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Home > Members' Coin Collection Galleries > Stkp > EUROPE: Miscellaneous Medieval & Early Modern
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Austria. Albert II (the Wise), Duke of Austria and Styria (1330-1358)
Luschin/Szego 140, CNA B 236.

AR Pfennig, Vienna mint, 14-15 mm.

Obv: Hare facing left.

Rev: Shield.

Until the 12th century, coins were needed above all for exports; daily transactions were generally barter transactions. As the economy began to operate increasingly on the principle of the division of labor and as cities began to grow, money started to acquire more and more importance for regional trade. Municipal records show that even in Austria under Babenberg rule, money payments to feudal lords began to replace payments in kind. The growing monetarization of society ushered in a new phase in the history of coins. Monetary systems became regionalized. The denar, formerly used for external trade and exports, was replaced by the regional pfennig. New monetary borders came into existence, within which the rulers with coinage rights tried to enforce the compulsory, exclusive use of their own coins. Under Babenberg rule, the Vienna pfennig was accorded the role of regional money used in Austria. The Vienna pfennig came into its own when the mint was moved from Krems to Vienna at the end of the 12th century. It served as a means of payment for daily monetary transactions and remained a monetary unit even when large foreign coins were used to settle the growing volume of trade transactions gold coins such as the Venetian or Florentine ducat and large silver coins like the Prague groschen. In the course of the 14th century, it became established as a currency in nearly the entire area covered by modern-day Austria, with the exception of Tyrol and Vorarlberg. (Money and Trade during the Era of the Silver Pfennig. Oesterreichische Nationalbank

It is assumed that most of the 13th and 14th century reverses are not legible at all. This is entirely normal as the obverses were usually struck after the reverses. (Szego, at 52). The reverse of this issue was the arms of mintmaster Heinrich Schucheler (per Jean Elsen, List 263 Lot 395).
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