Timeline of Lithuanian Coins
Struck During The Reign Of Polish King Wladislaw JagelloClick thumbnail to view full-size
Why A Timeline?
It all started with sorting some old Lithuanian coins. They fell into two date ranges: from 1925 to 1938 and from 1501 to 1665.
The first group was from the short lived Republic that existed between the World Wars between occupation by Germany and occupation by the Soviet Union.
Ancient Times Can Be Confusing Times.
The second group, was much more complicated. Lithuania's history is intertwined with the neighboring countries. Sometimes independant. Other times occupied. And yet other times, in a joined state, most notably with Poland. The coinage was at times unique to Lithuania, at other times shared. References are in multiple languages.
Groschen vs. Groszy vs. Grossus
These all seem to be used to describe silver coins used in Central Europe from the Middle Ages (1200+) into the Renaissance Period (17th Century). Dealer's seem to use the terms interchangeably A few test searches showed that Groschen is the more common choice.
Timeline Of Lithuanian Coins
The Grand Duchy of Lithuania (GDL) was under the rule of Grand Duke Vytautus.
End of the 14th century
The denars were the first coins to feature the Lithuanian knight.
A decimal counting system was introduced; 1 Groat (lit. Grasis) was equal to 10 dinarii.
The Vilnius Mint produced denar and half-groat coins, in the reign of Grand Duke Alexander Jagiellon of Lithuania.
The year of a Lithuanian coin's issue begins to be marked on the coin, with the half-groat. Later, the groat coin begins being minted.
The Design Of The Knight Evolves
The knight on galloping horse is more detailed. The design was evolving: riding to the left, riding to the right; horse standing in place, horse galloping; knight holds sword, knight holds spear; horses tail up, horses tail down.
Horse's Tail VariationsClick thumbnail to view full-size
The knight's shield with a double cross first appears on the first minting of the groat.
The coat of arms of the GDL was used for the first time on a coin. The knight on the Lithuanian coins was depicted both separately and together with the Columns of the Gediminas Family.
The Union of Lublin joined Poland and Lithuania into a single state.
The Gediminid dynasty ends with the death of Sigismund II Augustus. Coins no longer had their commonly-used heraldic symbol, the Columns of Gediminas.
During the reign of Grand Duke Stephen Bathory, the knight on the horseback again was used without the shield.
The 1580 Ordinance unified the coins of the Kingdom of Poland and the GDL; both value and design. GDL coins featured the Eagle (Poland) and the Knight (GDL). �The shilling was introduced.
During the reign of Sigismund III Vasa, Grand Duke of Lithuania, coins of 8 denominations were minted: double-denarii, shillings, groat, three ?half-groat, three-groat, 1,5, and 10 ducat coins. The coins feature a sheaf of grain, from the coat of arms of the Vasa. From 1616 the knight, again, was engraved holding a shield with double cross on it.
The knight, again, was engraved holding a shield with double cross on it.
Third partition of Polish and Lithuanian Commonwealth. Russian currency introduced when large portion of Lithuania annexed by Russian Empire.
Vytis As Used In The Grand Duchy Of Lithuania
Vytis is the name of the coat of arms, the symbol of the State of Lithuania.
It depicts an armored knight on horseback with a sword and a shield.
It became the coat of arms of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (GDL), during the rule of Grand Duke Vytautus.
Timeline Continued To End
February 16, 1918
Lithuania declared its independence and the Vytis, the coat of arms, became the symbol of the state. The first litas and centas banknotes appeared with the knight on the reverse in October 1922.
The first litas and centas banknotes appeared with the knight on the reverse.
1925, 1936, 1938
Coins bore the knight on horseback and came in various centas and litas denominations.
Germany invaded and imposed the reichsmark.
Lithuania was annexed by the Soviet Union, and the ruble was imposed.
The "new" Litas returned with the Republic, when the Soviet Union collapsed.
The move to the euro began.
Timeline of Historical Periods
This shows the big picture of historical periods that forms a context for the short 700-800 year period of Lithuanian coinage.
Preceden is the simplest timeline creation tool I've found on the web.