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Dictionary of the Coins of the World [P]

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.


Pa'anga - A paper money, cupronickel coin, and monetary unit of Tonga equal to 100 seniti.

{1965-1970: From Tongan pa'anga originally, a kind of vine producing large, reddish, disk-shaped seeds.  Also, a seed of that vine.}


Pacifico - A gold ducat piece struck in Catalonia from 1464 to 1472.  It was minted under Pedro I (1464-1467) of Portugal and Rene (1466-1472) of Anjou.

[Spanish States-Catalonia]

Pagoda - Plural pagodoes, pagodas.  Any of several former gold or silver coins of southern India, usually bearing a figure of such a temple, first issued in the late 16th century and later also by British, French, and Dutch traders.  It was of the value of about seven shillings.

{1625-1635: From Portuguese pagode temple, ultimately from Persian butkada (but idol + kada temple, dwelling.}


Pahlavi - A former gold coin of Iran, equal to 20 rials.  Also pahlevi.


Pai - An obsolete form of pay, from pie, an Indian copper coin.

[India, Siam, Thailand]

Paisa - Plural paise.  Also pice.  An aluminum coin and monetary unit, the 100th part of the rupee of India, Nepal and Pakistan.  Another name for the poisha.

[Afghanistan, India, Nepal, Pakistan]

Pan Liang -

Pa-nying Tang-ka - The Tibetan name for the ang-tuk.

Panterino - Copper coin of Lucca struck in the late 17th Century.

[Italian States-Lucca]

Paola - [Italian States]

Paolo - A coin so called after Pope Paul.  An obsolete Italian silver coin worth about five pence sterling.

{From Italian Paolo, from Latin Paulus Paul}


Para - Also parrah, perau.  A small Turkish copper coin, valued at the fortieth part of a piastre.  In the 17th and 18th century, it was struck in silver, but after in copper.  It sunk by successive depreciations till its value in 1900 was about one-twentieth of a penny.

{1680-1690: From Turkish (Persian) p~rah piece, portion, morsel, money; the small coin so called.  In French para.}

Also, an aluminum bronze coin and monetary unit of Yugoslavia, the 100th part of a dinar.

{1905-1910: From Serbo Croatian para from Turkish from Persian para a piece.}

[Egypt, Greece, Iraq, Libya, Nejd, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, Yugoslavia]

Pare - [Yugoslavia]

Parisis d'or - A gold coin of France, struck under Philip VI (1328-1350).  It shows the king seated facing on a gothic throne on the obverse, and a floriated cross in a quatrefoil on the reverse.


Parpagliola - At the time of the first French conquest of Milan in the 15th Century, was coined a money of mistura valued at 22 soldi or c lira that took its name from french pa[r?]paillole.  There was also a half.  The name came to be given to coins of other places which also were of small value.

Parpaillot - The Swiss kreuzer = 3/4 sol (schilling) in the 17th century.


Parpaiola - Variant form of parpagliola.

Parpogliola - A piece of 2 1/2 soldi struck in Austrian Italy during the 18th century.  Struck in Bozzolo of 1.78 grams billion in the 17th Century.  It had crowned arms on the obverse and a woman with a vase on the reverse.

[Italian States-Bozzolo]

Parvus -


Pataca - A nickle, silver or cupronickel coin and monetary unit of Macao, equal to 100 avos.

{1575-1585: From Portuguese ultimately from Arabic abu taqah a kind of coin. See butaca.}


Patacao - [India-Portuguese]


Patacchi - [Monaco]

Pataco - [Portugal]

Patacoon - Obsolete.  Also patachine, patagon, pattacconeA Portuguese and Spanish silver coin, worth in the 17th century about 4s 8d English.  It was also worth about 6 tangas.

{From Spanish patacon, in Italian, pataccone, also patacchina, from Portuguese patacão, augment of pataca piece of eight, dollar.  See pataca.}

Patagon - A variant name for the albertusthaler.  Generally valued at 50 Dutch stuebers in later years.

[Belgium, German States, Liege]

Patard - A local name in Spanish and Austrian Netherlands in the early 16th to the late 18th centuries for the sol.  It was equal to 4 liards or about 1 Dutch stuiver.





