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fine silver | 20 mm | 0.4 g
A depiction of the heraldic symbol of the Czech state - the double-tailed crowned lion - was used for the first time on this coin of King Ottokar II. of Bohemia. The Bracteate (from the Latin bractea - a thin piece of metal) was a single-sided coin minted from a very thin piece of metal mostly silver. Bracteates were introduced by Ottokar I of Bohemia in 1226 to 1228 to replace the strongly devalued traditional Denarius. Bohemian Bracteates were made on the model of the Bracteates of Meissen. Attempting to restore the validity of his regalia to mint coins the Czech king was issuing coins the people could have confidence in. Thus a reliable coin was introduced once again with a nominal value nearly equal to the value of the metal it contained. The mints producing Bracteates were decentralised during the reign of Ottokar II of Bohemia in order to meet the needs of a large state. However this was accompanied by problems arising from the uneven quality of mintage and accordingly a variable value of the coins.