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.
At the time, many countries that arose from Austria-Hungary still used the former state’s currency – the crown. However, they eventually replaced them with their own specially named variants.
In Austria, the crown became the shilling, whereas in Hungary it was renamed the forint.
Only in Czechoslovakia did the designation koruna, or crown, remain, although it now received a Czechoslovak rebrand.
To commemorate the centenary the Czech National Bank is handing out a special jubilee currency featuring important figures from the First Republic era.
Members of the public can pick up CZK 20 coins featuring finance ministers Alois Rašín and Karl Engliš, as well as the first governor of the Czechoslovak National Bank, Vilém Pospíšil.
A special CZK 100 banknote bearing the logo of the centenary celebrations is also on offer.
The bank’s spokeswoman, Petra Vostrčilová says that the special mint can also be used for payment.
“These 20-crown coins are equivalent to common currency in their nominal amount, so you can use them to pay for goods and services, just as with any other coins. It just depends whether you want to keep them as a collective item or use them.”
Most of those waiting were older members of the public. But there were also schoolchildren in the queue.
Young girl: “I found out about it on the internet and my dad loves to collect coins, so he asked me if I could pick some up, because he lives in Aš and I go to school here in Prague. I checked the designs out and I don’t really like the banknote with the special writing on it, but I really like the golden twenty-crown coins.”
Older lady: “I saw they were handing them out on television yesterday and I thought I’d try it out. I am reserving two and a half hours for it. I didn’t even know they are also doing 100 crown banknotes.”
The central bank says the notes and coins will be on offer until the stocks are exhausted. Some 200,000 copies of each have been produced.