Leipzig Mint

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The Mint of Leipzig was Otto the Rich , Margrave of Meissen (1156-1190), build. The mint masters have only been proven beyond doubt since the middle of the 15th century . From the 16th century, coins were only sporadically used in Leipzig. In 1765 the mint was closed.


First evidence

The first evidence of the Leipzig mint was provided with bracteates with the inscription MARCHIO OTTO DE LIPPI or OTTO MARCHIO DE LIPPZINA of Margrave Otto the Rich. It was first mentioned in a document around 1220. With the advent of the Meissnian groschen , Freiberg became an important mint. The Leipzig mint probably ceased operations around 1370.

From the middle of the 15th century until it was closed by Elector August


Elector Ernst , Duke Albrecht, Duke Wilhelm III. 1465–1482, Horngroschen 1466, Leipzig
Elector Ernst, Duke Albrecht, Duke Wilhelm III. (1465–1482), Pointed Groschen 1475, Leipzig
Elector Friedrich III. with Johann and Duke Albrecht, Zinsgroschen (14) 96, Leipzig

Elector Friedrich II., The Meek (1428–1464), commissioned the mint master Hans Borner to rebuild the Leipzig mint in 1451. Besides groschengeld from the mints Freiberg, Leipzig, Colditz , Gotha and Weimar , the oldest Saxon gold coins, the gold guilders with no year and depicting John the Baptist, were minted in Leipzig between 1454 and 1461 . Since 1488 the gold guilders have had a legend on the back with a reference to the Leipzig mint (LIPCEN, LIPZENSIS).

On April 4, 1465 an important came together with Elector Ernst, Duke Albrecht and Duke Wilhelm III. Coin reform decided in Leipzig comes about. On this basis, new groschen, the so-called horn groschen as "high would" were coined. A single high currency of 20 new horn groschen was created on the Rhenish guilder . The urgent need for new money in a stable currency made it necessary for the Leipzig mint to be included for two years.

In the Saxon Coin Order of 1490, the value ratio gold gulden: groschen = 1: 21. That was the origin of the Meissen gulden , which was used as a bill of exchange until the 19th century.

First silver guilders

From 1496 in Leipzig and then in Schneeberg large amounts of interest groschen (21 pieces) were minted on gold guilders (Rhenish guilders). The interest groschen and the Schreckenbergers minted in Annaberg from 1498 served to prepare for the new silver guilder currency introduced from 1500. The trade had to be supplied with the appropriate amount of small coins beforehand. The first Saxon large silver coins, the silver guilders, later called Klappmützentaler by collectors , were minted in Annaberg and possibly in Wittenberg in 1500 . The Leipzig mint minted it only in 1519 under mint master Ulrich Gebhardt, marked with his mint master's mark “Cross on a half moon”.

From the 16th century, the Leipzig mint only produced sporadically.

Siege cliffs

During the unsuccessful siege of the city of Leipzig, the two warring sides shaped the now extremely rare emergency or siege cliffs in January 1547 . The money required to pay the mercenaries during the siege by Elector Johann Friedrich I (1532–1554, 1547–1552 in captivity, since 1552 duke) had to be made of silver and gold by minting emergency cliffs , mainly using church utensils and silver dishes are covered. The valuable items came from the possession of the Merseburg Monastery , which had been stored in Leipzig for security reasons before the war . The emergency cliffs minted in Leipzig to a thaler of Duke Moritz von Sachsen (1541–1553, Elector since 1547), with the diamond plate between the divided year 1547, are marked with the letter L for Leipzig and the letters MHZS (Moritz Herzog zu Sachsen) . Elector Johann Friedrich I also had emergency cliffs built to pay for his troops. These emergency coins were mainly struck in Wittenberg and, in contrast to the siege cliffs of Duke Moritz, show the Saxon spa coat of arms with the year 1547 and the letters H. HF. K. (Duke Hans Friedrich Elector).

See also:

Final coin separation

With the loss of the electoral dignity of the Ernestines after the battle of Mühlberg and the Wittenberg surrender , the goal of establishing the district mint of the Ernestines in Leipzig in Alberta had failed . The sons of the imprisoned Johann Friedrich I were forced to put the old Saalfeld mint back into operation in the spring of 1551 , as the rights to use the Saxon silver mines and mints for the Ernestines had been lost. The joint coinage agreed between the Ernestines and Albertines in the Leipzig main division of 1485 was finally abandoned (see Saxon coin separation ).

