||This article needs additional citations for verification. (May 2013)|
The ducat or dukat // is a gold coin that was used as a trade coin throughout Europe before World War I. The etymological origin of the name is from Medieval Latin "ducatus", and initially meant "duke's coin" or a "duchy's coin". There have been many types of ducats throughout history of various metallic content and purchasing power.
The first issue of this type of coin is thought to have been under Roger II of Sicily, who, in 1140, coined ducats bearing the figure of Christ, and the inscription, Sit tibi, Christe, datus, quem tu regis iste ducatus (or roughly, "O Christ, let this duchy which you rule be dedicated to you." This seems to be a reference to Matthew 22:19-21).
The ducat was introduced by the Republic of Venice in 1284 under the Doge Giovanni Dandolo (1280–1289). The Venetian ducat, ducato, then called zecchino since 1554–1559, featured the Doge kneeling before St. Mark on the obverse and Jesus on the reverse. During the Middle Ages the ducat gained much popularity, as it was easy to mint, and packed quite a value in one relatively small coin. Several cities and small states in Europe – mostly Eastern Europe in the Middle Ages – issued multiple, single and fractional ducats. The standard of coin was adopted in Hungary; and for a long time all foreign coins bore the name Ongri, Venetian for "Hungarian", where the trade of the world at this period was concentrated. They did not become popular in Germany until a later date.
Ducats became a standard gold coin throughout Europe, especially after it was officially imperially sanctioned in 1566. The ducat remained sanctioned until 1857. There was also a silver ducat minted in many European nations. The Royal Dutch Mint still issues silver ducats with a weight of 28.25 grams.
The most common type of ducat were the old Dutch ducats, bearing the impression of an armed figure, which gave way, for a short time only, to the figure of Louis II of Flanders. They circulated almost as merchandise, but had been frequently counterfeited in the Grisons. The counterfeits were very good in appearance, both in weight and sound.
According to 1913 Webster the ducat[which?] was worth the equivalent of "nine shillings and four pence sterling, or somewhat more than two dollars. The silver ducat is of about half this value." Even now some national mints produce batches of ducats made after old patterns as bullion gold and banks sell these coins to private investors or collectors.
|Roger II of Sicily|
|+IC XC RC IN ÆTRN, nimbate bust of Christ facing, holding Gospels||R•R SLS, King Roger and, R•DX•AP, Duke Roger (son of Roger) standing facing, holding long cross between them; AN R X along staff of cross.|
|AG: scyphate ducalis or ducatum|
- Austria. The Austrian Mint still mints single and four-ducats, both dated 1915.
- Byzantine Empire. The Byzantines minted their own version of the Venetian silver ducat, called the basilikon.
- Germany and the Holy Roman Empire; many cities, states and principalities before 1871.
- Hungary. The Hungarian mint still mints commemorative coins with 2, 3, 4 and 6-ducats quality.
- Netherlands still issues golden and silver ducats having the same weight, composite and design when they were first minted in 1586.
- Poland (the historical Red złoty)
- Russia imitated Dutch ducats due to their popularity. Also issued small quantities of Russian design.
- Kingdom of Serbia
- Spain, all through its domains, including Flanders, the Kingdom of Napoli and the Americas.
- Switzerland. Before the Swiss unification, the Swiss also minted Ducats, the most well known of which are the Zurich ducats.
- Kingdom of Yugoslavia
|Look up ducat in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Ducat|