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Rare 17th century coin sold for €4 million in Prague


Prague, Czech Republic – A rare ten-ducat coin dating from the 17th century sold for more than 10 million Czech crowns (about €4 million) at an auction held in Prague on Saturday.

The ten-ducat coin was minted in Prague during the reign of Frederick the Great in the early 17th century.

Although its starting price was set at 2 million Czech crowns, the rarity of the antique coin quickly drew the interest of collectors, increasing the final price five-fold.

One of the most widely used trading coins in Europe from the late Middle Ages up until the 18th and 19th centuries, ducats – whose most familiar version originated from Venice – rivaled with and circulated along the Florentine florin for centuries.

In 2019, the Czech National Bank announced its schedule of issuance of commemorative coins and banknotes for the next several years.

This includes, for its first time in history, the issuance of ducats, first in 2023 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the so-called Czechoslovak Saint Wenceslas ducat, and a second round two years later for the 700th anniversary of the start of mintage of the first Czech gold coins by John of Luxembourg.

This week-end’s auction, organised by Aurea Numismatika, raised more than 100 million Kc in total, the company told the Czech News Agency.

Rarities auctioned on Saturday also included precious Czechoslovak banknotes from 1919 designed by famed Czech artist Alfons Mucha, as well as bills issued by the nominally independent Slovak state in 1939.

Headed by Kafkadesk's chief-editor Jules Eisenchteter, our Prague office gathers over half a dozen reporters, editors and contributors, as well as our social media team. It covers everything Czech and Slovak-related, and oversees operations from our other Central European desks in Krakow and Budapest.