After the establishment of the Dresden mint in 1556, Elector August (1553–1586) ordered the closure of all state mints . He had the Leipzig mint, which had been inactive for a long time, closed in 1571.

From the time of tipping and luffing to the introduction of the convention foot

The Leipzig mint in the 17th century

In the days of the tipper and wipper , the monopoly of the Dresden Mint was broken by tipper mints. In Leipzig, too, from 1621 to 1622 under the mint masters Reinhard and Reichardt Jäger, the production of inferior coins, which was carried out on an ever larger scale, began. The tipper coins minted in Leipzig are pfennigs, 3 kreuzers, groschen, 4-, 8-, 20-, 30-, 40- and 60-groschen pieces ( Kippertaler to 60 groschen) and 8-groschenklippen. The smallest coins, which are one-sided copper pennies, were produced by the Grünthal copper hammer .

The introduction of the Zinnaische Münzfußes required the reopening of the mint in 1669, which had been closed since the end of the tipper and wipper era. The inferior minting of the mountain ridge Jonas Zipfel, which had already failed with the overhead management of the Bautzen mint , resulted in the Leipzig mint being closed again in 1670:

“The right to mint was exercised by the new in 1669 […]. The following year alone, an elector banned Order the further coinage because the mint master at the time, Jonas Zipfel, minted the 16, 8 and 4 groschen pieces too easily and then ran away. Under the reign of Joh. Georg IV. The light coins had to be exchanged and remelted and so the mint opened again here [1693] as it was expanded by the Amelungsburg and a new building with a horse factory was built for lively operation . "

After the introduction of the Leipzig foot, Elector Johann Georg IV (1691–1694) had the Leipzig mint put into operation again in 1693. From 1696 a new mint building was built, in which coins were made until around 1714. In 1839 KARL GROSSE mentioned the coin operation in the new building as follows:

Leipzig, Pleißenburg around 1780. From 1753 the Leipzig mint was located in the casemates of the Pleißenburg

"But here, put the mint master Ernst Peter Hecht general usury of the time, especially he coined in 1702 bad money, the so-called Phillips and Beichlingsthaler, as well as the low-grade six, the name of leipziger sigh [by WALTHER KEY Red sigh ] received because the people were made to complain. It was the time of the Swedish War under Charles XII. , where such minted coins with the years 1701, 1702, 1703 were minted from more than 6 tons of gold. [...] The state official, Grand Chancellor Wolf Dietrich Graf von Beichlingen , who had it stamped, came to the Königstein and was only released in 1709. The Leipzig Mint was then closed in 1714. "

Red sigh , also known as sigh and Leipzig sigh , is the popular name of the inferior six-pfennig coin that was minted in huge quantities in 1701 and 1702 under the Saxon Elector and Polish King August the Strong. In 1703, however, the so-called sighs were no longer minted. The above The coining time after Karl Große is therefore not entirely appropriate. The mint master Ernst Peter Hecht was also not responsible for issuing the bad coins.

Saxon-Polish bank teller from 1702, from the Leipzig mint, so-called Beichlingscher Ordenstaler

In 1702, three different bank notes appeared in the form of one another , which were issued by the Grand Chancellor Wolf Dietrich Graf von Beichlingen. Only the ribbon and the order cross, but not the Danish Elephant Order, as was the case with the other two thalers, was shown on an embossing . Beichlingen was assumed that this cross was that of the Danish Order of Danebro , of which he was a knight and the thaler an insult to the king. The count fell out of favor. The bank note received the designation Beichlingtaler or Beichlingscher Ordenstaler by collectors .

From 1752 the mint probably minted gold and silver coins of the Polish currency in the rooms in front of the Peterstor (the Münzgasse reminds of this). The planned currency reform and the cramped space led to the relocation to the casemates of Pleißenburg in 1753 .

- See also: Butterfly thaler (coins of Friedrich August from the time of Countess Cosel)

Coins for Poland

Kingdom of Poland, August III. Thaler 1754, Leipzig Mint

The Saxon electors Friedrich August I and Friedrich August II minted not only after the Leipziger Fuß (12 Kuranttaler or 18 Gulden adf Mark) and the Reichsfuß (Speciesreichstaler) for Saxony, but also coins for the Kingdom of Poland , which since 1697 by personal union was associated with the electorate. The first Polish coins in 1698 were so-called Timpfe and Szóstaki. These are eighteen-penny pieces and six-penny pieces according to Polish feet with the crowned bust of August II as King of Poland. In 1702 Polish thalers and ducats with the mint master's mark EPH, the initials of the mint master Ernst Peter Hecht, were struck in Leipzig. Minting was interrupted by the Northern War with Sweden . Under August III. Minted the Leipzig Mint for Poland ducats, August d'or , thalers, half thalers, timpfe, szóstaki, threepenny pieces and three peoples (pieces of three half penny with the inscription POLTURAK). The mint masters of these Polish coins were the Electoral Saxon officials Johann Georg Gödecke and Ernst Dietrich Croll.

