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Bohemia. Wladislaus II (1471-1516)
Bohemia. Wladislaus II (1471-1516)

Castelin __, Fiala/Donebauer 947, cf. Saurma 407/182

AR pragergroschen, 32 mm., KutnŠ Hora mint.

Obv: + DEI x/x GRATIA + REX x/x BOEmIE / + WLADISLAUS SECVnDVS, crown in center.

Rev: + * GROSSI * PRAGENSIS, crown double-tailed lion facing left.

The groschen of Prague (pragergroschen) were first minted in July 1300 during the reign of Wenceslas II (1278-1305), following the discovery of exceptionally rich silver deposits at KutnŠ Hora in 1298. It was struck, with the design essentials unchanged for roughly 250 years. The pragergroschen played the same role in central Europe that was played by the denier tournois further west. Its preeminence in Germany postponed the appearance of native groschen over much of the region for over 150 years.

The coinage was debased under Wencelsas IV (1378-1419), and none were minted during the reigns of Sigismund (1420-37), Albert (1437-39) and Ladislas Postumus (1453-57). When minting was revived toward the end of the reign of George Podĕbrad (1458-71), they were struck to a much lower standard, having a fineness of only 10 lot (625/1000) and a silver content of 1.69 gr., which was barely half that of the original pragergoschen of Wenceslas II. It was then reckoned 24 instead of 12 to the ducat, and fell further when it was debased (to a weight of around 1.25 gr.) toward the end of the reign of Wladislaus II.
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