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Honey Bee Coin Collection

Chris has been a beekeeper for almost a decade. He enjoys learning conversing about beekeeping and learning about bees from others.

Restrike of "Bee, & Stag" Coin of Ephesus

Restrike of "Bee, & Stag" Coin of Ephesus

Coin Collectioning

There are many coin collectors in the world as well as numismatist. I would define a coin collector as an individual whom seeks to collect coins for the pleasure of it. This collecting may be to complete a set of some sort and/or just to collect as many coins of some sort or another in quantity. Many people simply collect wheat pennies with no real desire to seek a complete set, it is enough for them to just collect them.

A numismatist is an individual who collects coins and studies the coins, their history, specific aspects of culture through coins, etc. In my mind, a numismatist is an individual who studies coins in more of a scholarly aspect.

The two can and do overlap. There will always be plenty of people who enjoy collecting coins and learning about how the coin came to be and the culture it came from. There is a lot to learn, and at times it is nearly impossible not to learn something about a time period from a coin. A great example are coins such as half cent pieces and two cent pieces. It hints at how inflation has had a steady and consistent effect on the world.

I will researching some of my coins today, simply to share with anyone who is interested. The pictures that I share are pictures of my honey bee coins. Hence, Apis mellifera Numismatist or the European honey bee coin collector, or scholar if you believe in the scholarly aspect of the word numismatist.

1976 Malta 3 Mils Bee and Honeycomb Coin

Malta is an archipelago just south of Italy. The three largest islands are the only inhabited islands. This is one of the coins that was designed by Christopher Ironside, although I have never been able to find a reason for the bee and honeycomb. Both of which are rare coin subjects.

This coin was minted from 1972 - 1986 and was a rather common coin. One thing of interest is that this coin is made from aluminum, which is an uncommon metal to use for currency. Although, aluminum is the most common metal elemental on Earth.

The Malta 3 mils is no longer in circular because Malta began using the Euro in 2008. This was my first bee coin, and although little to no reasons why it was decided to have a bee and honeycomb - I still like this coin and it is beautifully struck. The value is between $2.00 and $4.00 USD.

2014 Cook Islands Shades of Nature Bee Coin

The Cook Islands are in the South Pacific Ocean Northeast of New Zealand. In 2014, the Cook Islands created a serious of coins called "Shades of Nature". The honey bee was the first coin in the serious and only 2,000 of them were minted. This is a laser etched coin, that has Queen Elizabeth II on the heads side and a honey bee on a flower on the reverse. A face value of $5.00, this was made more for a collectors item though being .925 silver. From some vendors this is not boxed, when I had purchased them mine came capsuled and boxed.

Cook Islands appears to have made a market for superb coin design and collector sales. The detail on many of their coins can be seen for many decades and has only improved with time. This is a coin that I have a difficult time finding a value for, but I generally see them sell for around $120.00 USD.

2013 Canadian $3 Bee and Honeycomb Coin

Canada ran a series of coins called "Animal Architects". The honey bee is the first coin in the series for animal architects within Canada as well as the first coin in the painted silver proof sets. A beautiful coin design with great color, a new methodology for the government mint.

This coin is giving honors to the honey bee for building "mathematically perfect matrix of hexagons, optimizing spatial coverage while minimizing the amount of construction material required for building".

This coin sold from the mint for $69.95 but can be found ranging from $45.00 + S/H to $90.00 easily enough. This coin was limited to 10,000 coins and is made from 99.99% silver.

2015 Polish 20 Zlotych Honey Bee

Starting in 1995 Poland began the Animals of the World Series of coins. This is the 21st coin in the series and is made from 92.5% silver. A very crisp image with a mirror like finish around subjects. The heads of this coin has the eagle and the Polish flag which represent the Republic of Poland.

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The melt value of this coin is $14.29 at the time of writing this, but sells on Ebay for around $96.00. An easily acquired coin with social sales and the mint created 35,000 of these coins.

