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The spesmilo (pronunciation: [spesˈmilo]; plural: spesmiloj[4]; sign: ₷) was a decimal international currency, proposed in 1907 by Swiss Esperantist René de Saussure. It was used before World War I by a handful of Esperantist British and Swiss banks, including the Ĉekbanko esperantista.[1][2]

The currency was subdivided into 1000 spesoj (singular speso; from Latin spes, "hope"), and was purposely made very small to avoid fractions. The word "spesmilo" is a portmanteau of speso and milo (Esperanto for "thousand").[1][5]


The spesmilo had a value equal to 0.733 grams of gold, which at the time was about half a United States dollar, two British shillings, one Russian ruble, or 2½ Swiss francs. On March 31, 2012, that quantity of gold would be worth US$39[6], £25 GBP[7], 1153 rubles[8], and 35½ Swiss francs.[9]


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The spesmilo sign, called the Spesmilsigno in Esperanto, is a monogram of a cursive capital "S", from the tail of which emerges an "m". The sign is often typeset as the separate letters Sm. The spesmilsigno has been assigned the Unicode codepoint U+20B7 (HTML: ₷) and is included in Unicode version 5.2.[1]


In 1912, 1 and 2 spesmilo coins were minted by the Swiss firm Holy Frères. These were intended to be sold at the 1913 International Esperanto Conference in Bern. It is possible that the coins saw limited circulation, even though they were not intended for general use. Three patterns are believed to have been produced but never minted, with denominations of one spesdeko (10 spesoj), spescento (100 spesoj), and spesdekmilo (10,000 spesoj).[3]


In 1927, Dreves Uitterdjik and J. Hengel founded the Universal Spesmila Bank (Universala Spesmila Banko), in an attempt to reintroduce the currency. The bank issued several gold-backed spesmilo notes, to little avail.[3]

See also[]

  • Esperantism and money
  • Mono
  • Stelo


1912 double eagle obv Currency Wiki has 2 images related to the spesmilo.
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Coins 1₷2₷50₷
Banknotes ½₷1₷2₷5₷10₷
Miscellaneous Ĉekbanko esperantistaHoly FrèresUniversal Spesmilo Bank