Page 198 - Dutch Asiatic Shipping Volume 1
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 ment went in 1653. Butnot until 1723 did the dispatch get into full swing. In that year the Amsterdam chamber sent a cargo of Dutch duiten valued at fl 3,000. In the Republic the duit was worth 1/8 stuiver, but because of the different ratio in the value of copper and silver in Asia the Hoge Regering made duiten current, at a rate oflk stuiver. Thus it became attractive for every voyager to smuggle a fair amount of duiten to Asia. Soon the duiten were removed from circulation; a remainder was even sent back to the Republic. Henceforth only duiten with the VOC mark were shipped to Asia: Dutch mints made them specially for the Company.1 7
Thus the mints in the Republic formed an important export industry for Asia. Because of the large amounts of small change in circulation they were not allowed to mint coins for the Republic itself. Consequently nearly all their coinage of stuivers, dubbeltjes and schellingen was destined for the VOC. Between 1700 and 1794 for instance more than 38 million schellingen were struck, which all disappeared in Company coffers to Asia.1 8 The same applied to the ducatoons, but the production of these was higher than demand and shipping by the VOC. Thus many ducatoons were smuggled into Asia. One proof of this is the fact that 13,000 guilders' worth of ducatoons was salvaged from the HILLEGOM (3016), which was wrecked in 1736 off Texel and had officially no cash on board. They were packed in tin boxes and addressed to inhabitants of Batavia.1 9 As with the copper duiten the difference in exchange rate between Asia and the Republic made smuggling lucrative. This difference in exchange rate, arisen around 1660, was a constant source of misunderstanding, confusion and malversation.
Glamann has clearly exposed the causes of this difference in exchange rate. The small silver sent to Asia in the first half of the seventeenth century often consisted of poor, worn coins. In Batavia these were exchanged for sound, large silver coins which then disappeared from circulation. T o counteract this practice Batavia tried to give the large coins a higher value: the real and the rijksdaalder were now worth 50 or 60 stuivers instead of 48. A t first the directors at home protested against this change in rate, but in 1656 they agreed on condition that the value of the small silver coins was also adjusted: the stuiver was to be current in Batavia at Vh stuiver. Thus the Hoge Regering's intention was over- ridden: the distance between the small and large silver coins remained the same. The confusion became enormous. The VOC kept its accounts in guilders. There were now two kinds of money indicated by exactly the same units of reckoning. To tell them apart eventually the terms 'light' money for Asia and 'heavy' money for the Republic were introduced: one guilder of 'heavy' money was equivalent to one guilder twenty-five of 'light' money, and this again was equivalent to twenty silver stuiver pieces. This new valuation was intended in the first place for the money circulation in Batavia and does not appear to have had any consequences for the other factories. Later however it became customary to convert the complete cargo of currency and trade goods on arrival from the Republic into light money. The ducatoons posed an additional problem. Attempts were made to keep this coin of high silver content in circulation by giving it in Asia a higher value vis à vis the stuiver than in the Republic. The Heren Zeventien did not easily accept this, so that the rate was in constant fluctuation. Nevertheless it remained profitable for a long time to take ducatoons to Asia, exchange them at a Company office at a high rate
17 ARA, VOC 163, res. Heren 17, 17.7 and 13.9.1725; according to Coolhaas, Generale Missiven Vili, 66, in 1725 288,048 duiten were returned to the Republic.
18 Van der Wiel, 'De scheepjesschellingen van Zeeland', 98.
19 ARA, VOC 7151, Journaal opperboekhouder A'dam, f. 1165.

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