The modern guilder became the monetary unit for the Netherlands in 1816 with the fall of the Napoleonic empire. The coins were among the first to bear an inscription on the rim. This was to stop people from shaving down the coin to pocket some of the valuable precious metals for themselves.
World War II saw a battle for the currency. The occupying Nazi administration abolished the silver guilder and ordered all the old coins to be handed in for transfer to Germany. But the Dutch Government in exile launched a counter-appeal by radio from London promising that old Dutch coins will still be valid after the war. Few people gave up their coins to the Germans.
Nonetheless the exiled government realised there would be a currency shortfall after the war and arranged for more than 560 million silver coins to be minted in the United States. These were shipped to the UK and then distributed in the Netherlands by the allied forces on liberation. But the project was not a success. People hoarded the coins and melted down the silver so there was soon not enough currency in circulation. In 1948 the silver was made obsolete and substituted for nickel coins.
Support for the euro in the Netherlands is a comfortable 66%, helped perhaps by the presence of a Dutchman, Wim Duisenberg, at the head of the European Central Bank. The coins will bear the image of Queen Beatrix.
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