In 1907, Swiss Esperantist and Mathematician René de Saussure proposed the Speso, or more commonly known as its multiple Spesmilo (1000 Spesoj, ₷), a gold backed international currency in line with the Esperanto creator Ludwik Lejzer Zamenhof’s aspiration of a peaceful world without barriers. The currency found use in several banks, notably the Ĉekbanko Esperantista that proposed practical and inexpensive transactions to clients over 43 countries.

1 Spesmilo was backed by 0.8 g of 22 Karat Gold (1112 = ~91,7% or 0.733 g pure), worth 0.5 American Dollars or 2.5 Swiss Francs at the time, much more nowadays. The currency was exchanged via checks rather than coins or bills. But in 1912, coins of 1 and 2 Spesmilo(j) were minted by the Swiss Holy Frères to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Esperanto.

The promising project was unfortunately cut short by the First World War. Soon after World War 2, a similar project was started, the Stelo.

Zamenhof has said, "Fremda spesmilo estas sen utilo.", meaning that foreign currencies are useless (try to pay with Euros in the USA or USD in Europe in common stores). Though we can easily convert currencies nowadays, the world would be better if we never had to do it at the first place and pay all kinds of conversion fees and market spreads.


Both 1 and 2 Spesmilo(j) Coins are extremely rare nowadays, though their actual mintage is unknown.

We are not aware of a reference providing the actual coins' chracteristics, so we measured our own 1 ₷ specimen and guessed for the 2 ₷, assuming that it has similar characteristics of a standard 5 Franc coin of the time.

We are actively looking for the 2 Spesmiloj Coin, so let us know if you are aware of any that might be for sale! We also have a spare 1 Spesmilo for trading. We are also interested in getting a 1 Spesmilo Coin in better condition!

Pictures Denomination Diameter Thickness, Edge Mass Alloy Mintage
1 Spesmilo Coin 1 Spesmilo 30.0 mm 1.9 mm, Milled 12.6 g Silver 917 (1112 Ag, 112 Cu) Unknown
2 Spesmiloj Probably 37-38 mm Probably 2-2.5 mm, Milled Probably about 25 g Silver 917 (1112 Ag, 112 Cu) Unknown

There were plans to mint gold 10 Spesmiloj Coins, but they never saw the light of the day. There was also a unique 50 Spesmiloj Coin gifted to the Esperanto Creator Ludwik Lejzer Zamenhof during the 1913 Esperanto Universal Congress. Who knows what this coin became since then...