La Ĉeko Estas en Poŝto

Herbert F. Hoveler

The Cekbanko Esperantista was a bank established in London in 1907 by Herbert F. Hoveler. Hoveler was a German industrial chemist and a proponent of Esperanto. The bank name translates as Esperantist Checking Bank.

Rene de Saussure

The unit of currency used by the Cekbanko was the spesmilo. The spesmilo was developed as a universal currency by Rene de Saussure, a Swiss mathematician and linguist. One spesmilo was made up of 1,000 speso. Its value was pegged at 0.8 grams of 22 karat gold. It was the equivalent of approximately fifty US cents or two shillings. One and two spesmilo tokens were minted in 1912.

File:Spesmilo sign.svg
The symbol for the spesmilo.

Esperantists adopted the spesmilo for transactional use and Esperanto publications quoted prices in the currency. At its height, the Cekbanko had 730 accounts in 320 cities in 43 countries. WWI and Hoveler’s death in 1917 brought an end to the Cekbanko.

This check was printed for use by La Cekbanko Esperantista. It carries a one penny English revenue stamp dated April 12, 1913 which was required on all checks in use in England. The main text is entirely in Esperanto with English explanatory notes at the bottom. The amount of the check was to be written in both spesmilo and l/s/d in order to clear through the English banking system.

It was printed by Waterlow & Sons of London, a noted banknote printer.

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