Ducat - Encyclopedia




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DUCAT, the name of a coin, generally of gold, and of varying value, formerly in use in many European countries. It was first struck by Roger II. of Sicily as duke of Apulia, and bore an inscription "Sit tibi, Christe, datus, quem to regis, iste ducatus" (Lord, thou rulest this duchy, to thee be it dedicated); hence, it is said, the name. Between 1280 and 1284 Venice also struck a gold coin, known first as the ducat, afterwards as the zecchino or sequin, the ducat becoming merely a money of account. The ducat was also current in Holland, Austria, the Netherlands, Spain and Denmark (see Numismatics). A gold coin termed a ducat was current in Hanover during the reigns of George I. and George III. A pattern gold coin was also struck by the English mint in 1887 for a proposed decimal coinage. On the reverse was the inscription "one ducat" within an oak wreath; above "one hundred pence," and below the date between two small roses. There is a gold coin termed a ducat in the AustriaHungary currency, of the value of nine shillings and fourpence.

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