I appreciate that the Mint of Poland mentions, "the environmentalists point out that 30% of food production and 90% of fruit harvest depends on the pollination by these tireless insects." Great information for everyone to remember.

Ancient Coin of Ephesus, Ionia

This is a bronze coin that was created between 387 and 270 BC. Possibly one of the oldest coins that I own. Although this coin is quite old, the one of this condition could be bought for around $50.00 pretty easily. I have had a difficult time finding out what this coin value was for its time period, and the only objective I achieved was verifying a couple that it was not. I am still attempting to verify that this was considered a drachma. Still an interesting coin and a fun coin to have in a bee coin collection.

There are several other varieties that I will be attempting to obtain, although there are over 100 total varieties of this coin, there are few I do wish to own. I have read that the stag and bee were because of devotion to Artemis. If this is true, it is pretty impressive that the importance of bees was recognized so long ago.

1962 Norway 10 Ore

This may be one of the most common bee coins around. Even in uncirculated condition these coins would probably only fetch a few dollars. In 1962, there were 16,210,000 of these coins minted. This coin was made from copper-nickel and was standard currency from 1959 to 1973.

The only reason I own the any of these coins is because of the bee. This would be parallel to an individual collecting modern pennies. I will consider myself lucky that there is a bee coin that is out there and easily obtainable for most individuals, if they were interested.

2010 Ukrainian 2 Hryvnia

One of the Ukraine commemorative coins for 2010 was a 99.99% gold bee coin. This coin was dedicated because of the bee "personifying wisdom, prolificacy, and diligence." This coin was a special uncirculated coin for 2010 with only 10,000 in total.

This bee coin is in the series named "The smallest golden coin" and was the 9th design of a total of 12. Most of these appear to sell for $120.00 to $140.00 pretty readily. A lovely coin, a lot of shine, and a nice addition to any bee coin collection. And to my knowledge the Ukraine only has two bee coins. One in 2010 and the other in 2015. Both commemorative coins as well, but this one appears as though it was created with marketing in mind.

1920 Italy 10 Centesimi Coin

From 1919 to 1937, this was the 10 centesimi of Italy. A centesimi is the plural form of centismo which is 1/100 of a lira. Pretty much it is the equivalent of an American penny for Italian money. This is another coin that is pretty common and does not hold much value besides that of enjoyment.

There are a couple dates to watch out for 1928, 1936, 1932, and 1937 are worth more than most others and the crown jewel would be 1919. The 1919 coin can go for as much as $500.00 The other dates are worth about 6x the value of other dates, and those dates are only worth several dollars.

Ukrainian Petro Prokopovych Memorial Coin

Almost no one will be able to tell you who Petro Prokopovych was when asked, this includes almost all beekeepers as well. Petro was born in the village of Mytchenky in the Northwest of the Ukraine in the year 1775. Russia was still the Russian Empire during this time.

Petro began studying at the prestigious Kiev-Mohyla Academy when he was eleven years old until he was 19. After completing his studies, Petro had wanted to become a teacher, but unknown decided or was forced to join the military. He raised in rank and became an officer, which he resigned his commission in 1798 and went to live with his brother.

His brother had a small bee garden and in 1799 Petro decided to commit himself to studying bees. During this time, bees were kept in crude logs and in order to collect honey the beekeeper would have to damage the hive and bees to obtain the honey.

In 1814, Petro designed and developed the first dismountable frame beehive in order to collect honey without damaging the bees and/or hive. This is one of most, if not the most, revolutionizing components in beekeeping. And still, almost no one will recognize the name Petro Prokopovych.

Another invention of Petro's was the queen excluder. This is the first generation of queen excluder ever made and was crude compared to modern day excluders, but he invented this component in order to have the ability to collect pure honey. A brilliant idea, that has helped with hive manipulation as well as honey purity.

