Author Topic: Czechoslovakia's short-lived post-communist coinage  (Read 6124 times)

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Offline <k>

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Czechoslovakia's short-lived post-communist coinage
« on: January 09, 2013, 01:55:04 AM »
Throughout 1989, many of the communist regimes of Europe toppled and fell. On 17th November the Velvet Revolution came to Czechoslovakia, and by early December the communist regime had gone. Alexander Dubček was elected speaker of the federal parliament on December 28 and Václav Havel the President of Czechoslovakia on December 29, 1989. In June 1990, Czechoslovakia held its first democratic elections since 1946.

The Czechoslovak Socialist Republic ceased to exist, and the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic was the official name of Czechoslovakia from April 1990 until 31 December 1992.
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Offline <k>

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Re: Czechoslovakia's short-lived post-communist coinage
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2013, 02:01:41 AM »
The newly democratic states of Europe released their new-look coinages between 1990 and 1995, so this was an exciting time for numismatists. Most of the designs were radically different, but in Czechoslovakia this was not the case. The new coins were released in 1991, but their physical specifications (shape, size, metal) were the same as those of communist Czechoslovakia. (The images in this topic are not to scale).

Here you see the old 1 korun and the new. The old Czechoslovak lion (with communist star), which represented the Czechs rather than the Slovaks, has been replaced by a new coat of arms, in which the Slovak double cross has been given equal weight. The reverse design of a peasant woman has been left unchanged. It is in a way a typically communist image, but not exclusively so, because a rather similar design appeared on the 50 Pfennig coin of West Germany, so there was no real need to change it.
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Offline <k>

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Re: Czechoslovakia's short-lived post-communist coinage
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2013, 02:03:59 AM »
In the case of the 5 haleru coin, the communist star above the denomination has simply been removed.
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Offline <k>

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Re: Czechoslovakia's short-lived post-communist coinage
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2013, 02:06:17 AM »
Exactly the same change can be seen on the 10, 20 and 50 haleru coins, so it is not necessary to show all of them, since they all have a similar reverse design.
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Offline <k>

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Re: Czechoslovakia's short-lived post-communist coinage
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2013, 02:08:59 AM »
The 2 korun design is more interesting. This included a hammer and sickle, but these have been removed from the new design.
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Offline <k>

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Re: Czechoslovakia's short-lived post-communist coinage
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2013, 02:12:53 AM »
The only difference to the new 5 korun reverse design is that the star, seen at the top left, has been removed. The rather socialist or communist design that suggests a construction site has otherwise been unchanged. However, the imagery is not exclusively communist, as the French 10 francs coin of the 1970s also depicted stylised industrial infrastructure.
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Offline <k>

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Re: Czechoslovakia's short-lived post-communist coinage
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2013, 02:19:09 AM »
At the time, I found the minor changes to the Czechoslovak designs rather disappointing. However, the differences between the Czechs and the Slovaks started as soon as the new regime commenced, and these led to the Velvet Divorce of 1st January 1993. Evidently the government had more important things to worry about than the designs of the coins, or perhaps the politicians felt all along that the federation would not last.

Interestingly, the Czechs were thought to have the stronger economic future. They are still richer than the Slovaks, but the Slovaks have closed the gap considerably. Slovakia joined the euro zone in 2009. The EU considers that the Czech Republic is not yet ready. How times change.
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Offline <k>

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Re: Czechoslovakia's short-lived post-communist coinage
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2013, 02:24:26 AM »
The two new republics each adopted their new currency in February 1993, but interestingly there is a Czechoslovak 10 korun commemorative dated 1993.







See also:

1] Czechoslovak heroes on post-communist circulation coins

2] Slovakia: Two states, three coinages
« Last Edit: February 05, 2013, 10:35:16 PM by <k> »
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Offline Figleaf

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Re: Czechoslovakia's short-lived post-communist coinage
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2013, 02:38:07 AM »
Unlike for instance Walesa, Dubček and Havel were pretty allergic to dictatorial manners, enforced decisions and political pushing and shoving. They had seen far too much of it. They were intellectuals. This is one reason why the Czechoslovak escape from the Soviet bloc was bloodless, smooth and joyful. This also explains why they didn't resist Slovak independence much or long. Their inheritance of politeness and flexibility lives on in a parliament that finds it difficult to make drastic decisions and in revolving door governments. The Czech budget is a shambles. Every new cabinet wants to reform government finances and fails. Everything that was achieved was changed - like the coins - incrementally. Mouse steps, my boss called the system.

