Electorate of Saxony, ½ Guldengroschen, undated Frederick III, the Wise, 1486-1525

Electorate of Saxony, ½ Guldengroschen, undated ©Bundesbank
In the 15th century, the Electorate of Saxony, which was rich in silver reserves, began minting high-quality silver coins under Elector Frederick III, known as Frederick the Wise. In agreement with his uncle Albrecht, Margrave of Meissen and Duke of Saxony, and his brother John, Landgrave of Thuringia, Frederick enacted the minting regulation of 1500, which also served as a model for other mints and as the basis for the imperial minting ordinance of the 16th century. Owing to their high silver content , Frederick III’s coins were withdrawn from circulation by other rulers and their material was used to mint coins with a lower fineness. Only very few specimens have survived. There is only one other known specimen of the ½ Guldengroschen depicted here, which was issued in honour of Frederick III being appointed governor-general of the empire (Statthalter) by King Maximilian I at the Imperial Diet of Konstanz on 8 August 1507.

The Latin inscription on the obverse gives the name and titles of the Elector of Saxony: ¬ FRID ± DUX ± SAXONIE ± PRINCEPS ± ELECTOR ± ET ± SACRI / ° ROMA ± IMPER ± LOCVM ± TENENS ± GENE; the reverse shows the name and title of King Maximilian I: MAXIMILIANVS ¬ ROM ¬ REX ¬ SEMPER ¬ AVGVSTVS.

 [Data record Id. 67348]