Posted on October 31, 2018 by The Coin Cabinet
The first Daler struck in Sweden in 1534 is the Holy Grail of Swedish numismatics. The coin is so famous it has its own name, it’s called the Beret as the portrait shows king Gustav Eriksson Vasa wearing one. This is the 1st part of a 2 part series. In this part we look at the coin, in the second part we hear the historical context.
See Part 2 here: https://thecoincabinet.co.uk/videos/Gustav-Vasa-1534-Sweden-part2
Hi there, this is Andreas Afeldt at the Coin Cabinet. Welcome to the YouTube channel. Today I have an extremely rare, extremely valuable, 500 year old coin to show you, so please stay tuned.
In the first part of this video we will study the coin in great detail, and in the second part, for those who are interested, I will go into great detail about why the coin came into existence.
So this is the coin. It's 500 years old. There's only six specimens in private collections. It is the holy grail of Swedish numismatics. This is a 1534 Sweden silver daler, which is basically the same as a silver thaler or a silver dollar. The thaler spread quickly across Europe and became an international currency, something like the Euro or the US Dollar today. The person here in full length portrait is the Swedish king Gustav Eriksson of the Vasa family. He is known as the liberation leader in the war against Denmark in 1521, 22, and the king who built ... laid the foundations of modern Sweden. And remember, this is before the TV was invented, so at this time the coins were used to display the king's wealth and power. Basically it was a way for them to manage their PR.
Even though somewhat worn across the portrait, we can get a sense of the fashion in 1534. A robe, probably made of silk, maybe fur and with some gemstones. Long and probably white silk socks was certainly the way forward, and Gustav, who was extremely vain, actually used a stand-in leg model for his full length portraits. You can tell by, in his portraits, generally the legs stand out as looking a little bit out of place and not in sync with the rest of the portrait. I think you can see here as well, with his legs are a bit too muscly in a way.
The hat, a so-called beret, was at its height of popularity in Europe in the 1530s. Except maybe for in France where it has managed to cling on for another 500 years. So in Sweden, although only six specimens are privately owned of this type, this coin has its very own name. It's simply known as The Beret, or Baretten in Swedish, because none of the other dalers of Gustav Vasa, or any other coin type for that matter, is depicting the king wearing one.
So let's read the legend together. It's Gostavs Dei Graci Rex Sveci, which means Gustav, by the grace of God, king of Sweden. And the reverse shows the crowned shield of arms of Sweden with the three crowns and the Vasa family arms in the centre shield. And the legend reads moneta nova Stockholm, which means new money, Stockholm. And it was new money because this denomination had never been struck before in Sweden. Essentially it's the first thaler struck in Sweden, and therefore it is one coin that all Swedish thaler collectors want. For someone living in Stockholm, or being from Stockholm, will give a lot of added value to. It is something that none of the other of Gustav Vasa's daler have on them, so it definitely makes for added interest.
So let's go into detail about why this coin was minted. Who were the important power players in Europe at this time? And why did this coin help to shape Europe in the 1530s?