Gold half-ounce medal Beginning of the Thaler Minting in Jachymov proof
We commemorate the 500th anniversary of the start of minting of Jáchymov thalers in 2020. In order to commeorate this milestone of the czech minting, the Czech Mint issued a half-ounce gold medal which is part of the free cycle of the most beautiful unrealized proposals that entered the competitions of the Czech National Bank.
The Czech Kingdom was a state of extraordinary importance in the 16th century. It was rich in silver, which was popular perhaps even more than gold. One large deposit of silver ore was discovered by the Schlick dynasty in the Ore Mountains in western Bohemia. Originally a bourgeois dynasty, which became a noble family thanks to its extraordinary entrepreneurship, felt a unique opportunity to profit. Europe required czech silver, but if the Schlick dynasty wanted to export it as a raw material, they would have to pay customs duties and taxes. However, the coins were spared these charges, and the cunning nobles began to mint their own out of conquered silver. "Fake" coins became popular soon. They were genuinely pure unlike legal tender, in which the silver content has been reduced for centuries. They contained 27 grams of pure silver. Therefore, the Schlick dynasty received an official authorization from the Bohemian Diet in 1520. The town, where the coins were minted, soon became one of the richest and most populous Czech settlements. Its name was Jáchymov - in German Joachimsthal, or "Jáchymov valley". The local coins were called in German "joachimsthaler silber groß Denar" - in translation "Jáchymov silver big denarius". The impractically long name was gradually shortened - first to "joachimsthaler", then to "thaler", and finally to the "tolar" in czech. Everybody - at home and abroad - tried to imitate the successful standard introduced by the Schlick dynasty in the following centuries. Finally, the dollar was named after the garbled name of the thaler…
The commemorative medal was based on a proposal made by medal maker Luboš Charvát, who was awarded third place in the Czech National Bank competition for the original combination of various tolar values into the whole one. An attractive composition made up of segments of historical coins is presented on the obverse and reverse sides of the medal.
The schedule of issuance counts only 99 medals - each piece is hand-numbered on the edge and accompanied by a special certificate of authenticity that tells the story of the Jáchymov thalers.