Peca - A gold coin of Portugal struck under Maria I and Peter III.


Pence - [Australia, Biafra, British Guiana, British West Africa, Ceylon, Fiji Islands, Great Britain, Guernsey, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, Jersey, Malawi, New Guinea, New Zealand, Nigeria, Rhodesia and Nyasaland, South Africa, Southern Rhodesia, Sri Lanka, Zambia, Zimbabwe]

Pengö - Plural pengö, pengös.  A former silver coin and monetary unit of Hungary, equal to 100 filler.  It was replaced by the forint in 1946.

{1925-1930: From Hungarian pengö sounding.  Present participle of pengeni to sound or jingle.}


Penni - [Finland]

Pennia - [Finland]

Penning - Dutch form of the denier or pfennig.

Penny - [Australia, British West Africa, Canada, England, Fiji Islands, Great Britain, Guernsey, Ireland, Jamaica, Jersey, Malawi, New Guinea, New Zealand, Nigeria, Rhodesia and Nyasaland, South Africa, Southern Rhodesia, Zambia, Zimbabwe]

Pepion - A billion coin first issued by Ferdinand III (1230-1252) of Castile and Leon.  It was last struck by Alfonso X (1252-1284).  Eighteen pepiones equaled one meticalCten meticals equaled one maravedi.


Perner - Variant form of the berner.

Perper - [Yugoslavia-Montenegro]

Perpera - [Yugoslavia-Montenegro]

Perpero - [Yugoslavia-Montenegro]

Pesa -   [German East Africa (Tanzania)]

Peseta - Plural pesetas.  A bronze coin and monetary unit of Spain and Spanish territories equal to 100 centimos.  Abbr. P, Pta, ..  A former silver coin of Spain and Spanish America, equal to 2 reales; pistareen?.  A former monetary unit of Equatorial Guinea replaced by the ekuele in 1973.

{1805-1815: From Spanish peseta diminutive of pesa weight.}

[Peru, Spain]

Pesewa - Plural pesewa, pesewas.  A bronze coin and monetary unit of Ghana, the 100th part of a cedi.

Peso - [Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Domincan Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Mexico, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Uruguay, Venezuela]

Peso Boliviano - Plural pesos bolivianosA nickel-clad steel coin, paper money and monetary unit of Bolivia, equal to 100 centavos; replaced the boliviano in 1963.

{From Spanish peso boliviano Bolivian peso.}


Petard - Variant form of patard.

Peter d'or - A gold coin of the Brabant, struck by Joan and Wenceslas (1355-1383) showing the bust of Saint Peter.  It was also struck under Philip the Good (1430-1467).

{From ?? Peter Peter + d'or of gold.}

Petermachen - Variant form of petermenger.

Petermännchen - Variant form of petermachen.

{From German Peter Peter männchen diminutive of man; little man.}

Petermenger - A small silver coin (0.75 gram and about 18 millimeters in diameter) showing St Peter with a key.  It was coined at Trier during the 17th and 18th centuries.  This was the debased albus of Trier, worth 1/3 batzen.

[German States-Trier]

Petit Royal d'or - A gold coin of France, struck under Philip IV (1285-1314).  The obverse shows the king seated, and the reverse has a floriated cross.


Pezza d'oro della Rosa - Another name for the doppia struck in Livorno from 1717 to 1721.  The obverse has arms and the reverse a rose bush.

{From Italian pezza piece + d'oro of gold della of the rosa rose.}

[Italian States-Livorno]

Pezza della Rosa - [Italian States]

Pfennig - The German denar.  Originally, it was a small silver coin which, through inflation, sank to quite small dimensions and was debased to billion.  In the 16th and 17th centuries it began to appear in copper.  Copper completely supplanted the billion by the time of Napoleon.  In 1871 the pfennig was adopted as the hundredth part of the mark in the new German monetary system.  Some pfennig relationships are: 1 pfennig = 2 heller; 4 pfennig = 1 kreuzer; 8 pfennig = 1 mariengroschen; 10 pfennig = 1 neugroschen; 12 pfennig = 1 groschen or silbergroschen; 100 pfennig = 1 mark  = 1 gulden.

