The Dutch East India Company or the ‘Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie’ (VOC) was a chartered company that carried out colonial trade operations in Asia for two centuries. It was established on 20th March 1602.
Following the example of the English East India Company that was set up in 1600, the Dutch government pushed for the installation of the ‘United East India Company’ (VOC). Like its English counterpart, the Dutch firm was granted the monopoly over trade in Asia. According to the new firm’s charter, it could build forts, sign treaties with rulers in Asia, and retain armed forces.
During the 200 years of its existence, VOC issued large quantities of varied coins minted in bronze, silver, gold and pewter. The most common denominations of their coins were guilders, ducatoon, stiver, doit and half doit. These coins were minted in local areas of the Netherlands such as Holland, Utrecht, Zeeland, Gelderland and Overijssel.
Countermarks seen on these coins are stamped by the company or by the local individual. They also struck coins in the trading station but coins in bulk quantity were shipped from the Netherlands.
Image Courtesy: Classical Numismatic Gallery