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1715 Switzerland (St. Gall) 1 Kreuzer NGC MS66

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Here is a Switzerland (St. Gall I believe, but NGC said Bern confused.gif) 1 Kreuzer. It features the popular bear on the obverse.


As you can see, there is no date on the coin, but it was struck in 1715. This coin is about the size of a US dime. Listed as KM-50 in Krause.


While these aren't rare in lower grades, they can be a little tough to find in uncirculated. This example was just graded by NGC as MS66.



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Why the collared, circus-like bear?


I don't know, but it is a common theme for Swiss St. Gall coinage of this period. Maybe it is symbolic of oppression? They had a lot of bears there and they trained them? They were known for their circus? I have no idea. The thaler sized ones are really impressive, but crudely struck.



And why the phallic looking "1"?


I don't know. Why does it look like the bear has an ? I don't know that either.



And why did they run over it with a steam roller?


That's just the way they were minted. It's 300 years old and the technology wasn't the greatest back then.

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Saint Gall, Switzerland, was named for an actual Saint of the same name.


In the latter part of his life St. Gall became rclusive and legend has it a bear was frawn by a trail of crumbs and became his sole friend. The bear used to carry logs to the saint so that he could light his fire. The bear has now become the coat of arms for the town of St. Gall in Switzerland, and the bear carrying the logs is depicted on the wall of the great Cathedral there, as it is in the parish church at Carnalea. Saint Gall died on 16th October in the year 645, at the age of 95, and that date – 16th October – is now honoured in Carnalea parish each year as Saint Gall’s Day.


I felt a little guilty about the silly response earlier.



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frawn = not in my Oxford Dictionary (short SOED). shocked.gif Frayn? (=requested).


So, what made Gall a Saint? He was apparently more than a patron saint?


The on the bear is less surprising than the collar. In much of the symbology of the Mediterranean and into northern Europe, the symbolism of an was simply for virility. Virility translates to all forms of strength in the masculine and was adopted in paternalistic governments.



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