[Austria, Bohemia, German New Guinea (Papua New Guinea), Germany, Germany-East, Germany-West, Poland, Switzerland-Cantons]

Pfenning - Variant form of pfennig.

pfenninge - [German States]

Pfunder - An Austro-Tyrolian 12-kreuzer piece first struck in 1477.  See dicken.

[German States]

Phoenix - A silver coin of Independent Greece (1821-1832) equal to 100 lepta.  It portrayed a phoenix rising from ashes to symbolize the rebirth of the nation.  It has the date 1821, the year of the revolt against the Ottomans.

{From the mythological bird phoenix.}


Pi - Variant form of pie, (an Indian copper coin)



Piastra - [Ferrara, Vatican Papal States]

Piastre - Also piaster, piastra, piastro, pyasterA name, of Italian origin, for the Spanish peso duro, piece of eight or dollar, and its representatives in Spanish America and other countries.  Also, the English (French, German etc) name (Italian, Spanish piastra) of a small Turkish coin, called in Turkish ghãrãsh, one-hundredth of a Turkish pound, having in Turkey, in 1900, a circulating value of about 2d English, in Egypt about 22d and in Tunis about 6d.

{From French piastre and Italian piastra 'any kind of plate or leafe of mettall'; as applied to a coin, short for piastra d'argento 'plate of silver', applied to the Spanish silver peso, whence also to the Turkish coin derived from it.}

[Cyprus, Egypt, French Cochin China, French Indo-China, Hejaz, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nejd, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tonkin (Vietnam), Tunisia, Turkey, USSR, Vietnam-Annam, Yemen]

Picayune - A name given to the 2 reale.

Picciolo - ? [Order of Malta]

Piccolo - What the denaro came to be called for its dimensions when the first grossi appeared.  Then the denaro disappeared from circulation, the name remained and was applied to the smaller fractions of the current coins.

{From Italian piccolo little}

[Italian States]

Pice - Also pise, peise, peyse, pyce, pyse.  A small East Indian copper coin equal in value to one-fourth of an anna.

{From Hind§ pais~ (in all of the Gaudian languages) a copper coin, the fourth part of an ~n~; supposed by some to be a derivative of p~'i or pa'§ from Sanskrit pad, pad§ quarter}

[Ceylon, East Africa, India-British, India, Kenya, Malaysia, Mombasa, Pakistan]

Pie - Also pi, pai.  The smallest Anglo-Indian copper coin, the 1/12 part of an anna or 1/3 pice.  Before the depreciation of the rupee, it was worth about one-eighth of a penny.  Issued in Pakistan until 1957 and in India until 1942.

{From Hind§, Mai~th§, etc p~'§ from Sanskrit pad, pad§ quarter.  Being 'originally, it would seem, the fourth part of an anna, and in fact identical with the pice (Yule)}

[India-British, Pakistan]

Pierreale - The Sicilian equivalent of the gigliato.

[Italian States-Sicily]

Pieter - A gold coin of Joanna and Wenceslas, Duchess and Duke of Brabant.  The obverse featured Saint Peter facing, holding a key.

{From ?? Pieter Peter.}

'Pilarte - A billion coin of Ferdinand I (1367-1383) of Portugal valued at two dinheiros.  The obverse was a large crown with a mint letter below it, while the reverse type was the traditional five shield cross.  It was struck at several mints.


Pinto - [Portugal]

Pisis -

Piso -    [Philippines]

Pistareen -

Pistole - Also pistol, pistoll.  A name formerly applied to certain foreign gold coins; sometimes synonymous with pistolet.  Especially from c1600, given to a Spanish gold coin worth from 16s 6d to 18s.  It was also applied (after French) to the louis d'or of Louis XIII, issued in 1640, and sometimes to the Scottish 12 pound piece of William III, 1701, equal to one pound English.  Also, the general name for the 5-thaler piece.

