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ducat - Vlad III the Impaler
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ducat - Vlad III the Impaler
15 mm diameter, 0.56 g, silver
Reverse Coat of arms (?) of the voivod inside an inner linear circle: a shield split vertically; inside the first field a waxing half moon (i.e. a properly called crescent) and a six ray star below it, inside the second field three horizontal bars; outer pearl circle
Legend: +IO VLAD VOIVωD GN (with Cyrillic letters)
Obverse Walachian coat of arms - mountain eagle
(or vulture) perched on a helmet with panache at left and right (poor engraving)


Inside and along the outer pearl circle
Legend: +IO VLAD__VOIVOD (Cyrillic letters)

Up until today only two coins attributed (by the renown numismatist Octavian Iliescu) to Vlad III Țepeș (a ducat with the voivod effigy on one side and with Jesus Christ on the other side and a ban without any inscription, with the representation of a star "with tail", possible a comet) were described in Romanian numismatic papers. Other Romanian specialists contested these ascriptions.

The very coin presented on this page fills a hiatus in the Walachian numismatics, making the connection - from the typological point of view - between the ducats issued by Vladislav II and the ducats of Radu III the Fair (the principal period when Vlad III ruled over Walachia - 1456-1462 - took place between their reigns); clearly mentioning the name of Vlad voivod, the legend indicates as unique possible issuer the voivod Vlad III Țepeș (the Impaler, a.k.a. Dracula), son of Vlad II the Devil. The coin was probably issued between 1456 and 1462.

Mr. Bogdan Costin, specialist in medieval Romanian coins, obtained from the coin owner the permission to show the above pictures on Romanian coins. Mr. Costin also sent us the above information.


The legend on the coin is Iω BΛAΔb BOIBωΔA ΓNb. The last three letters represent an abbreviation of the word ΓOCΠOΔHNb, gospodin, meaning PRINCE. The soft sign or yer small - b - is a Cyrillic letter that, after our knowledge, usual doesn't mark any sound (but is possible to mark the nominative case). The legend is very close to the formula used in the final of the documents issued by the rulers of Walachia: Io[an] Vladislav voievod, from the mercy of the God prince (the example is from the diploma given by Vladislav I in 1374 to the Vodița Monastery, located near today Drobeta - Turnu Severin).


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