Editor's note: this is the second part of a series by Jeff Starck exploring "coins" of unrecognized states. The feature appears in the August monthly issue of Coin World.
The Kingdom of Bermania is all in fun, and perhaps all in the mind of Connecticut coin dealer Allen Berman.
Visitors to the “kingdom’s” website will learn that Bermania is a small kingdom located in the East Balkans near the Danube River.
“Founded in the days of the Byzantine Empire, it has always been small, is likely to never be anything but small and as far as we are concerned that’s just ducky. This foreign policy has worked very well for San Marino and we suspect it will work well for us,” the site says.
Bermania is the oldest micronation in North America, according to Berman, dating to the 1970s.
"If you ask King Alanus, he will tell you that it was founded 1,300 years ago and in located in Eastern Europe," said Berman.
The most recent census counts 100 Bermanians.
The “kingdom” has a long history, as detailed by Berman, and uses such symbols as a flag, crowns, titles of nobility and trappings of a monarchy. These, naturally, include “coins.”
Check out the rest of the story here:
The first issue was a hand-hammered piece in the style of a medieval coin, struck on a tree stump and having crude lettering and designs. Another piece is celebratory, marking the “royal wedding” of King Alanus I to Queen Barbara of Ulster.
The “coins” — denominated 5 denar plumb — were distributed at the November 1998 wedding. A bear dances with a wolf, symbolic of Allen and his bride. The coin was minted in aluminum, silver and nickel-silver versions.