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Ducats

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Ducats

The ducat /ˈdʌkət/ was a gold or silver coin that was used as a trade coin in Europe from the later medieval centuries onwards, until as late as the 20th century. There have been many types of ducats of various metallic content and purchasing power throughout history.

History

The word ducat is from Medieval Latin ducatus = "relating to a duke (or dukedom)", and initially meant "duke's coin" or a "duchy's coin".[1]

The first issue of this type of coin is thought to have been under king Venetian, as Venice was where the trade of the world at this period was concentrated. Ducats did not become popular in Germany until a later date.

The Golden Bull of Charles IV gave to all members of the empire the privilege of issuing gold coins with any stamp they chose, but only gold guilders, equivalent to the florin.

Ducats became a standard gold coin throughout Europe, especially after they were officially imperially sanctioned in 1566. The ducat remained sanctioned until 1857. There was also a silver ducat minted in many European nations. The Royal Dutch Mint still issues silver ducats with a weight of 28.25 grams.

The most common type of ducat were the old Dutch ducats, bearing the impression of an armed figure, which gave way, for a short time only, to the figure of Louis II of Flanders. They circulated almost as merchandise, but had been frequently counterfeited in the Grisons. The counterfeits were very good in appearance, weight, and sound.

Around 1913, the gold ducat was worth the equivalent of "nine shillings and four pence sterling, or somewhat more than two dollars. The silver ducat is of about half this value."[2] Even now some national mints produce batches of ducats made after old patterns as bullion gold and banks sell these coins to private investors or collectors.

Ducat mints

Roger II of Sicily
+IC XC RC IN ÆTRN, nimbate bust of Christ facing, holding Gospels R•R SLS, King Roger and, R•DX•AP, Duke Roger (son of Roger) standing facing, holding long cross between them; AN R X along staff of cross.
AG: scyphate ducalis or ducatum

References

External links

  • Ducat Restrike
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