Duchy of Courland

Gotthard Kettler, 1561-1587

Gotthard, family shield

The last Master of the Order of Livonia, Gotthard Kettler, became the first duke of Courland. The mint was established in Jelgava (Mittau), where it remained until the Duchy was dissolved in 1795. The first coinage of 1575-1577 included low silver content schillings and thalers. This coinage was in accordance with the minting system of the Free City of Riga. The coinage was ceased in 1577 by King of Poland & Lithuania, Stephan Bathory. It was renewed in 1586 at Vilnius (Lithuania) mint in accordance with the monetary rules of Poland. There were struck 3 groschen coins only.

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2 DENAR

2 Denar, 1579
Data: Billon
Description:
Coinage: 1578, 1579
References: Fed.999, 1000

SCHILLING

Schilling, 1576
Data: Billon, 0.95-1.05 g, 17.0-17.5 mm
Description: Obv: Crowned monogram (Stanislaus II August) within Kettler's family shield. The last 2 digits of date above the shield.
Legend around: *MONE*NOVA*ARGENTE
Rev: The small coat of arms of Courland (standing lion facing left).
Legend around: *DVCIS.CVR.ET.SEMIGAL
Coinage: 1575-1577
References: Fed.993, 995, 997, 998

3 GROSCHEN

Data: Ag, 2.10-2.45 g, 21.0-21.5 mm
Description:
Coinage: 1586
References: Fed.1001

THALER

Thaler, 1576
Data: Ag
Description: Obv: The shield of arms of Poland & Lithuania (eagle at left, horseman at right). Date 15 76 above, divided by the shield. 4 1/2 (mark) .R. below, divided by the shield.
Legend around: MONETA*NOVA*ARGENTE*DVCIS*CVRLAN
Rev: The family shield of Gotthard Kettler with monogram of Stanislaus II Augustus in the middle, placed on the ornamented big coat of arms of Courland.
Legend around: GOTHARDI:D:G:DVCIS:CVR:ET:SEMIGA:
Coinage: 1575, 1576
References: Dav.8450
Note: None existing today, just the description and pictures survived.
Davenport reports also 1 1/2 thaler, 1575 (Dav.8449). However, there is lack of additional information.

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