Netherlands, Leiden Besieged by the Spaniards, Guilder 1574

From 1573 to 1574, the Spaniards besieged the city of Leiden in the Netherlands. The inhabitants of Leiden used manuscript and cardboard covers of old church books to punch their coins. There were two denominations issued: quarter guilders (= 5 stuivers) and guilders (= 20 stuivers). Then they were stamped with the symbols of the city – a standing lion wearing a liberty cap. Soon, however, counterfeits of these paper coins came into circulation. The city council of Leiden therefore decided to have all the authentic coins countermarked with a little lion punch – as can be seen on the upper left of the obverse of this coin.