by J. Robertson Miller 2023
Panamá City is a happening place. This time we went to the Numismatic Society Show held at the Sheraton Hotel. It was well attended.
Displays of gold and silver coins, commemorative coins, stamp collections, gold artifacts, and misprinted dollar bills, all in locked cases and under the watchful eyes of club members and coin sellers.
In the back of the room was a table depicting Star Wars scenes. Another table showed the work of a model aircraft club, all had information cards.
You could buy coins or collectible items or talk to the sellers. Rows of easels held display boards, each with a theme such as autographs, Halley’s Comet memorabilia, historical photographs and many more items.
Professor Danae from our school, presented the Numismatic founder, Nicholas Liakópulos, with a copy of her book of short stories. Some of these stories are based on her experiences of Greece, the country of Mr. Liakópulos’ father.
After the show, as we ate dinner in the restaurant, Danae told us about the Arras de Boda:
During the ceremony the groom presents the bride with 13 coins. She holds out her hands to receive them then puts them into a small bag that she carries specifically for the purpose.
With this symbolic act, he shows he is the breadwinner and that he trusts her to manage the money. The coins symbolize prosperity.
The coins are called “arras” or “arras de boda” and traditionally consist of 12 small gold coins and one of platinum, all of the same size. Boda is the Spanish word for wedding.
Later she makes bracelet of two wires with the coins welded between them. Drilling holes in the coins is considered bad luck. This bracelet usually is inherited by the oldest daughter.
About the middle of the 20th century, this tradition went out of fashion.
The Numismatic Society and many other associations of people who share common interests continue to reach out to the public like this, to inform, entertain and to invite like-minded individuals to join.