In addition to gold and silver coins, copper coins were first minted in Saxony from 1749 to 1752. The copper szelagi ( shillings ) and groszy ( groschen worth three shillings) with the bust of August III for Poland . and the crowned coat of arms was not produced by the Leipzig mint, but by the Grünthal mint in the "Althammer" of the Saigerhütte Grünthal in the Ore Mountains not far from Olbernhau and the Guben ( Gubin ) mint .

When the Prussian armies of Frederick II occupied Saxony in the Seven Years' War in 1756 , the coinage for the Kingdom of Poland was canceled.

Under Prussian occupation

During the Seven Years' War, under Prussian occupation, the Leipzig mint was leased to Veitel Heine Ephraim by the Prussian king Friedrich II (1740–1786) , and from 1758 to the Berlin consortium Ephraim & Co. (with Daniel Itzig ). When the coin was taken over, old stamps for eight groschen pieces (third thalers) with the year 1753 and the bust of the Elector of Saxony, Friedrich August II (1733–1763) were used, but with a reduced fineness . The coinage took place without any distinguishing features from the real pieces. Only in 1761 and 1762 was the correct year minted. The high interest to be paid by the tenants to the Prussian king resulted in an ever decreasing silver content of the coins. The Prussian forgeries were named Ephraimites after the name of the coin tenant . Saxon gold coins to the value of five thalers were also forged in Leipzig to finance the war of Frederick II. They were re-minted from 1760 with the stamp of 1755 and their fineness was increasingly reduced. From the original 23  carats , only 7 carats remained in the last year of the war.

The war coins produced in huge quantities led to the complete collapse of the monetary system in Saxony and Poland.

Friedrich Christian, Thaler 1763, Leipzig, CNG.jpg
Elector Friedrich Christian (1763) Speciestaler (Konventionsspeciestaler) 1763, Leipzig Mint
Electorate of Saxony, Friedrich August III.  Thaler 1764, Leipzig, CNG.jpg
Elector Friedrich August III. (1763–1806), Speciestaler (Konventionsspeciestaler) 1764, Leipzig Mint

Final closure

In the years 1763 to 1766, the war coins minted in Leipzig, the third thaler or eight groschen pieces with the dates 1753, 1761 and 1762 were melted down after prior devaluation and suspension. With the leached silver, the coin minted fully-fledged coins again according to the convention rate of 1763. However, calculations were made in the convention cure . According to this, the thaler (Reichstaler) was a bill coin worth 24 good groschen , which was not minted .

Assuming that the medieval high-rimmed pennies (Sachsenpfennige) received their upset coin edge in use and not in a mint, the first edge design on the outer edge of Saxon silver coins took place with the introduction of the convention foot in 1763.

After the completion of the currency reform, the main mint in Dresden became the only mint in Saxony. The Leipzig mint was no longer needed. It finally ceased operations in 1765.

Mint master of the Leipzig Mint

Mint master from to Mintmaster's mark comment
Hans Borner 1451 1454 Trefoil
Hans Stockart 1454 1461 cross as gold coin master
Hans Stockart 1457 1462 lily as a silver mint master
Conrad Funke 1462 1477 six-pointed star Interruption between 1465 and 1466
Heinrich Stein 1488 1511 cross as gold coin master
Heinrich Stein 1492 1496 six-pointed star as a silver mint master
Heinrich Stein 1507 (?) 1511 six-pointed star
Gerhard Stein around 1512 Crescent moon
Ulrich Gebhardt (also Utz Gebhart) 1518 1520 Cross on crescent 1520–1530 mint master in Joachimstal (today Jáchymov / Czech Republic), same Mmz.
Ulrich Gebhardt 1531 1532 Cross on crescent
unknown 1547 Mintmark L Siege cliffs
Reinhard Jäger 1621 Monogram SL, hunting horn between deer antlers Tipper mint Leipzig
Reichardt hunter 1622 (1623) Monogram SL, hunting horn between deer antlers Tipper mint Leipzig
Jonas Zipfel 1669 1670 without
Siegmund Dannies 1692 1693 SD
Salomon Gottlieb Knorr 1693 without
Ernst Peter Hecht 1693 1714 EPH, pike Polish silver coins also without a mintmaster's mark

Vicariate ducats from 1711 without mm. could also come from the Leipzig mint.

