A large part of the Czech Mint's production consists of Czech coins – i.e. legal tender of the Czech Republic issued by the Czech National Bank on the basis of Czech laws with a nominal value in Czech crowns (CZK).
The first Czech coins were minted in Canada and Germany as quickly as possible due to the need to put them into circulation after the establishment of the independent Czech Republic. At that time, a part of the international tender was the condition to train Czech experts in these renowned world companies, so they could form the production operation of the domestic mint.
A fifty haler coin was the first circulation coin minted by the Czech Mint in the Czech Republic in 1993. Gradually, coins of other nominal values began to be minted in Jablonec nad Nisou, and since 1996, the Czech Mint has been the exclusive supplier of all Czech coins - both circulation and commemorative.
However, the Czech Mint does not acquire its position automatically - it must repeatedly apply for coin orders in tenders of the Czech National Bank.
Reliefs of Czech circulation coins
You meet Czech coins in the values of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 CZK almost daily. But have you ever thought about what their relief actually depicts?
- The 1 CZK coin is decorated with the St. Wenceslas crown - the most important of our coronation jewels.
- The 2 CZK coin bears a button, i.e. a decorative jewel from the times of the Great Moravian Empire.
- The 5 CZK coin commemorates the legendary Charles Bridge.
- The 10 CZK coin belongs to Petrov in Brno, i.e. the panorama of the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul.
- The 20 CZK coin is dedicated to the majestic monument of St. Wenceslas on Wenceslas Square.
- The 50 CZK coin presents the combination of Charles Bridge, the building of the National Theater, the Church of St. Nicholas and Prague Castle with the St. Vitus Cathedral - unique buildings characteristic of our capital city.
- The common element of all six Czech circulation coins is the two-tailed Czech lion - a heraldic animal of the Czech Republic.
Authors of Czech circulation coins
Each coin has its author. Have you ever thought about who is behind the Czech currency? There are four top academic sculptors.
- Coins with nominal values of 1 and 2 CZK come from the workshop of Jarmila Truhlíková-Spěváková (* 14 November 1940) - the design of her crown coin appealed to the National Bank so much that it processed the two-crown coin as a direct order without competition.
- The 5 CZK coin was processed by the legendary artist Jiří Harcuba (December 6, 1928 - July 26, 2013) – the design of the coin is based on his older five-crown coins, which the Czechoslovaks used to pay in times of socialism and the federation.
- The 10 and 50 CZK coins were processed by Ladislav Kozák (August 31, 1934 - July 22, 2007) - he received a prestigious award for a circulation coin with our highest nominal value and for the most beautiful coin in the world.
- The CZK 20 coin was processed by Vladimír Oppl (* 19 January 1953) - he is, among other things, the author of the Order of T. G. Masaryk, the most beautiful gold coin in the world, the largest gold coin in Europe, and you may still remember his fifty-haler coin.
Specification of Czech circulation coins
The individual coins also differ in technical parameters - shape, diameter, thickness, weight, edge treatment, etc. Three lower nominal values (1, 2 and 5 CZK) are stamped from nickel-plated steel and three higher nominal values are stamped from copper-plated steel (10 CZK), brass (20 CZK) and a combination of copper and brass (50 CZK). The two-crown coin is processed with eleven edges, twenty-crown coin with thirteen edges and the fifty-crown coin is a bimetallic coin, formed by different rings and centers distinguished by colour and partly by material.
Number of Czech circulation coins
There are almost 2 billion circulation coins in the Czech Republic's circulation. Even with already invalid and officially destroyed coins, the Czech Mint has produced over 3 billion pieces since 1993. At the same time, it issued 2.5 million pieces of silver coins and over 400,000 pieces of gold coins.
Sets of Czech circulation coins
Each annual set of circulation coins contains all valid Czech circulation coins that were minted in the year of the issue of the set. Numismatists are impressed by these sets due to unique opportunity to obtain a complete set of currency with the same year of mintage. Ordinary coins that go into circulation are minted in response to the current needs of the state, therefore, all nominal values with the same year of issue may not appear in your wallet. In addition, Czech coins stored in sets of circulation coin have not been in circulation, therefore, they are in good condition.
Coins go through countless human hands in circulation, therefore, their most important features include resistance and durability. In addition to the means of exchange, however, they are also small works of art, so the Czech Mint, in cooperation with the Czech National Bank, also mint them in a delicate proof quality which is characterized by a mirror sheen.
Czech commemorative coins
In addition to Czech circulation coins, there are also commemorative coins that you will not find in your wallets. You can learn more about them in a separate chapter.
The Czech Mint also produced a gold coin with a diameter of 535 millimeters and a weight of 130 kilograms for the Czech National Bank. Its nominal value is 100 million CZK and the schedule of issuance counts only one unsaleable piece.
The coin broke a world record - it became the largest milled coin in the world, the largest gold coin in Europe and the second largest gold coin in the world.
The Czech Mint has minted currency for foreign central banks of the United Arab Emirates, Moldova, Venezuela and Lebanon. It also minted commemorative coins for Armenia, Moldova and Slovakia.
The key products of the Czech Mint are coins minted with foreign licenses. You can learn more about them in separate chapters dedicated to commemorative and investment coins of the Czech Mint.