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Schmuckbrakteaten AKA "Bezants" or "Goldplättchen"

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What are these little buggers anyway?
Schmuckbracteaten are nearly a unheard of outside Germanic countries.

Origin: Bractea, latin
means thin metal plate.

Brakteaten money, by Margrit Kennedy

“Between the 12th and the 15th century in Europe a money system was used called "Brakteaten." Issued by the respective towns, bishops and sovereigns, it not only helped the exchange of goods and services but also provided the means of collecting taxes. Every year the thin coins made from gold and silver were "recalled," one to three times re-minted and devalued on an average about 25 % in the process. Since nobody wanted to keep this money, people instead invested in furniture, solidly built houses, artwork and anything else that promised to keep or increase its value. During that time, some of the most beautiful sacred and profane works of art and architecture came into existence.

"For while monied wealth could not accumulate, real wealth was created." We still think of this time as one of the cultural culmination points in European history. Craftsmen worked a five-day week, the "blue" Monday was introduced and the standard of living was high. In addition, there were hardly any feuds and wars between the various realms of power. However, people obviously disliked the money which lost so much at regular intervals. Finally, towards the end of the 15th century, the "eternal" penny was introduced and with it came interest and accumulation of wealth in the hands of increasingly fewer people, as well as the accompanying social and economic problems. The lesson here is that taxes should be levied separately and not connected with the circulation fee on money."

The name:
Schmuck well, it has many meanings... jewelry, ornament, embellishment, trinket... it means sparklies basically.

Brakteaten comes from the latin 'Bractea' and simply means 'thin metal plates/discs'

So teamed up, "Schmuckbrakteaten" means ornamental thin metal discs. Tahdah!

The things are sparkly, the medievals liked sparkly. They probably started making purely decorative "coins", Schmuckbrateaten, for ornamental purposes after they began sewing them onto things to keep from losing them and liked how they looked. (I'm guesing)

Some VERY informative Links about Brakteaten/Schmuckbrakteaten: (translated through Google when possible)

p2pfoundation.net
Wikipedia.de
Muensen-lexikon.de
Brainworker.ch
landesmusuem-stuttgart
Numispedia.de 1
Numispedia.de 2

The Brakteaten - Irving Fisher

artfond.de
ebay.de
stadtmuseum Naumberg
(click Brakteaten if ness)
mitglied.lycos.de/wpeter 1
mitglied.lycos.de/wpeter 2- has a description and drawing on how they were made and how the stamping process worked.

 

 

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