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Episode 7

Episode 7: Part 2 of 2: Rare Coin Special: Sweden 1534 Daler Gustav Vasa

Posted on December 13, 2018 by The Coin Cabinet


The 2nd and last part about Sweden’s first silver daler, this video goes into detail about the historical context; why was this coin minted and why did it play an important role in deciding the future of Northern Europe? Who were the main players in the war that broke out after Denmark’s king Christian III suddenly died in 1533? Why is the conflict called ‘the Count’s Feud’?

See Part 1 here: https://thecoincabinet.co.uk/videos/Gustav-Vasa-1534-Sweden-part1


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Hi there, and welcome to the Coin Cabinet YouTube channel. I's Andreas Afeldt here, and this is the second video of our incredibly rare and important Swedish 1534 silver dollar, stay tuned. This coin has tremendous historical importance. It shaped the future of the Northern Europe during the Renaissance. It is incredibly rare. Only six specimens are privately owned, and needless to say, it's worth quite a handsome sum of money. Here is the story of why it came into existence. 

On the 10th of April, 1533, Denmark's king Frederick I suddenly died, and because Denmark was still an elected monarchy at that time, an intense power struggle developed. The Hanseatic League, a powerful trade allegiance in the Baltic Sea region saw their chance to take control of the strategically important Danish Straits. The Danish Straits connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Baltic Sea region. Controlling these straits would give the Hanseatic League monopoly on trade routes within the Baltic, while also giving access to new trade routes in Columbus New World. In Lubeck, the capital and financial centre of the Hanseatic League, an aggressive plan to take control of Denmark and the Danish Straits was set into action. 

In May 1534, 5,000 mercenaries, led by Count Christopher of Oldenburg, marched their way into the Danish Peninsula of Jutland. The Danish nobility was caught by surprise. They quickly scrambled, and declared the oldest son of the deceased king their new ruler, Christian III, but Christian III needed allies. He desperately needed financial and military support to win the war. Both Copenhagen and Malmo had sworn their allegiance to Lubeck, and they put forward the deposed and exiled king of Denmark, Christian the Tyrant, as their candidate for the throne. Meanwhile, Gustavus of Sweden was watching the events in Denmark with great interest. He was the man who forced Christian the Tyrant out of Sweden back in 1522. His father had been among the first to be beheaded in the Stockholm Bloodbath of 1520, and his mother had been taken hostage and eventually killed when the Danes made their exit from Sweden, murdering and pillaging their way back to Copenhagen. And Gustav knew all too well the tactics of Lubeck, as he had himself been forced to sign unfavourable trading agreements to secure his succession to the throne back in 1523.

Could he, in 1534, finally end Christian the Tyrant and the influence of Lubeck with one blow? He decided that he would. As it happened, Christian III and Gustav were brothers-in-law, and at this time, marriages were strong political power plays that were made to be used to overcome common enemies. Gustav promised to aid with significant financial and military resources, and an unknown amount of this dollar coin were struck in Stockholm in 1534 to pay for the war efforts, and send to Christian III in Denmark, to build his army and win the war. 

A very small number these dollar coins have survived, and these are now the pinnacle of Swedish Numismatics. The fact that this coin contributed to Gustavus and Christian III to win the war is what brings you right back into the 1530s and makes this coin so incredibly important today. It is the type of coin which you would expect to see in a museum, and the fact that even six people can have this in their private collection is quite astounding. This coin secured a long, and peaceful, and prosperous period in Demark and Sweden, essentially laying the foundations of these modern nations to be built.


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