Medieval Serbian coins – period of empire

During the reign of Emperor Dušan (1345-1355) a new basic type of coin appeared, stable as regards weight, the so-called imperial dinar, “del imperador”, which included several types of imperial dinars differing in terms of inscription and images. Their present-day average weight (1.41-1.34 g), six percent more or less due to wearing, is so close to the figure 1.52 g, which is what this coin weighed in 1353. This includes dinars depicting Emperor Dušan seated on his throne with a sword on his knees, or standing while two angels place a crown on his head, or on his horse and those with the imperial signature in several lines.
Towards the end of Dušan’s reign the imperial dinar, its weight greatly reduced, led to a new type of coin, “grossi de tercio” weighing a third of the stable imperial dinar (average present day weight 0.58-0.46 g). Also appearing during the imperial period were Kotor dinars, minted by Dušan and Uroš (1355-1371), their average weight 1.68 g. The Kotor dinars were also minted later during the existence of the Serbian state by foreign city protectors, Hungarian king Louis I (1342-1382) and Bosnian king Stefan Ostoja (1398-1404).
Comparing the average weights of the different types of coins we can say that from the time of Emperor Uroš until Despot Đurđe Branković (1402-1456) there were many different types with an average present day weight of about one gram (1.12-0.97 g, generally 1.08-1.04 g), i.e. dinars which originally weighted a little over one gram – about 1.15 g. Such dinars were minted by Emperor Uroš, King Vukašin (1365-1371), Prince Lazar (1370-1389), Despot Stefan Lazarević (1389-1427), along with numerous coins issued by Despot Đurđe Branković. The coins issued by Nikola Altomanović (1367-1373)and Balša III (1403-1421) also belong to this type. Along with this reduced dinar, Dušan’s small coin „grossi de tercio“, which kept its former weight during the reign of Emperor Uroš, was converted into a half dinar. During the rule of Emperor Uroš and King Vukašin and members of his family smaller dinars were also minted.

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