This week marks exactly 500 years since the minting of the first Joachimsthaler coins, the predecessors of the US dollar. The first thalers or tolars, as they were nicknamed by Czechs, were minted on January 9,1520 in the West Bohemian town of Jáchymov. The popular silver coins soon spread across the Hapsburg Empire and into the New World, where they eventually became the official currency.
100 years ago the Czechoslovak Assembly decided on the name of the new republic’s currency - the koruna. Despite a variety of original proposals, the delegates ended up being rather conservative in their choice, voting for a name that had also been used for the currency of Austria-Hungary. To commemorate the date, the Czech National Bank has issued a rare collection of gold-silver coins.
To commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the introduction of the crown, the Czech National Bank has issued special coins and banknotes that members of the public can trade for their normal equivalents. The coins and banknotes can be used as currency, but most eager collectors will be unwilling to give them up.
The Czech National Bank on Wednesday issued a second series of three
20-crown coins and a special 100-crown banknote in celebration of the 100th
anniversary of the Czechoslovak currency.
People queued for hours to be among the first to get the coins, which feature portraits of the First Republic economists – First Minister of Finance Alois Rašín; his successor, Karel Englis; and the first governor of the National Bank of Czechoslovakia, Vilém Pospíšil.
The issue is part of the central bank’s “Personalities of the Czechoslovak State” edition featuring the Czech and Slovak political figures.
In October, it released into circulation 20-crown coins with portraits of the founding fathers of Czechoslovakia – Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, Edvard Beneš and Rastislav Štefánik.
Otakar Dušek is a designer and artist with a passion for history and historical justice – something he hopes to instil in his students at the prestigious Václav Hollar School of Art in Prague. That passion helped propel him from a teacher of graphic design, fonts and computer graphics to world renowned medallist – an artist specialising in commemorative medals.
Officials of the Pardubice region recently announced a surprise discovery. Dozens of gold coins were found on a pasture near the town of Králíky in the north east of Bohemia. Experts, who have analysed the coins, say they date to the period of the Thirty Years’ War and may have been buried while an army was on the march.