Today you can try your hand at a cistophorus. The silver coin was named after its motif – a basket with a snake. This “cista mystica” was part of the Bacchus cult and is depicted on the early version of this denomination from Asia Minor.
On 8 February 1998, Italians were invited to vote by telephone on the motif of future 2 euro coins. And the people voted: Dante Alighieri, who is indisputably considered Italy’s most important poet.
Today’s puzzle is a 1641 Louis d‘or by King Louis XIII of France.
For centuries, coins faced serious competition: by cowries.
Today we have a first for you! This denarius of 44 BC was the first coin to feature a living Roman: Gaius Julius Caesar. He mentioned two good reasons for it: the star refers to the descent from Venus, the laurel wreath to Caesar’s achievements as a general.
In 1493, Bern started minting guldiners. This one is from 1494. The Bernese heraldic beast (a bear) is depicted beneath the imperial eagle, the emblem of the Holy Roman Empire, in order to demonstrate that the city was not subject to anyone except the emperor himself.
The city of Metz, too, minted silver coins of the popular tornesel type. They depict St Stephen, to whom the city’s cathedral is dedicated. However, the building was still under construction when our piece was minted at some point after 1406.
This fiorino d’oro from around 1430 depicts Filippo Maria Visconti, Duke of Milan, tearing along on his horse. The animal’s saddlecloth features the coat of arms (the “biscione”). It became the symbol of the whole of Lombardy – and also of car manufacturer Alfa Romeo.
On this silver coin from AD 1270, Charles of Anjou calls himself Senator of Rome – but he was actually the King of Sicily! Put the puzzle together and you will find the unusual legend.
Testone, “big head”, is the name of silver coins that were introduced in 15th-century Italy. They are particularly large and heavy coins featuring the portrait of a ruler. Here you can see a magnificent testone by Ercole I d’Este, the Duke of Ferrara from around 1500.
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