A beekeeping school was open by Petro as well. And trained around 700 highly skilled beekeepers during its 53 years of operation. This school taught beekeeping and researched most many areas. One of the discoveries made by Petro was a drugless treatment for Foulbrood (European Foulbrood assumed) by driving the bees from one colony to a new colony. With 6,600 colonies during his highest peak, Petro became a rich individual from beekeeping and is also considered the first commercial beekeeper.

Petro died in 1850, he was one of the most revolutionary beekeepers in history and the Petro Prokopovych 2 hryvnia coin celebrates the 240th anniversary of his birth. One hryvnia is worth .039 USD or .033 Euro at the time of writing this. 2 hryvnia are between 7¢ and 8¢ USD. The value of this coin is currently in the low $40's USD.

If Interested....

If you are interested in starting or have started coin collecting, information is always a good thing. Some people collect coins to simply collect coins, others invest, some want to learn history, and every other person has their own motives behind it. I am linking a video from youtube that discusses some of the basic misconceptions with coin collecting. This short video may save you time and money.

Some basics on Coin Collecting

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2017 Chris Andrews


klave on June 06, 2020:

Hi, I just want to thank you for you comment Piet Vanmarsenille. I am painting this coin now and i was finding info about it everywhere!

Chris Andrews (author) from Ohio on March 19, 2019:

In-depth information about this, thank you for taking the time and sharing your knowledge!

Chris Andrews (author) from Ohio on March 19, 2019:

I have collected more, but I am not close to 300 yet. Thanks for adding this!

Piet Vanmarsenille from Belgium on March 18, 2019:

There are more than 3000 coins and medals with bees on it, all over the world. Only in the ancient Greek world you find allready more than 200 coins with bees on it.

Piet Vanmarsenille from Belgium on March 18, 2019:

Hi Chris,

sorry, my English in not so good, but I try.

In the beginning of the coinage (from 550 - 350 before Christ) , you see on the Greek coins much attributes of the god or goddess of the city. For the city Ephesos is this the goddess Artemis, the goddess of the hunt and the fertility. That is why you see on de coins of Ephesos a deer (hunt) and a honeybee (fertility). You can see that also on the statuettes of Artemis, you see Artemis, or with bow and arrow (+ a deer), or whit honeybees on her body like this picture .

Why is the bee the symbol of fertility? To understand this you must go 1000 years earlier... About 1500 b.C. the Hittites were in Anatolia (the region of Ephesos). The Hittites had another world of gods than the Greeks. One of the gods was Telipinu a young God and the son of the king of the gods. Telipinu had a fight with the other gods and he has left the world of the gods. Telipinu was the god of the agriculture and fertility and because he is not in the world of the gods, the flowers aren't blooming and the Livestock cannot deliver their calves, so there is no food for the peoples, everybody is starving. The gods are searching everywhere for Telipinu, without result. Then the mother of Telipinu send the bees out to find her son. The bees finding Telipinu and bring him back to the world of the gods. And there is fertility again, the flowers are blooming again, there is fruit and the cattle can have their calves. That is why the bees are the symbol of fertillity by the Hitittes. The Greeks have copy this, they have only replace the god. Like many times in the past, when there are other peoples come in a region, they keep the same habitats of the religion, the only change the gods. That is why you find a bee on the cois of Ephesos. This is not what I’ve found but the University of Vienna is studying already 100 years the city of Ephesos, I’ve learned it from them.

Chris Andrews (author) from Ohio on December 16, 2018:

Probably more than I know of, thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed it.

Alexander James Guckenberger from Maryland, United States of America on December 16, 2018:

There are more kinds of bee coins than I had expected.

Chris Andrews (author) from Ohio on September 04, 2018:

I find it interesting, but I am a bee geek. Glad you enjoyed it.

RTalloni on September 04, 2018:

Yes, who knew?! Thanks for this look at bee coins and some of their history.

Chris Andrews (author) from Ohio on August 02, 2017:

There are more, but it will take me some time to acquire them. Thank you for reading and I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Penny Leigh Sebring from Fort Collins on August 01, 2017:

This is such a fun article! It amazes me how many times bees have been depicted on coins, I never knew.

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