Penyaz: coin (denar) from Grand Duchy of Lithuania


Penyaz (denar), 1392-1430: Grand Duchy of Lithuania

Penyaz (denar), 1392-1430: Grand Duchy of Lithuania

There is information about the production of coins of this type at two mints — the city of Lutsk (modern Ukraine) and Vilna (the modern capital of Lithuania — the city of Vilnius). This particular coin (as well as many other similar coins) was found near the Ukrainian city of Lutsk.

Ruler: Vytautas the Great — Grand Duke of Lithuania, the Prince of Grodno (1370-1382), Prince of Lutsk (1387-1389), and the postulated king of the Hussites.

The Columns of Gediminas or Pillars of Gediminas (Vytautas was a representative of the Lithuanian Gediminids dynasty).

Spearhead with a cross.

Columns of Gediminas — one of the earliest symbols of Lithuania and its historical coats of arms. Nowadays it appears in the coat of arms of Seimas and in the emblems of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, Land Force, Air Force, Navy, Military Police, National Defence Volunteer Forces...

  • Silver: 13 mm - 0.22 g
  • Reference price: 40$

COIN PENYAZ — WHERE & WHEN (coins catalog: by names & emitents)
  1. GRAND DUCHY OF LITHUANIA (14th-15th centuries): penyaz = denar

PENYAZ as coin name.
Penyaz (sometimes Polish spelling: pieniądz) is not formally a coin denomination. In Medieval Central and Eastern Europe, this term often denoted the denar of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In particular, the name was spread on the lands of modern Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, Russia...
In modern numismatics, this name is usually applied only to the earliest denars of Lithuania (we are talking about several types of very small silver coins of Liubartas and Vytautas — Lutsk rulers of the 14th-15th centuries of Lithuanian origin).
It is worth noting that the term "penyaz" is not an invention of modern numismatists (this happened more than once in situations with little-studied ancient coins). This name was used by the Slavs long before the minting of Lithuanian denar.
It entered the Proto-Slavic language in the form "pěnędzь" — from Proto-Germanic "panningaz": the etymology of the coin names penyaz and German pfennig is similar.
In ancient times, "penyaz" was called money in general in Ukrainian and Belarusian lands; in Polish the word pieniądz still means "money" (it has the singular form, but is used mainly in the plural — pieniądze).