Worlds Firts Government Issued Anti-Semitic Coin -- 1149
In the twelfth
century, the Holy Roman Emperor granted minting privileges to both
the civil and clerical authorities in various regions. One such
center in the eastern part of Germany was the community of Halberstadt.
The coins of
the period in that region of the world were struck on thin metal,
so thin that the material could take but one impression and so thin
that this one impression was positive on one side and negative on
the reverse. Today all of the coiris of this group are known as
I, who ruled from 1149-1160 and again from 1177-1190 issued a silver
pfennig, a coin about the size of today's quarter, believed to be
used for tax purposes rather than for ordinary commerce. His theme
From the New
Testament he selected the story of the stoning by Jews of St. Stephen
in the first century
In the Bishop's
time 1000 years later, Jews of the area were required by law to
wear conical hats so that they were clearly distinguishable from
the rest of the citizenry. The mintmaster for the Bishop presents
two Jews with their cone-shaped hats, their medieval garb, a falling
St. Stephen and the rocks. A halo makes it clear that St. Stephen
has been canonized for his martrydom.
had been invented.