Historical coins - replicas. We offer replicas of coins from many different historical periods, not only for collectors and others with a passion for numismatics, but for all those who enjoy having a little piece of history in their pockets. Although the oldest coins appeared about 7-6 centuries before the Common Era, in Anatolia, India and China, their increasing prevalence is particularly associated with the development of the monetary systems of Ancient Greece (drachmas, staters) and Rome. Metal coins greatly simplified business transactions; they replaced the previous means of payment such as various chunks of metals, grain, and cloth. The materials used for minting included gold, silver, electrum, copper, bronze and tin. Coins were imprinted with their weight value and often additionally depicted various mythological figures and/or living persons, animals, designs, symbols, etc. The first coins in the Czech lands were minted by the Celts (such as the famous rainbow cups). Gradually, the right to mint coins was reserved only for the state (monarch), who therefore also bore responsibility for their having the correct weight and purity of metal. Gorgeous coinage has been preserved from the Middle Ages such as the Prague groschen, ducats, bracteates, tolar/thaler and Jewish coins). Here we also offer replicas of coins with erotic designs from various eras of history.
Medieval coins, Prague groschens and tolars/thalers. After the demise of the Western Roman Empire some barbarian coins were made but rarely used. On the British Isles coins were minted again in the 8th century by the archbishops of York and Canterbury. The Franks, however, were minting gold and silver denarius starting during the reign of Clovis I (481 – 511). Charles the Great established a new standard, the livre carolinienne (the modern pound), a unit of both money and weight, equal to 240 deniers. The great ruler reserved a monopoly on minting, and passed strict laws against counterfeiting. The images on both sides of these coins depict either specific rulers or Christian motifs. Coins made from gold were usually various types of ducats or sometinmes florins. Machines for coin manufacture were introduced in the 16th century. In the period of the Italian Renaissance promissory notes developed into the first European bank notes (which, of course, had already been in use in China and were reported upon by Marco Polo and other travellers).
In the Czech lands the original form of payment was some type of a scarf – 10 of them were equal to one denarius. The first minting of coins is documented in 960 (during the reign of Boleslav I.), when the “large” denarii were introduced (10th century – 1st half of the 11th century), then “small” denarii followed (2nd half of the 11th century – 1st half of the 13th century) and finally bracteates took over (the 13th century, 40 mm in diameter, approx. 1 g of silver). These coins were the first to display the Czech two-tailed lion symbol. The development of minting was connected with the rise of new cities and the opening of new silver mines. In the 13th century there were 21 official mints operating in these territories. From the 14th century to the beginning of the 16th centrury the quality of the groschens (denarius grossus) improved and the Prague groschen (grossus pragenses) was the highest quality currency in Europe at the time.
In the 14th century a day labourer might have earned 4-6 groschens per week, a carpenter 16–20. You could buy a cow for 22-55, a block of butter or cheese or a knife cost one groschen. In the 15th century an average tradesman earned two and a half groschen a day. A stone house at the Prague’s Old Town Square could cost as much as 12,000 groschen, but “only” 1,200 in a side street, a wooden home was a bargain at 360. You would spend a half a groschen for a chicken and 4 for a pair of shoes.
At the beginning of the 16th century silver was discovered in Jáchymov (the Joachimsthal valley), the silver coins minted there were called thaler in German or tolar in Czech (the etymology of today’s dollar). The thaler contained 30 g of silver was worth 24 Prague groschen.
Replicas of Celtic coins. In the period of their greatest expansion the Celts became the first people in Central Europe who began to mint their own coins. The Gauls encountered money in the 4th century BCE travelling through Europe as mercenaries. From the 3rd century BCE, when local production exceeded consumption, the first coins were minted mainly from silver and gold. The oldest documented coins are from the 2nd century BCE, the first models copied earlier Madeconian-Greek coins such as staters, drachmas, and tetradrachms. These copies were evenutally replaced with coins depicting Celtic motifs such as a horse. Names of individuals (probably local chieftains) could be seen primarily on older coinage. In the Bohemian territories depictions of wild boars were frequent, as well as a coiled dragon and symbols of the sun. A cup-shaped gold coin now known as the rainbow cup started to be used in the first half of the last century BCE. Unusual Celtic coins were found as part of the largest and most famous hoard of Celtic gold coins in central Europe near the Podmokly village, the Czech Republic, in 1771. Besides rainbow cups, another type of cup-shaped coin found, known as shell stater or golden shells (97% pure gold, weight approx. 6.5 g). The most recent type of a Celtic coin was the large (about 17 g) silver Biatec, which was minted in the southwest of what is now Slovakia approx. 75 – 50 BCE.
