1284 – 1797 Italian Venetian Ducat

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This coin is a reproduction of an Italian Ducat (zecchino) minted in Venice between 1284 - 1797. The design of the ducat remained almost unchanged for over 500 years making it the world’s longest coin in production

The word ducat from Medieval Latin “ducatus” means "duke or duchy’s coin" due to the image of the Doge of Venice on the coin. One side of the coin shows the Doge of Venice kneeling before Saint Mark the patron saint of Venice who presents the doge a gonfalone (banner). On the reverse is an image of Christ amongst the stars in heaven

From around 1400 the ducat increasingly dominated Mediterranean trade and surpassed the role of the florin. By the 15th century the Venetian ducat became the preferred international currency.

During the 13th century the Italian city-states were the first European governments to renew coinage of gold after gold coinage declined in Western Europe after the eighth century. The first gold coinage was struck in Florence and Genoa in 1252 and Venice soon minted its own gold coin the ducat in 1284 based on the size and weight of the florin. The ducat was an exceptionally high purity coin with 99.47 fine gold the highest purity Medieval metallurgy could produce. The ducats reputation for purity made it one of the most trusted coins in monetary history. Ducats became so fashionable that they were stitched to women's headdresses and this led to the origin of the modern word "sequin" which was a French translation of the world Italian word for the ducat (Zecchino).

Venice continued to mint the ducat until 1797 when Napoleon concurred the Italian peninsula and Venice lost its independence.

These coins are hand stamped by a passionate reenactor who performs historical coin minting demonstrations. As each coin is hand stamped small variations may exist adding to the hand made character of the coins.  

 

 

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