Kutná Hora Coinage
A prague sou, that had been incused in Kutná Hora since 13th Century, was in its time the most stabile european currency. It was used in bohemia, Poland, Hungary and Austria. There were 200 coiners in Kutná Hora so the noise had to be very big. But then the sound of coins was sweet, anyway...
It was a custom in that times, that a coin itself was a measure of a price. If flowers or small stones or even small papers (as today) were used as a method of payment, it would be probably nice, but after a political change they could have lost their value very quickly. Coins differ from papers in that way, that they can be melted and sold. That´s why coins had to contain accurate amount of silver. A pure silver was delivered to the mint. aSilver itself is soft, that´s why a copper had to be added. The proportion was 1 to 16 in favour of silver. Alloy was then poured to two containers cooled by water (so-called „barchány“) in which it was formed to the bar-like shape. Coiners called those silver bars „cány“. Then the bars were beated to bigger silver plate named „farfule“. Plate, that had to be equally thick on every spot was then passed to a cutter. He then cut the „farfule“ to small squares that were formed to coin-like shapes. Each time a fineness of the future coin was tested. Then the silver plate in a coin shape was passed to „pregéř“ – a man who did the incustion. Before incustion a future coin had to be heated again, this was done by pregéř´s helper. Pregéř was amongs all abovementioned professions the biggest master. He had to be very cautious and skilled. In the most famous times of Kutná Hora coinage there were 12 those pregéřs and every pregéř was able to incuse two thousands coins per day. For all Vlaský dvůr it was then 24 thousands prague sous. Just for your imagination: a chick cost one sou and a nice horse cost 400 sous. For 24 thousands you could buy nice house or even a small castle. Or 24 thousands chicken... nice, istn´t it?
prague sue of Václav II