Original Viking Axe from Staraya Ladoga

From Wikipedia:

Staraya Ladoga was founded in 753.[4] Until 950, it was one of the most important trading ports of Eastern Europe. Merchant vessels sailed from the Baltic Sea through Ladoga to Novgorod and then to Constantinople or the Caspian Sea. This route is known as the trade route from the Varangians to the Greeks. An alternative way led down the Volga River along the Volga trade route to the Khazar capital of Atil, and then to the southern shores of the Caspian Sea, all the way to Baghdad. Tellingly, the oldest Arabian Middle Age coin in Europe was unearthed in Ladoga.

The original inhabitants of the settlement were Norsemen. The original Finnish name, Alode-joki (i.e., “lowland river”), was rendered as Aldeigja in Norse language and later as Ladoga in Old East Slavic. Staraya is Russian for “Old”.

Here is a modern day picture: staraya-ladoga-russia-5

Here it the location marked in red on a modern map:

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Civil War Tokens

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The private sector had a partial solution in creating tokens that were similar in size to pennies. Here is one interesting example.

On the West Coast, miners had the ears of the legislators and paper money was not to be found from San Francisco to Alaska.

Travelers headed East could trade their gold, silver, and copper for paper currency and often did at a better exchange rate than face value.

Because of the daily use of copper, silver, and gold coins minted in San Francisco, S mint marked coins are often harder to find in uncirculated condition than those produced in Philadelphia.

Mark Hutto