Roman and Etruscan coins. In this region the legal tender that preceded the use of coins were castings or pieces of copper, followed by stamped bronze bricks (“aes signatum”) that bore depictions of various religious symbols. Dry branches and eagles were among the motifs used, but bulls were the most popular, and they recalled one of the earlier means of payment: in Latin, cattle was “pecus” – which is where the term “pecunia” (Latin for money) is derived, and which eventually lent us the modern English term “pecuniary” (financial, monetary). The first Roman coins were made from copper, and they were still cast. Later, when coins were beginning to be minted, other more precious materials were used. Among the specific, most common types of money issued are the denarius (silver, from the 1st half of the 3rd century BCE), the sestertius (first evidenced 211 BCE, originally minted in silver, then gradually in less precious metals), the copper aes (10 asses = 1 denarius). Starting in the 2nd century BCE the names of rulers and officials began to appear on coins, which makes it easier to date them. The motif on the reverse would be a ruler’s profile. The first Roman mint was established as early as 290 BCE at the Temple of Juno Moneta, which gave us some of our English root words for money. After the fall of the Roman Empire the system of coinage practically ceased to function and there was a return to barter and the use of commodities for commercial exchange.
Coins appeared in the Greek-speaking world approximately in the 7th century BCE in Asia Minor (today Turkish Aegean coast). Coins were originally made from silver or electrum, and later from gold and copper coins. Coin masters were highly respected, and there were important officials overseeing the minting system. Stater, the oldest type of coin, was of different weight depending on its place of origin. A Greek stater inspired by Persia was made with 12 parts of gold to 1 part silver, its value corresponded to 20 drachmae. Other types included the lepton (silver, 5 mm, a hundredth¨of drachma) the silver drachma (40 mm, 40 g of silver), and the didrachm and tetradrachm. For many years the information about the time of origin was missing on but coins from the Hellenistic era provided not only the names of the rulers but also the officials. The motifs most often included deities (such as Athena) and the rulers, and on the reverse there might have been animals, inscriptions, a symbol, or maybe another deity. Even Aristotle expressed an interest in the study of coins in his writings.
The first Jewish coins were officially being issued from the 4th century BCE in the Yehud Medinata, the “province of Judah” which was an autonomous province of the Persian Empire with the permission of the imperial government. They continued to be used in some form through the Ptolemaic Dynasty. Unlike later Jewish coinage, they depicted plants, animals and even human beings. They bore an owl motif (inspired by the Greek goddess Athena) and the inscription Yehud (YHD) indicating their provenance.
During the rule of Antioch VII (Seleucid Empire) half-Syrian and half-Israeli coins were issued with an image of a lily that symbolized Jerusalem. The first truly Jewish coins were issued in 135 BCE in the Hasmonean Kingdom, which was founded after the successful rebellion led by Simon Maccabaeus. The Romans minted their own coins during the period of their hegemony, but these coins differed greatly under different governors. Herod, for instance, issued coins with a wide range of motifs including the first living being - an eagle - to be depicted since the Persian era. The Jews themselves issued coins during the Bar Kochba revolt against the Romans (in Israel Roman coins are often found dating back to this period with images that were struck on top of the Roman ones).
A curiosity are European-made counterfeit ancient Hebrew coins that were made sometime around the 16th century. Supposedly Judas received them for betraying his master.
The ancient Greeks generally did not have trouble viewing naked human bodies. Nudity in the ancient world was regarded as a natural aspect of life. This has been evidenced by the number of preserved art and craft artifacts - sculptures, ceramics, as well as coins. Rare, however, are representations of characters in sexual positions, such as Satyr and Nymph on archaic Greek coins from Macedonia and from the island of Thassos.
In Roman times direct representation of sexual themes on coins is not known, although nude figures on coins were common. Besides standard coins Romans also issued special metal tokens called tesserae which were distributed on different occasions and served as an entrance ticket.
A special type of tessera were the 1st century rare erotic tokens called spintriae originally minted from bronze. One side depicts an act of love, always between a man and a woman, the other side bears a Roman numeral in a wreath. There are preserved coins bearing the numbers I to XVI, with numbers higher than XIII being very rare.
Today we can only guess about their purpose. Some experts say that their main function was to enter a public house and to enjoy the services displayed on the token. By depicting particular sexual acts people allegedly overcame language barriers between nations throughout the Roman Empire, for example, a Syrian sailor who had just arrived in Rome and did not know a word of Latin, knew exactly what he could expect entering such an establisment. Other experts claim, however, that these were special gambling chips, similar to today's erotic cards, or chips used in some period board games.
Similar to the erotic tokens are tokens used as circus tickets or food vouchers. These usually carried a portrait of the emperor on one side and a numeric designation on the other, perhaps the value of the chip.