Polish coins with Hebrew inscriptions

Date: 1181–1202
Location or Findspot (Modern-Day Country): Poland
Medium: Silver
Dimensions: 1.6–1.8 cm
Description: Many Jews settled in Poland during the rule of Bolesław III Wrymouth, duke of Poland from 1107 to 1138. The duke, recognizing their potential economic contributions, encouraged the Jews to emigrate from Germany and Bohemia, where they were facing increasing discrimination. His son, Mieszko III the Old (duke from 1173–1177 and 1181–1202), prohibited violence against the Jews.

Mieszko III was expelled from Poland during an uprising in 1177 and financed his reconquest with the help of Jewish donors, who were given control of the Gniezno and Kalisz mints in return. Coins minted under Mieszko III have Hebrew inscriptions and are technically bracteates, in that they are thin, silver coins embossed on only one side, an indication of the currency's devaluation during this period.
Relevant Textbook Chapter(s): 8
Image Credits: © Münzkabinett der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz

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Coin with bird spreading its wings inscribed MSZKA MELEK SALEM (Mieszko king of peace) in Hebrew Coin with plants, a bird, and a Hebrew inscription of BERAKHAH TOVAH (good blessing)