Kwartnik: coin from Kingdom of Poland (14th-15th centuries)


Kwartnik, 1379-1382: Kingdom of Poland

Kwartnik, 1379-1382: Kingdom of Poland (Ruthenian kwartnik)

Numismatic catalogs refer this kwartnik to the section "Coins of the Kingdom of Poland". Although I am convinced that this is actually a regional issue — a coin of the Kingdom of Ruthenia (in Ukrainian "Королівство Русь [Korolivstvo Rus']", modern Ukraine). This is evidenced by both the coat of arms and the legend, which have nothing to do with Poland. But it is fair to note that at the time the coin was issued, these lands with the center in the city of Lviv were actually part of Poland, although neighboring Hungary did not recognize this.

Ruler: Louis I also Louis the Great (Ludwik) — king of Hungary and Croatia (since 1342), king of Poland (since 1370), king of Rus' (of Galicia and Lodomeria, since 1370).

LODVICI RX VNGARIE: Louis King of Hungary.

Monogram of Louis (crowned letter "L").

MONETA RUSSIAE: coin [or currency] of Rus' (no relation to the Russian Federation).

A lion striding to the left as the coat of arms of the Kingdom of Ruthenia (the name of the Principality of Galicia-Volhynia during 1253-1392).

Lviv Mint (the capital of the Kingdom of Ruthenia, a modern city in Ukraine).

  • Silver: 18 mm - 1 g
  • Reference price: 33$

COIN KWARTNIK — WHERE & WHEN (coins catalog: by names & emitents)
  1. KINGDOM OF POLAND including regional issues of the so-called Ruthenian kwartnik, often not quite precisely — Kwartnik ruski (14th-15th centuries): kwartnik = 3 denar

KWARTNIK as coin name.
Kwartnik — silver Polish coin of the 14th-15th centuries, equal in value to 1/4 skojec (medieval central European unit of account as well as a unit of mass; it was also used as a unit of currency, but never issued in format of coin).
There is also information about the equivalence of kwartnik to półgrosz (probably kwartnik evolved into półgrosz).
Firstly kwartnik coins appeared at the end of the 13th century (although some numismatic sources indicate the beginning of the 14th century).
It became widespread during the reign of the Polish king Casimir III the Great (Polish "Kazimierz III Wielki"). These coins contained his name, the image of the ruler and the coat of arms.
In the future, mainly the peripheral quartnik — "kwartnik ruthenian/ruski" — was minted. These coins (several main types) were produced on the territory of modern Ukraine, in Lviv.
How did it happen that the production of Polish kwartnik was concentrated in the city of Lviv? — The fact is that in the middle of the 14th century, the Kingdom of Galicia-Volhynia (the western part of modern Ukraine) came under the power of Polish rulers. These lands were included in Poland under the rights of an autonomous entity with rather broad rights: including the right to issue its own coin.
Therefore, became logical the appearance of Lviv kwartnik coins with the legend MONETA RVSSIE (coin [or currency] of Rus': in meaning — coin of Galician Rus').
It is extremely important to emphasize: "ruski" in the name of the aforementioned kwartnik has not the slightest relation to Russia (Russian Federation). We are talking about purely Ukrainian lands, which are now known in historical science as the Kingdom of Galicia-Volhynia, but historically it is the Kingdom of Ruthenia (Ukrainian "Королівство Русь", romanized "Korolivstvo Rus"; Latin "Regnum Russiæ").
The name of the kwartnik coin (as well as similar ones: quarting, quart, quattrino...) comes from the Latin term "Quarta" — that is, a quarter. In this case, we are talking about the coin being equal to 1/4 of a skojec of silver (a skojec was a widely used Polish measure of weight in the Middle Ages — 8.5 g).