Ducat: coin from Principality of Wallachia (14th-15th centuries)


Ducat, 1447-1456: Principality of Wallachia

Ducat, 1447-1456: Principality of Wallachia

Ruler: Vladislav II (House of Dănești) — voivode (prince) of the Principality of Wallachia (from 1447 to 1448, and again from 1448 to 1456).

The legend on the coin is written in Bulgarian Cyrillic (an interesting and atypical feature of the coin: the obverse and reverse legends are almost identical).

+IѠ ВЛАДНСЛА ВОНВОД: By the grace of God, Vladislav voivode.

Symbols of the Basarab dynasty (a ruling family, which had an important role in the establishing of the Principality of Wallachia; after 1436 house was split by the conflict between the Dănești and the Drăculești, both of which claimed legitimacy): an eagle on a knight's combat helmet with a shield, a cross near the eagle's head.

+IѠ ВЛАДНСЛА ВОНВОД ГNЪ: By the grace of God, Mr. Vladislav voivode.

Heraldic shield (coat of arms of the voivode): horizontal stripes, crescent and star (the placement of the elements on the shield on different types of this coin was slightly different).

The Greek letters IѠ (from "Ιωάννης") mean "by the grace of God"; the cross in front of them indicates the name of the ruler and his title

It is interesting: the coin remained in circulation during the reign of the next prince on the territory of Wallachia — Vlad III the Impaler (Vlad Dracula).

  • Silver: 14 mm - 0.68 g
  • Reference price: 55$

COIN DUCAT — WHERE & WHEN (coins catalog: by names & emitents)
  1. PRINCIPALITY OF WALLACHIA (14th-15th centuries): ducat (silver) = 3 ban
  • Gold ducats were regularly minted by a number of issuers on the territory of many modern European states: AUSTRIA, BELGIUM, CZECH REPUBLIC (Bohemia), GREECE (Crusader and Christian states in the Eastern Mediterranean), DENMARK, ESTONIA, FRANCE, GERMANY, HUNGARY, ITALY, NETHERLANDS, NORWAY, POLAND, SPAIN, SWEDEN, SWITZERLAND... that is, most of the largest countries in Europe.

DUCAT as coin name.
Ducat is one of the most widespread, iconic gold coins of all times and nations. It was used in almost all European countries.
Interestingly, the first ducats were silver. They appeared in 1140 in Sicily and bore a characteristic legend: SIT TIBI CHRISTE DATUS, QUEM TU REGIS ISTE DUCATUS. A century later, Florence began minting high-quality gold coin weighing 3.53 g — the florin. In turn, since 1284, Venice, in imitation, issued its own gold coins of the same weight — ducats (with the legend from the aforementioned Sicilian coin). It was these coins that became the prototype for many, many ducats of a number of states during the following centuries.
Due to its constant weight and consistently high quality, the ducat quickly spread throughout Europe: it was issued in different years by most European states: Italy (Venice, Rome, Milan...), Netherlands, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Wallachia, Russia...
It is worth noting that silver ducats of Wallachia (Principality of Wallachia), which were issued during the 14th-15th centuries in a relatively unchanged design, are widely known among numismatists.
The emission of ducats continues even in the 21st century. For example, until now the Austrian Mint issues investment gold ducats — in the design of the ducats of Emperor Franz Joseph and with the date "1915".
The name of the ducat coin does not have any secret meaning, it does not say anything about its features. The coin is named after the last word of the legend from the first ducats: SIT TIBI CHRISTE DATUS, QUEM TU REGIS ISTE DUCATUS ("Christ, let this duchy that you rule be given to you"). Literally, the term "ducātus" is translated from Latin as "duchy".