Peter
« Last Edit: January 09, 2013, 08:25:52 PM by Figleaf »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline Ukrainii Pyat

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Re: Czechoslovakia's short-lived post-communist coinage
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2013, 03:27:50 PM »
Walesa was a shipyard worker by trade, Havel and Dubcek were indeed intellectuals.
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Offline lidianb

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Re: Czechoslovakia's short-lived post-communist coinage
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2013, 04:45:09 PM »
I like the 3 Koruny from Czechoslovakia, I don't know why it was issued only on 4 years, none of the other "Socialist Camp" countries had a 3 denominated coin. Except Romania and CCCP but those had "cents"

Offline chrisild

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Re: Czechoslovakia's short-lived post-communist coinage
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2013, 05:59:13 PM »
Those "3" coins followed the Soviet Union's example, I think. Czechoslovakia had 3 haléře coins minted (and designed, I think) in the USSR between 1953 and 1963, and the 3 koruny coins were made between 1965 and '69. Before and after those dates, there was either a "2" denomination, or none between "1" and "5" ...

Side note: As for the CSSR coat of arms, I don't think it represented the Czech part more than the Slovak part. After all, the lion had always had a shield on his chest so to say which represented Slovakia. It's just that, in the pre-CSSR republic, that shield showed the double cross while, between 1960 and 1990, a different symbol was used. One that was considered "artificial" by many, and apparently wasn't very popular.

Christian

Offline Zantetsuken

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Re: Czechoslovakia's short-lived post-communist coinage
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2013, 03:09:01 AM »
Cool coins. Here are a couple post-communist issues from my collection. The second piece is interesting in that it was issued for a country that had already ceased to exist.

CZECHOSLOVAKIA (FEDERATIVE REPUBLIC)~50 Koruna 1991


CZECHOSLOVAKIA (FEDERATIVE REPUBLIC)~10 Koruna 1993

Offline Zantetsuken

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Re: Czechoslovakia's short-lived post-communist coinage
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2013, 03:12:15 AM »
The two new republics each adopted their new currency in February 1993, but interestingly there is a Czechoslovak 10 korun commemorative dated 1993.








Interesting. I never knew they had a 1993 issue for the Masaryk commemorative. I should keep my eyes out for it. Thanks for posting this.

Offline <k>

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Re: Czechoslovakia's short-lived post-communist coinage
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2013, 12:53:16 PM »
Here is an interesting piece of history. The text comes from a recent UK Treasury document.

Breakup of Czechoslovakian monetary union

In 1992 Czechoslovakia agreed to split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The split came into effect on 1 January 1993. After the political split the two states attempted to preserve monetary and economic union. Monetary union was planned to last at least six months, but was conditional. Either side could withdraw if fiscal deficits or transfers of private capital between the two countries exceeded preset limits, or if the shared monetary policy committee failed to agree a common policy. But with an uncertain political commitment and no fiscal transfers, the currency union lacked credibility. Thirty-three days after independence the monetary union failed.

During late 1992 and throughout January 1993, capital flowed from Slovakia to the Czech Republic in anticipation of a currency split and a Slovakian devaluation (as deposit-holders transferred their wealth from Slovakia to the Czech Republic to avoid deposits being redenominated into a less valuable currency). Therefore the Czech government decided on 19 January to separate the currency. Secret negotiations with Slovakia led to a date for separation being set for 8 February. The separation was publicly announced on 2 February, with capital controls implemented to stop any capital transfers. During the separation period (4-7 February) the old currency was exchanged, with the new currency becoming valid on 8 February. Regular Czechoslovak banknotes were temporarily used, with a paper stamp attached to mark whether the notes were Czech or Slovak. During this transition thousands of Slovaks crossed the Czech border to have their old notes stamped as Czech. Stamped banknotes were gradually replaced with new Czech and Slovak banknotes, with the process finishing by August.

The collapse of the monetary union shows that divergence between two formerly united countries does not have to be slow. As the economies of the Czech Republic and Slovakia were relatively different, the markets treated them as different countries before the political spilt had even occurred. This put instant pressure on the monetary union when it came into force.
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