Pictured below is an unusual silver
coin bowl spoon from Haiti
note: there is a US quarter under the bowl to show relative size
This spoon has a 20 centime (20 cents) silver coin bowl dated 1882
which was the second year these coins were made.
The finial is a cutout of the national coat of arms from a second
Haiti does not have a very good reputation at this time.
Most of us think of it as being extremely poor with a large
The fact that they speak French also is a negative.
However, this was not always the case.
An uprising of the imported slaves under the leadership of Toussaint L'
was successful in driving out the French. After a 20 year struggle,
Haiti became the
first independent black country in the world in 1803.
King Christophe created a new monetary unit based upon the
In typical corrupt Haiti style, he confiscated all the gourds and then
required that all
the natives sell him their coffee in exchange for gourds. He then
exported the coffee
to Europe in exchange for hard currency.
The new silver coinage was minted in Paris starting in 1881. This
silver coinage did not
last long and by 1900 the currency of Haiti was paper, nickel and
copper which were
not acceptable to any other country.
The coat of arms shows draped flags, which are located before
a palm tree and cannons on a green lawn. On the lawn various items are
found, such as a drum, a bugle, long guns, and ship anchors. Above the
palm tree, there is a Phrygian cap placed as a symbol of freedom. On
the lawn between the drum and the ribbon there were supposed to be two
pieces of chain with a broken link symbolizing the broken chain of
slavery. Above the palm are the French words "liberte equalite
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