Replica of John of Luxembourg half-groschen standard
Soon after John I (1310–1346) married Elisabeth Přemyslid and acceded to the Czech throne, he renewed coinage of the Prague groschen and parvae that were introduced by his father-in-law Wenceslas II. At this time, probably soon after the royal coronation, he also started coinage of a new coin – a half-groschen. We know two types of these coins. The first, sometimes also called the English type, features the king’s bust on the obverse side (it was also used on the replica), as opposed to the other, so-called Czech type where the obverse depicts the royal crown. Both types are very rare, only a few pieces were preserved. This may have given rise to various theories on the reasons for their coinage. Different hypotheses mention them either as a mere testing coinage, or as a standard newly introduced nominal coin that was soon withdrawn from circulation – because it was redundant. Another theory claimed that the coin with the king’s bust was struck as a coronation coin on the occasion of John I coronation as the Czech king on 7 February 1311. This should have introduced a new coin within the groschen currency that should – similar to the Prague groschen – feature the royal crown on the obverse (Czech type).