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ducat - Mircea the Old
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Walachian ducat (Latin legend) of Mircea the Old - reverse and obverse
diameter ~13.5 mm, ~0.3 g, silver
Reverse Coat of arms of the Basarab
family(?): shield split vertically; four bars inside field one, ensign ω (greek letter omega, possibly a mint ensign) inside field two.
Latin legend: +IWan:DI:mvnaz
Outer pearl circle

Obverse Walachian coat of arms - mountain eagle perched on a helmet; a letter at right

Latin legend: +IWAn ___ mvnaz
Outer pearl circle

These silver coins were issued by Mircea the Old (cel Bătrîn), the most glorious and important of all Walachian princes. He ruled Walachia between 1386 and 1418.

As type these coins are known to Romanian numismatics as Walachian ducats, as complying to the system of Venetian ducats struck in 1202 by Venice. In which concerns their pattern (obverse - reverse), it belongs to the most common ducat type, type that occured to almost every coin issue of the Walachian princes, since Vlaicu I (1364 - 1377) to Basarab (the Old) Laiotă (1473 - 1477, with many interruptions).

The legends on the coinage of Mircea the Old were written both in Latin and Cyrillic (Slavic). These ones use Latin.

There are plenty of different variants in which concerns the legend, its respective fonts, the mint ensigns (usually both on the obverse and reverse, but different) and of course misspellings.

The Bible of Romanian numismatics, Monede și bancnote românești by George Buzdugan, Octavian Luchian and Constantin Oprescu (1976), presents the first coin at number 138. The pictures are present on Romanian coins through the kind permission of Mr. Balazs Aldor.

If you are in possession of Romanian medieval coinage other or better than the one featured by our site we ask you to please aid us with pictures. Help from other collectors to complete this numismatic icon is more than needed. Do not hesitate to contact us.

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