Golden Ducats on MA-Shops
There is some controversy about which coins should be categorised as golden ducats. Therefore it is most safe to say that the ‘’first’’ golden ducats were minted by order of the duke of Venice in 1284.1 The name for this ducats were the zecchino and were invented because of the debase of the gold hyperpyron by Michael VIII Palaiologos emperor of the Byzantine Empire.2
The debase of the hyperpyron was not good for the trade that Venice had with the east of the Mediterranean. The Great Council of Venice therefore decided to mint their own gold coins with a very high fineness of gold. The golden ducat was born and this ducat-type flourished for centuries in Europe as trade coin.
Gold Ducat 1578 Batenburg
Weight 3,45 gr. | Diamter Ø 23mm.
A book can be written about the golden ducats, and there are. But what can be concluded in this blog is that the golden ducat was created because of the poor current coins for the Venice traders in the late 13th century. They decided to create their own coin type with a standard weight and a very high fineness. It was this that spread the ducat through the whole of Europe as a perfect trade coin and not their typical iconography. The iconography changed from time to time and geographically but that what make the ducat a ducat stays the same over time.
1 It is also possible to determinate a coin of king Roger II of Sicily in 1140 as a ducat and some coins after these cointype. But to explain the controversy is to long for this blog.
2 P.D. Whiting, Byzantine Coins(1973) 232-233
Catalog: Fr.u.S. 2110, Müseler 57.1/44, Friedberg 3231
1935 Czechoslovakia Republic Gold 2 Dukaten
Catalog: KM – 9
Written by Joël van Dam, Owner of Joëlnumismatics.
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