Groš: coin of Bulgarian Empire (imitation of Venetian grosso)


Groš, 1280-1292: Second Bulgarian Empire (imitation of Venetian coin)

Groš, 1280-1292: Second Bulgarian Empire (imitation of Venetian coin)

The subject of my numismatic collection (and, accordingly, of this website) is coins of various denominations. But there is a significant complication in this topic when it comes to ancient or at least medieval coins (such as the one demonstrated on this page). The thing is that, firstly, identical names of ancient coins are not always known (those used at the time: some coin names were invented by modern numismatists for simplification), and, secondly, some denominations have several names at once.

I added the coin shown above to my collection under the name groš because most of the most authoritative numismatic catalogs list its denomination as groš (or gros / grosh). Although at first glance it is nothing more than a Venetian grosso. More precisely, this coin looks exactly like a type of grosso — matapan (with a "seated Christ" motif). However, weighing and close examination of the small details (especially the faces) indicate that this is actually almost twice the lighter Bulgarian imitation of grosso (matapan) of the Venetian doge Giovanni Dandolo. According to the assumptions of historians in the lands of Bulgaria, this coin had a value of a local groš.

Ruler: George Terter I (Bulgarian "Георги Тертер I") — tsar of Bulgaria (1280-1292) from Terter dynasty.

A fairly accurate Bulgarian imitation of the matapan grosso of the doge of Venice Giovanni Dandolo (similar legend, the plot is reproduced without significant differences in details). The main difference from the original is almost half the weight.

ND (no date).

DVX IO DΛNDVL - SM - VENETI (Latin "Dux Joannes Dandul - Sanctus Marcus - Venetiae"): Doge Giovanni Dandolo - Saint Mark /Patron saint of Venice/ - Venice.

Doge Giovanni Dandolo receives the flag (royal banner) from the hands of the Mark the Evangelist.

A typical plot of the matapans of Venice: enthroned Jesus Christ Pantocrator (Almighty) and the legend "ICXC" (in Eastern Christianity the most widely used Christogram is an abbreviation "ΙϹ ΧϹ" — a traditional abbreviation of the Greek words for "Jesus Christ" — ΙΗϹΟΥϹ ΧΡΙϹΤΟϹ).

  • Silver: 19 mm - 1.03 g
  • Reference price: 20$

COIN GROŠ — WHERE & WHEN (coins catalog: by names & emitents)
  1. SECOND BULGARIAN EMPIRE (13th-14th centuries): groš (grosh)

GROŠ (grosh) as coin name. Since the time of the Roman Empire, the denar coin ("descendant" of the Roman denarius) was extremely widespread in most European countries. However, already at the end of the 12th century, a new coin appeared on the territory of the Apennine Peninsula (modern Italy) — grossus denarius ("large denarius"), which eventually transformed into grosso. Coins similar in terms of parameters began to appear in neighboring countries, but with other, albeit similar names — groš (Bulgaria, also grosh), groschen (Germany), groat (England), garas (Hungary), grosz (Poland), groot (Netherlands)...