Johann Georg Gödecke 1752 1753 IGG, G
Ernst Dietrich Croll 1753 1763 EDC, EC, C Polish silver coins also without a mintmaster's mark
Ephraim & Co. 1761 1762 EC, EDC, FDC, LDC, mintmark L War coins under Prussian occupation, previously minted with the stamp of 1753
Johann Friedrich ô Feral 1763 1765 IF ô F, ô F also without a mintmaster's mark, the mint closed in 1765

In the periods without information, the coin was idle.

See also


  • Walther Haupt : Saxon coinage. Berlin 1974.
  • Paul Arnold: Walter Haupt and his "Sächsische Münzkunde". In: Numismatic notebooks. No. 20, Dresden 1986.
  • Paul Arnold: Elector August (1553–1586) and the Saxon coinage. In: Numismatic notebooks. No. 20, Dresden 1986.
  • Lienhard Buck: The coins of the Electorate of Saxony 1763 to 1806. Berlin 1981.
  • Julius Erbstein , Albert Erbstein : Discussions in the field of the Saxon coin and medal history when listing the Hofrath Engelhardt's collection. Dresden 1888.
  • Gerhard Krug: The Meissnian-Saxon Groschen 1338-1500. Berlin 1974.
  • Jan-Erik Becker: The margravial coinage in Leipzig from the 12th to the 14th century . In: Enno Bünz (Hrsg.): History of the city of Leipzig . Volume 1. From the beginnings to the Reformation , Leipzig 2015, pp. 147–149.
  • Mirko Schöder: Leipzig coinage . In: Detlef Döring (ed.): History of the city of Leipzig . Volume 2. From the Reformation to the Congress of Vienna , Leipzig 2016, pp. 230–233.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Cf. Walter Schwinkowski: Coin and monetary history of the Mark Meissen and the coins of the secular lords in the Meissen style before the groschen minting - Part 1: illustration panels, Frankfurt (Main) 1931.
  2. ^ Gerhard Krug: The Meissnisch-Saxon Groschen 1338–1500 , Berlin 1974, p. 83.
  3. See coin archives: Herzog Albrecht (1485–1500), Goldgulden undated , Leipzig.
  4. ^ Krug, p. 92: Ua UB. Leipzig I document no. 406 v. 03.11.1466: “good groschzen of the best were who do XX eyn Rynian guilders”.
  5. ^ Lienhard Buck: The coins of the Electorate of Saxony 1763 to 1806 , Berlin 1981, p. 38.
  6. Cf. Lienhard Buck: The coins of the Electorate of Saxony 1763 to 1806, Berlin 1981, p. 52.
  7. Cf. mcsearch.info: Elector Johann Georg I., Kippertaler to 60 Groschen 1622, Leipzig.
  8. See Walther Haupt: Sächsische Münzkunde, Berlin 1974, p. 233.
  9. See Walther Haupt: Sächsische Münzkunde , Berlin 1974, p. 136.
  10. a b cf. Karl Große: History of the City of Leipzig from the oldest to the most recent, Volume 2, Leipzig 1839, p. 274.
  11. cf. mcsearch.info: 6 Pfennig 1702, Leipzig, so-called Red Sigh
  12. Heinz Fengler, Gerd Gierow, Willy Unger: transpress lexicon Numismatics , Berlin 1976, p 358: sigh
  13. Cf. mcsearch.info: Kingdom of Poland, August II., The Strong, Taler 1702, Leipzig. So-called Beichlingscher medal.
  14. Cf. mcsearch.info: Kingdom of Poland, August II. The Strong, Bankotaler 1702, Leipzig. Crowned, armored bust on the right. / In front of a St. Andrew's cross, the crowned Polish coat of arms is hung with the Danish Elephant Order and the Saxon coat of arms on the heart shield.
  15. See Walther Haupt: Sächsische Münzkunde. Berlin 1974, p. 171.
  16. Cf. mcsearch.info: August II., The Strong, 6-Gröscher (Szóstaki) 1702, Leipzig.
  17. See mcsearch.info: August III., 8 Groschen 1753, o. Mzz., Leipzig, war coinage - so-called Ephraimit.
  18. Cf. Eduard Fiala, Numismatic Society Vienna (ed.): The coinage of Count Schlick. In: Numismatic Journal Vol. 22 (1890), p. 203. ( digitized version )