Dictionary of the Coins
of the World

 

This is an ongoing work (one of those never-ending projects) consisting of a compilation of all known names used for coins from the ancient times to the present. Where possible, a description of coins of that name is given, as well as the most likely origin of the name, including translations. In many cases, links are made to pages which will show various examples of that denomination. Obviously, the images not all-inclusive but hopefully will give the user an idea of what some of the coin denominations looked like and how coins of the same name differ from country to country and through time.

F

Fals - An Arabic copper coin.

{From Arabic fals from Late Greek phollis a small coin, from Late Latin follis moneybag, bellows, leather.}

[Caliphates, Iraq]

Falus - Plural of fals.

[India-Mughal, India-Independent Kingdom, Mesopotamia]

Fan - Variant form of fen.

Fanam - A gold or silver coin of southern India.  A silver coin of Travencore worth 1/8 rupee issued until Indian independence in 1947.

{Probably modification of Tamil panam, probably from Sanskrit pana bet, reward, or wealth.}

[India-Dutch, India-Independent Kingdom, Indian States-Tranvencore]

Fannam -

Farthing - A small silver and later copper coin valued at one-fourth of a penny.

In 1279, Edward I (ruled 1272-1307) initiated a coinage reform throughout England.  Prior to 1279, the only coin in circulation had been the penny.  The reform introduced three more denominations.  These were the groat (valued at four pennies), the halfpenny, and the farthing.

The farthing was small (only 10 millimeters in diameter) and very light (it weighed slightly more than 0.4 gram).  The types and designs were identical to the pennyCin a sense, the halfpenny and farthing were simply miniatures of the penny.  The obverse has the facing portrait of the king surrounded by a Latin legend proclaiming him king of England, France and Hibernia (Ireland).  The portrait itself changed very little from reign to reign, so to the inexperienced person, it tells nothing as to who the ruler is.  The reverse has a long cross dividing the coin into four quarters.  In each of the four angles of the cross there are three pellets.  An inscription in Latin encircles the cross, giving the name of the minting city.

The farthing was minted in virtually unchanged form (with the exceptions of slight modifications of the portrait and the changing of the rulers name) until the time of Henry VIII (ruled 1509-1547).  The size remained the same, but by now, the weight was just under 0.25 gram.  During the reign of Edward VI (ruled 1547-1553) a limited number of farthings were struck.  These were under 9 millimeters in diameter and now of base issue.

Coinage of the farthing ceased for almost three-quarters of a century.  It was resumed under James I (ruled 1603-1625) but by know it had lost all silver content and was struck entirely in copper.  Its diameter varied between 13 and 17 millimeters.  The obverse bore a crown and two scepters and the reverse featured a crowned harp.

During the commonwealth (1649-1660) the farthing took on a new appearance.  The obverse now portrayed the ruler in profile form and the reverse had a crowned shield.  (After the commonwealth, the reverse type was changed to that of Britannia seated on a rock with the date at her feet).  The diameter was now between 23 and 25 millimeters.  This farthing was minted until 1859 when, during the reign of Victoria (ruled 1837-1901), the diameter was reduced to 20 millimeters.  The types, however remained the same.

In 1947 George VI (ruled 1936-1952) instituted a coinage reform that ended the minting of silver coins in favor of those of cupro-nickel.  The farthing had been changed ten years prior to that, in 1937.  In that year, the Britannia type, which had graced the reverse of all British copper pieces since 1672, was abandoned in favor of that of a wren.

Britain adopted the decimal coinage system in 1971, but the low value of the farthing had caused the cessation of its minting in 1956.

{From Old English feortha a fourth part.}

[England, Great Britain, Ireland, Jamaica, South Africa, Sri Lanka]

Félins - A coin worth 1/640 marc.

Fels - Variant form of fals

Fen - Variant form of candareen.  An aluminum coin and monetary unit of the People's Republic of China.  It is the hundredth part of a yuan and the tenth part of a jiao.

{From Chinese (Pekingese) fęiFen to divide.}

[China]

Fenig - [Poland]

Fenigow - [Poland]

Ferrandino - Also ferandino.  A double denomination as both silver and gold coins were issued by that name.  They were issues of Ferdinand I of Naples (1458-1494).

{From Italian Ferrandino Ferdinand (I of Naples).}

[Italian States-Naples]

Fettmännnchen - A six- or eight-heller piece used on the Lower Rhine during the 17th century.

{From German fett fat + männ man + chen little fellow.  Little fat man???}

[German States]

Fewreysen -

Filippo - A silver coin equal to 100 soldi.

[Italian States]

Filler - A Hungarian coin worth 1/100 krona before 1925, 1/100 pengö from 1925 to 1946, and 1/100 forint from 1946 on.

{From Hungarian fillér from Middle High German vierer type of coin, equivalent to vier four + er er; a fourer piece (piece of four).}

[Hungary]

Fillers - Plural of filler.

Fils - A coin and monetary unit of Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, and the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen, equal to the hundreth part of a dinar.  Also, a bronze coin of the United Arab Emirates equal to the hundredth part of a dirham.  Also, an aluminum coin and monetary unit of the Yemen Arab Republic equal to the hundredth part of a riyal.

{From Arabic fils fals from Late Greek phollis a small coin, from Late Latin follis money bag.  See folles.}

[Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Yemen]

Finkenaugen - A very debased version of the brandenburg denar struck in Pomerania during the 14th century.  This coin had almost no silver in it.

