Micronations (Part II)

The second part of a two part article discussing the micronations within the United States and throughout the world.

In September I wrote about micronations within the United States and how their small size and general lack of recognition didn’t stop them from printing their own currency. While there are several micronations throughout the history of the US, it does not have a monopoly on them. Dozens of micronations have sprung up all over the world, each one more ridiculous than the last. Concluding my series on micronations, I’d like to discuss some of the more interesting micronations outside the US.

Empire of Atlantium

The Empire of Atlantium was founded in 1981 by three teenagers George Cruikshank, Geoffrey Duggan and Claire Coulter. The geographical history of Atlantium is somewhat complex with the three founders declaring sovereignty in a tiny ten square meter area in Sydney, Australia. Later a new area, Cruikshank’s apartment in a suburb of Sydney, was incorporated. Finally, a .29 square mile piece of land was purchased that became the “global administrative capital, ceremonial focal point and spiritual homeland” according to Atlantium’s website. It operates as “a secular, pluralistic, liberal, social democratic republican monarchy” and allows people from any country to become citizens of their empire. Atlantium claims a population of over three thousand, however almost all of those are people who registered over the Internet and still live in their original nations.

Atlantium prints banknotes and mints coins and they are available to purchase on their website. Their currency, the Imperial Solidi, is pegged to the US dollar and is available in denominations of ten, twenty-five, fifty and one hundred Solidis. All Solidis have the same design, shown below. On the front (top image) there is an imperial eagle and medal of the Great Georgian Order. On the back (bottom image) is Atlantium’s founder Emperor George Cruikshank II. Security features include microtext and latent images. Despite its surprisingly normal looking currency and functioning website, Atlantium seems to have stagnated with no significant population gain and a lack of forum traffic.

Kingdom of Lovely

The Kingdom of Lovely was established on January 1, 2005 in the apartment of Danny Wallace in London, England. At first, Wallace (pictured right) tried annexing Eel Pie Island on the River Thames, but was turned away by those living close by. After consulting the leaders of other micronations, such as Sealand, Wallace had decided to stick with ruling over his own apartment.

The country exists mostly on the Internet and has very little physical presence. People can become citizens online and are encouraged to make embassies out of their own homes. To date there are over fifty-eight thousand “citizens.” In homage to its online-based existence, the coat of arms of Lovely is a pixilated picture, as seen in the image to the left. Their motto is Latin for “Have a nice day.” The currency of Lovely is rather interesting. Called an Interdependent Occupational Unit, or IOU, they are based on the phrase “time is money.” For example, five IOUs are equal to five minutes of someone’s time. Like most micronations, the Kingdom of Lovely was created with a certain lack of seriousness and is seen as a satire on the recent escalation in the number of micronations.

Most, if not all micronations will undoubtedly fade after their founders die or get bored with the idea. However, they often represent the more humorous side of human ingenuity and perseverance. As long as there are people with a strong sense of independence, there will be those who will seek to rule themselves, despite total lack of recognition. As long as they remain harmless, and provide us with some entertaining numismatic fodder, who are we to judge?

Sources:

PMG is an independent member of the Certified Collectibles Group (CCG).


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