The magnificent motifs of current Czech banknotes designed by Oldřich Kulhánek are not only exceptional on paper. The masterful renditions of great figures of Czech national history are also exceptionally striking subjects on commemorative medals of the Czech mint. This year’s issue features the one hundred crown note with Czech and German King and Roman Emperor Charles IV.
The history of paper money dates back to 650 AD in China. There, paper notes were first issued by Emperor Kao-tsung, but not yet as common currency. This happened later, in the 10th century. According to Marco Polo, the use of paper money in the 13th century had extended to Persia and Japan. Here, specifically under the Austrian monarchy, the first paper banknotes were printed under Maria Theresa. They were issued at that time by the Vienna Central Bank and were printed with the words Banco-zettel, i.e. banknote. Initially they were only used for financial transactions with sovereign institutions. The decree requiring “banco-zettels” to be accepted for private transactions as well went into effect in 1797. Today, paper money is a natural part of everyday life and few people stop to think about it, although it is part of the cultural heritage of our country.
Contributing to this heritage is distinguished artist Oldřich Kulhánek – creator of the design of the current set of Czech banknotes. This silver medal from the Czech mint featuring the motif of the 100 CZK banknote reminds us of the excellence of his work while at the same time presenting the artistry of Czech medal makers. The model of the likeness of Charles IV on the reverse of the banknote was prepared for minting by academic sculptor Vladimír Oppl. The reverse of the medal showing the seal of Charles University was prepared by talented graphic artist MgA. Klára Melichová, daughter of Oldřich Kulhánek. This charming work of art in pure silver is ready to grace your collection and add to the popular series of tributes to Oldřich Kulhánek from the Czech mint.