[Holy Roman Empire]

Fiorino - [Italian States-Messerano]

Flindrich - [German States]

Flippi - Plural of flippo.

Flippo - [Italian States]

Flitter - A small 17th century copper coin minted in the German States of Brunswick, Mansfeld, Lippe, Hohnstein, Einbeck, etc. It's value varied from state to state but was usually equivalent to half a pfennig. In parts of Brunswick it was worth as much as two pfennig whereas in states like Mansfeld and Lippe it was equivalent to one pfennig.

{From German flitter glitter, sparkling sequins.}

[German States-Brunswick, German States-Lippe, German States-Hohnstein, German States-Einbeck, German States-Mansfeld]

Florin - Originally a gold piece of Florence, Italy, first coined in 1253 as the equivalent of 240 silver denarii.  As the denaro shrank in value, the florin rose by comparison.  By the 14th century the gold florin had become well established in Germany where it was know as the gulden or goldgulden.

An English gold coin first minted in 1344 equal to 6 shillings and weighing 108 grains.

Also the name of a silver coin worth two shillings minted in Great Britain and her colonies. 

[Aruba, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, East Africa, Fiji Islands, French States, Great Britain, Ireland, Italian States-Florence, Malawi, Netherlands, New Zealand, Reckheim, South Africa, Switzerland-Catons]

Florin d'or - [Liege, French States, Italian States, Netherlands, S'Heerenberg]

Florino - [Italian States]

Forint - [Hungary]

Follari - Plural of follaro.

Follaro - [Italian States-Sicily and others]

Folles - Plural of follis.

Follis - A coin introduced during the monetary reforms of Diocletian in 296.  It was of bronze with a light wash of silver.  It was discontinued in about 325.  Also the name of a bronze coin used in the Byzantine Empire.

{From Late Latin from Latin follis bag.}

[Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire]

Fort d'or - A gold coin of Aquitaine struck under Charles (1468-1474).  The obverse shows Charles standing with a leopard, and the reverse has the arms on a cross.

Forte - A Portuguese word meaning strong or solid and used in a sense of fineness to denote certain coins of Ferdinand I (1367-1383).  It actually is not a coin denomination, as it was used only to distiguish coins of good silver content from those of baser metal.

{From Portuguese forte strong or solid.}

[Portugal]

Franc - An old French gold coin first struck in 1360.  An old French silver coin issued from 1575 to 1641.  The basic monetary unit established in modern France during the Revolution.

{From Middle English from Middle French franc from Middle Latin Francus Frenchman in Francorum Rex, King of the Franks, the legend on the 14th century francs.}

Former monetary unit of Albania.

{From Albanian frëngë from French franc franc.}

A monetary unit of Morocco equal to one-hundreth of a dirham.

[Albania, Austria, Avignon, Belgium, France, French States, Katanga, Luxembourg, Monaco, Morocco, Somalia, Sweden, Switzerland-Cantons, Switzerland, Tunisia, West African States, Yugoslavia, Zaire]

Franc ŕ Cheval - A gold coin valued at 20 sou issued by Jean II to commemorate his release from captivity in England after the Battle of Poitiers.  The obverse featured a knight on a horse, and the obverse a floriated cross in a quatrefoil.

{From French franc franc + cheval knight.}

[France]

Franc ŕ Pied - A gold coin of Flanders, struck under Louis de Male (1346-1384).  The obverse has the ruler standing, and the reverse show a floriated cross in a quatrefoil.

{From French franc franc + pied feet (on feet or standing).}

Francescone - Silver coin of Tuscany, issued after 1737 when Tuscany was under the Austrian Hapsburgs.  It had a value of 10 paoli.

[Austro-Hungarian]

Franchi - [Switzerland-Cantons]

Franco - [Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Switzerland-Cantons]

Frang - [Luxembourg]

Frang Ar - [Albania]

Franga Ari

Frank - [German States, Switzerland-Cantons]

Franken - [Belgium, Saarland (Germany-West), Switzerland-Cantons, Switzerland]

Freidrich d'Or - The Prussian pistole or 5-thaler piece, struck from 1750 to 1855.  Its original fine gold weight was 1/35 mark or 6.68 grams.  Although the gold content shrank to 6.03 grams after 1770, the freidrich d'or became equivalent to 5 2/3 silver thalers through simultaneous debasement of the subsidiary coinage.

[Holy Roman Empire]

Friesacher Pfennig - A denar struck by the archbishops of Salzburg at their mint of Friesach in Carinthia from about 1125 to 1300.  Because of its fine silver content, this coin was widely copied by the neighboring rulers.

{From German Friesach Friesach + er [a coin] of, referring to the place the coin was minted.}

[Austrian??]

Fuang - [Thailand]

Fuenfer - Piece of 5 (pfennig, kreuzers, or groschen).  Also 15th century Swiss bracteate  worth 5 hallers.

{From German fuenfer fiver.}

[German States, Switzerland-Cantons]

Fueng - [Thailand]

Fun - Japanese unit of weight equal to 1/10 momme which is about 0.375 grams or 5.79 grains.

[Japan, Korea]

Furstengroschen -

{From German fürsten prince's + groschen groschen a prince's groschen}

[German States]

Fyrk - The Swedish half ortug, produced under Sten Sture the Elder (1470-1479)

[Sweden]

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