{From French pistole, the coin (apparently shortened from pistolet).  The coin was not known by any corresponding name in Spain or Italy.}


Pistolet - [German States, Swiss Cantons]

Pitis - [Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand]

Pitje -

Plack - Also plak.  A small Scottish coin originally of billion, but later of copper, issued by James III c1470, and later monarchs until the Union of the Crowns in 1603.  It was valued at four pennies Scots or one third of an English penny.  Also attributed as of the value of a plack.  It is uncertain what coin, if any is indicated by plack in the 18th Century since it had long ceased to be minted and must have practically disappeared from circulation.

{Scottish National Dictionary: Old Scottish plakk 1473, plack pye, 1679 plack purse, 1686, twa and a plak 1692.  From Flemmish plak, something flat, later applied to a coin of the 14th century (the plak) and later in the Netherlands}


Plak - [Netherlands]

Plaken - groschen minted after 1343 by Metz, Lorraine, Luxembourg, Bar, and other states on the Franco-German border.  Design showed a shield surrounded by three crowns or a cross surrounded by four.

[German States]

Plaphart - Variant form of blaffert.

Plappart - A base silver coin first issued in 1421 at Bern, Lucerne, Freiburg and Zürich.  It was equal to 15 hellers.

[German States-Bern, Lucerne, Freiburg and Zürich]

Plappert - Variant form of blaffert.

Plaquette - A piece of 14 liards in the Austrian Netherlands during the 18th century.


Poisha - Plural poisha.  Also called paisa.  An aluminum coin and monetary unit of Bangladesh, valued at the 100th part of a taka.


Polcher - [Courland]

Polgrosz - A standard coin of Poland during the Middle Ages.  It had a crown on the obverse, giving it it's alternate name of coronat, and the Polish eagle on the reverse.


Polker - [Poland, Riga, Transylvania]

Poltina - A term referring to a piece of 2 ruble struck in the 14th century.  In this case, ruble refers to the word that replaced the grivna.

{From Russian polß  half + tina  genitive of tinß  rouble.  From Russian poltina  probably akin to Latin duplus double and to Greek temnein to cut.}


Poltinnik - Coin worth 2 rouble  or 50 kopecks.

{From Russian poltinnik half-rouble piece from poltina half a rouble from Old Russian polßtina, probably from polß  half + tina  genitive of tinß  rouble.  From Russian poltina  probably akin to Latin duplus double and to Greek temnein to cut.}


Poltura - Polish half groschen, generally of copper.  Also coined in Hungary and Transylvania in the 18th century with a value of 12 kreuzers.

[Hungary, Poland, Transylvania]

Polturak - Variant form of poltura.

Polturen - [Hungary]

Polupoltinnik - A coin of tsarist Russia equal to 3 ruble.

[Tsarist Russia]

Poluposhka - A tsarist coin equal to 1/8 kopeck.

[Tsarist Russia]

Polushka - A Russian coin first equal to 2 denga and later to 3 kopeck.

[Tsarist Russia]


Portugalöeser - German gold coin before 1857, copied from a Portuguese gold piece.  Valued first at 20 ducats and later at 10 ducats.

[German States]

Portugues - A silver coin of Portugal struck by Manuel I (1495-1521).


Pound - [Australia, Biafra, Cyprus, Egypt, Great Britain, Guernsey, Iran, Israel, Jersey, Nigeria, Rhodesia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sudan, Syria]

Principats - A gold ducat struck in Catalonia from the time of Ferdinand II (1479-1516) until Charles and Johanna (1516-1558).

[Spanish States-Catalonia]

Pruta - Variant of prutah.

Prutah - Plural prutoth, prutot.  A former aluminum coin of Israel, the 1000th part of a pound.

{1945-1950: From New Hebrew prãta from Mishnaic Hebrew perutah ultimately from Greek lepton a small coin.}


Pul - Plural puls, puliA coin and monetary unit of Afghanistan, the 100th part of an afghani.

{1925-1930: From Persian from Turkish pul.}


Pula - A cupronickel coin, paper money and monetary unit of Botswana, equal to 100 thebe.  It replaced the rand in 1976.



Pya - An aluminum coin of Burma, the 100th part of a kyat.

{1950-1955: From Burmese prah.}


Pysa - [Zanzibar (Tanzania)]

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