Coin shelf

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The coin rack was the name for the royal sovereignty ( iura regalia : royal rights) to determine the coinage within the Holy Roman Empire . It encompassed the determination of the currency (the coin system), the right to produce coins and the right to use the coin, i.e. the profit from coin minting, the seigniorage (old: Schlagschatz).


Coin sovereignty was defined as follows:

  1. Issuing coins and setting the compulsory rate, that is the command to everyone to accept the coins as a means of payment,
  2. Disreputation, that is, putting coins in circulation out of price
  3. Determining the design of the coin,
  4. Determination of the coin unit,
  5. Determination of the currency metal,
  6. Determination of the coin size , that is, the determination of how many pieces of coins are to be made from a certain weight unit of the currency metal, as well as determination of the fineness of the coins,
  7. Establishment of the mints,
  8. Issuing implementing regulations,
  9. Issuing criminal provisions against offenders.

Subordinate to this was the right to mint the coins of the mint lord (Münzfürst) who had the mint right. The right to mint is not a right to mint and should not be confused with the right of the person entitled to mint, the mint owner.

However, the financial return was the most important part of the coin rack, which is why the coin utility is often referred to as the coin rack. The coin rack could be leased or pledged.


Since Charlemagne , the coin rack, following the example of ancient Rome, had been with the Franconian crown, which exercised a strong central power. The royal administration was also responsible for the establishment and operation of the mints, the coin base and the minting of coins.

With a strong increase in the economy from the 9th century onwards, the right to coins, often combined with customs and market law , was delegated to clerical rulers, mainly bishops. Since the 11th century it has also been awarded to secular princes and imperial dynasts and later passed on to cities.

With the Golden Bull of Charles IV in 1356, the coin shelf and the mountain shelf of the Roman-German emperors were also passed on to the electors of the Holy Roman Empire without restriction . Since 1648 other imperial estates have also been given the coin rack. Nevertheless, sovereignty over coinage officially remained with the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.

See also


  • A. Luschin von Ebengreuth : General minting and monetary history of the Middle Ages and modern times. 2nd greatly increased edition. Oldenbourg, Munich et al. 1926, DNB 361181787 ( Handbook of Medieval and Modern History. Dept. 4: Auxiliary Sciences and Antiquities 5), (Unchanged reprographic reprint: ibid 1969).
  • Friedrich von Schrötter : Dictionary of coinage. 2nd, unchanged edition. De Gruyter, Berlin 1970, DNB 458690163 .
  • Peter Volz: Royal coinage sovereignty and coinage privilege in the Carolingian Empire and the development in the Saxon and Frankish times. Part I: The Carolingian period. In: Yearbook for Numismatics and Monetary History. 21, ISSN  0075-2711 , pp. 157-186.

Individual evidence

  1. Volz p. 160.
  2. Heinz Fengler: "Introduction" In: 700 years of coinage in Berlin. , Berlin 1976, p. 20. cf. New High German translation of the Golden Bull from 1713, Chapter IX - "From gold / silver / and other Ertz because of" (privileges regarding ore mines, salt, Jews and customs) and Chapter X - "From the Müntz." (Privileges regarding the right to mint), digital full-text edition in Wikisource , full text and commentary by Karl Zeumer : The Golden Bull of Emperor Charles IV (Part 1). Weimar: Hermann Böhlaus successor, 1908, page 51 f. Digital full-text edition in Wikisource , full-text (version from May 5, 2011)