Brandenburg-Bayreuth (German State) silver Kreuzers

Tom K. writes: I have some old coins that I am having problems identifying, and I am hoping you can shed some light on them. If you can offer any assistance, I would be most grateful. Thank you.

The first coin dated 1632 has the legend “STE:POM:CAS:VA:CR:IA:D:BVRG:I:NV:1632”. The center design is pretty worn, but it appears to be some sort of eagle with what may have been a shield on its breast. The other side has “CHRISTIAN:DG:MARCH:BRANDBVRG:PRVS”, and features a design with two shields. The left shield has a lion, and the other a four-square checkerboard. Above the shields is “IIII K”, and below the shields is a large letter “F”.

The second coin dated 1763 has the legend “CHRISTIAN * IV * D * G * C * P * R * BAV * DUX”, and features a bust of what I am assuming is Christian IV. The other side has the legend “NACH DEM CON VENTIONS FUS”, and features an upright lion with a crown, in an oval. On top of the oval is a larger crown. Below the oval is the number “10” (which bisects the date on either side of the oval), and below that the letter “M”.

The first coin appears similar to some old coins I have dating back to the Holy Roman Empire. The second resembles some coins from Austria. But the only rulers I have been able to find with the name “Christian” are Danish. However, the dates are wrong. There was a Christian IV who reigned from 1588-1648, which put the first coin within his reign. But why no designation of “IV”? And Christian IV was long dead when my 1763 coin bearing the name “Christian IV” was minted.

1. You have a 1632 (German States) Brandenburg-Bayreuth silver 4 Kreuzer (also known as a “Batzen”). The obverse features joined shield of the two states united under King Christian (1603-1655) within a beaded border. The denomination IIII.K (4 Kreuzer) is above the shields. Below the shields is the Mint Mark “F”, representing that the coin was struck at the Furth Mint. The reverse features the characteristic “German” eagle with a similar beaded border.

Rulers had extensive titles both real and ceremonial and insisted that all their titles appear on coins. Coin designers worked out standard Latin or German abbreviations that could become even more abbreviated (and more difficult to determine) depending on the size of the coin. On this piece the legend start on the eagle side and continues on the reverse:

“CHRISTIAN:DG:MARCH:BRANDBVRG:PRVS” and then “STE:POM:CAS:VA:CR:IA:D:BVRG:I:NV:1632” (Christian, By The Grace of G-d, Margrave of Brandenburg, Prussia, Stettin, Pomerania, Cassubia, Vandalia, Crossen….Burgrave of Jagerndorf, Nuremburg…1632)

Numismatic value depends on grade (condition): Approximate range: $10 – $75

2. A 1763 Brandenburg-Bayreuth silver 10 Kreuzer struck under Fredrich Christian (1763-69) Note that Brandenburg-Bayreuth is located in northern Bavaria which passed to the German State, Ansbach in 1769.

CHRISTIAN * IV * D * G * C * P * R * BAV * DUX (Christian IV, By the Grace of G-d, Count Palatine of the Rhine, Duke of Bavaria)/ NACH DEM CONVENTIONS FUS[se] (According to the convention standard)

Approximate value range: $10 – $50.