Ort: coin of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth; 18 groszy


Ort (koronny), 1623: Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth

Ort (koronny), 1623: Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth

Ruler: Sigismund III Vasa — King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania (1587-1632), King of Sweden and Grand Duke of Finland (1592-1599). The first Polish sovereign from the House of Vasa.

SIGIS. III. D. G. REX. POL. M. D. LI. RVS. PRV. M. SAM. LIV. NECN. SV. GOT. VAN: Q. HRI. R. (full obverse and reverse legend of the coin — Sigismundus III Dei Gratia Rex Poloniae Magnus Dux Lithuaniae Russiae Prussia Masoviae Samogitiae Livoniae Nec Non Suecorum Gothorum Vandalorumque Haereditarus Rex): Sigismund III, by the grace of God, king of Poland, grand duke of Lithuania, ruler of Ruthenia, Prussia, Masovia, Samogitia, Livonia and also hereditary king of the Swedes, Goths and Wends.

Coat of arms of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth [combined twice the Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of Poland (eagle) and twice too the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (mounted armoured knight) on the crowned shield] with the coat of arms of the Vasa dynasty [depicting a sheaf: the name Vasa is derived from the word "vase" which is the Swedish word for sheaf], to which Sigismund III belonged, in the middle.

Below noble coat of arms "Sas" of the Mikołaj Daniłowicz (Grand Treasurer of the Crown; Polish "Podskarbi wielki koronny") — stars near the arrow above the crescent.

Portrait of crowned Sigismund III in armor with sword and globus cruciger (the orb and cross as Christian symbol of authority).

Bydgoszcz Mint (Poland).

The coin in this design was minted during the years 1618-1625 (the 1623 copy presented in the photo was the most common among them).

  • Silver (0.688): 29 mm - 6.96 g
  • Reference price: 40$

COIN ORT — WHERE & WHEN (coins catalog: by names & emitents)
  1. POLISH-LITHUANIAN COMMONWEALTH (17th-18th centuries): ort = 18 groszy
  2. GERMAN STATES, 17th century (State of Brandenburg-Prussia...): ort = 1/4 thaler

ORT as coin name.
Ort — silver Polish coin of the 17th and 18th centuries (Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth), which was the fourth part of a talar (Polish thaler).
Many sources indicate that the ort is not only a Polish coin, but also a German one. However, a detailed analysis of numismatic literature allows us to come to the conclusion: the ort is a coin of Poland (Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth) or the lands that were directly related to it. Indeed, the German states also minted (even earlier) coins with a nominal value of 1/4 thaler, but as a rule, these coins have their own, albeit similar, names: for example, reichsort... A characteristic feature of the ort coins — an invariably pathos portrait (profile or bust) of the ruler on the obverse and the coat of arms on the reverse.
The most widespread among numismatists are Sigismund III Vasa orts minted in Gdańsk since 1608 ("ort gdański" with the coat of arms of the city; it is from this year that coins were issued on the territory of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth) and "ort koronny" (1618-1625; coat of arms of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth). Ort was minted by a number of mints on the territory of Poland, as well as in Lviv (modern Ukraine).
For half a century, the quality of the coin decreased significantly: in fact, the ort became equal to 1/5 of the talar, and even later — 1/6...
Over time, the ort was equated to 18 groszy; the corresponding inscription — "18" appeared. The latest Polish orts are dated 1766 (extremely limited edition).
Numismatic literature claims that the name of the ort coin comes from the German "Ort" — "fourth part" (a quarter of a thaler). However, it was not possible to find a clear confirmation of the hypothesis... However, there is information that in ancient times the Germans and Scandinavians used the term "ort" as a unit of volume measurement liquids and weights.