can survive without aditional salt intake. Those who are vegetarians cannot, and must supplement their diet with added salt

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Very interesting facts about historical forms of money, thanks for the post Woody.


Here is another one - Cowrie Shells which were the most popular currency within Africa.


Some info. about them.


Pictures of cowrie shells adorned cave walls. The Egyptians considered them to be magical agents and also used them as currency in foreign exchange transactions. Archaeologists have excavated millions of them in the tombs of the Pharaohs.


In the thirteenth century, cowrie shells were brought to Africa from the Maldives in the Indian Ocean by Arab traders. They first came to Egypt, then across the Sahara to the western Sudan region. Later, they were brought in by Dutch and English traders through the Guinea Coast ports of West Africa.


The Europeans were astonished that the Africans preferred cowrie shells to gold coin and in places where gold was the international unit of foreign exchange, cowrie shells were used to purchase small necessities.


Cowries were used in many other ways. One use was as special-purpose currency: bridewealth, payments for fines, divination ("the money of Ifa"), funerals, initiation into secret societies. Another was as decoration: on clothing, drums, other musical instruments, divining chains, headdresses, ritual masks and furniture, and in games and in computation.


Here are some on a Nigerian Stringed Instrument




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I know in my business, salt is a bad thing. Deep under the Gulf, there is a huge sheet of salt - hundreds of miles wide and miles thick. Additionally, you will get salt domes - large columns of salt that mushroom out at the top. Drilling through salt is very difficult as it is very hard and will destroy your tools. The good thing about salt, however, is that it makes a great trap for oil; underneath that mushrooming salt dome is quite often trapped a good supply of oil. We get around the problem by starting the well away from the salt dome and drilling an inclined or corkscrew shaped well to reach around underneath the salt.


Additionally, most of the US oil reserves are currently held in salt mines. Since salt is impermeable to oil, you can safely store as much oil as you want in a salt mine without any danger at all. In south Louisiana there are many vacant salt mines that are currently storing oil. A column several feet wide and several hundred feet deep is drilled into the salt and filled with oil.

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we are all the salt of the earth


pcgs excluded

lol lol lol !


This turned out to be a COOL thread! Thanks to everyone for providing some insights into peripheral aspects of coin collecting. I love it when my favorite hobby takes me to unexpected destinations.

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