The Bracteate Denarius is one of the oldest coins used in Poland. It was introduced during the reign of King Bolesław Chrobry in the 10th century as a means of payment and a symbol of royal power. Although bracteate denarii were produced in other European countries, those from Poland were characterized by a distinctive form and original designs.
The Bracteate Denarius was made of silver and weighed approximately 1 gram. On the one side, the coin had a diameter of about 20mm and featured the image of an eagle. It was the symbol of the state, used in the coat of arms of King Bolesław Chrobry. The other side of the denarius bore a Latin inscription that read “Boleslaus Rex,” which means “King Bolesław.”
Moreover, it remained popular in Poland for many centuries and served as a common means of payment until the introduction of other coins, such as the grosz, gold coins, taler, and the zloty, which is the official currency of Poland to this day.
The Bracteate Denarius today
Today, the Bracteate Denarius is not only an important historical artifact, but also an object of interest for scholars in the fields of numismatics, archaeology, and art history. Researchers seek to learn the secrets of medieval minting, as well as to discover new information about the political and economic processes that took place during that time.
What is interesting, the introduction of this coin was a breakthrough moment in the history of Poland and marked the beginning of the development of minting in the country. This small silver coin survived many centuries and remains an important element of Poland’s numismatic heritage.
The expert’s lecture, Witold Garbaczewski (no English subtitles):