Medieval Gold Florins series
The Gold Forint of Sigismund (1368 – 1437) The commemorative coin entitled The Gold Forint of Sigismund was the fourth release in the collector series Medieval Florins of Hungary 1305 – 1526. Under King Sigismund (reign: 1387 – 1437), the Hungarian forint was a successful means of payment, the value of which was equal to that of the Florentine gold florin and the ducat of Venice, and was higher than that of the Rhine gold florin. Sigismund’s coins were the first to feature the quartered coat of arms. Under his reign, gold forint coins of outstanding quality and artistic value were minted. The late Medieval mints also marked coins with mint marks and designer marks. At the renowned Coins Constellation 2017 the coin won First Place in the category Coin classic.
Front: The main motif on the obverse is the shield, encircled by a string of beads, taken from the gold florins issued by King Sigismund. The first appearance of the quartered, per pale and per fess shields on the obverse represented an innovation in the history of gold florins. On the shield, Hungarian bars were alternated with the Brandenburg Eagle, referring to both the country and the ruling dynasty. The compulsory design elements: the inscription ‘MAGYARORSZÁG’ in an upper legend, the value numerals ‘50000’ in a lower legend and the inscription ‘FORINT’ as well as the upper and lower legend separated by the mint mark ‘BP’ on the left and the mint year ‘2016’ on the right also appear on the obverse.
Back:The main device on the back is an image used on the backs of the gold forints during the late stages of King Sigismund’s minting activities: St. Ladislaus holding a halberd in his right hand and the orb in his left hand, with the letters M–O by his sides, the mark of Buda Chamberlain Mikes Jemnisti. The marks to the two sides of Saint Ladislaus on the back of the coin, which may represent letters or coats of arms, referred to the mint location and the chamberlain responsible for minting. The typically Hungarian system of mint marks and master marks thus also developed in Sigismund’s era. The gold forint depicted on the commemorative coin is a special one, due to the Arab numerals 13 found between the legs of the saint. This number was likely an issue number, as individual issues were distinguished by Arab numbers, but the exact meaning of the numbers requires further research. The back of the commemorative coin has the upper legend “ZSIGMOND •1387 – 1437” denoting the name of the sovereign and the dates of his reign, while the lower legend is “ARANYFORINTJA”. The upper and lower legends are separated by the small master mark of E. Tamás Soltra on the right side.
Keywords:Middle Ages, history, kings, goldFlorin, gold forint, investment