LITHUANIA 1 schilling 1664 TLB/HK PL


LITHUANIA, Jan Kasimir, 1649-68, 1 schilling, 1664 TLB/HK PL, Reverse: stag head privy, copper, KM50, small crust spots reverse, VF

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John II Casimir Vasa (Jan Kazimieras Vaza, etc.) was King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, Sweden too, though he didn’t have power there. He did not have luck in politics and war, losing territory to Sweden and Russia. He was forced to abdicate, and went off to France, where he lived as the guest of the French King until he died a few years later.

The Baltic nations are ethnically quite complicatedly diverse. Lithuania, with Poland to the south, Latvia to the north, and Russia to the east, organized as a kingdom in 1253. The kingdom became a Duchy of the Holy Roman Empire, which did not stop the Teutonic Knights from invading on the pretext that the Lithuanians were pagans, which, at that time, they were not. Lithuania beat back the Teutons, and proceeded on a course of military expansion that took them deep into Poland and Ukraine and Russia. They united with Poland in 1589. Tied to Poland, it was awarded to Russia as Poland was dismembered by its neighbors. Lithuania disappeared from politics until after World War I. It was an independent nation after World Wat I until it was leaned on first by Germany, then by the Soviet Union, which occupied it and incorporated it. When the USSR dissolved in 1991 Lithuania became independent again.

The political arrangements that resulted in the nations of modern Europe began to emerge out of anarchy starting in the 7th century AD or so. Europe, for our purposes stretches from Greenland to somewhere in Russia. Collectors of Europe would likely include Russia. Collectors of Asia, even though about 2/3 of Russia is in Asia, probably not.

By “Modern World Coins” we mean here, generally, the round, flat, shiny metal objects that people have used for money and still do. “Modern,” though, varies by location. There was some other way they were doing their economies, and then they switched over to “modern coins,” then they went toward paper money, now we’re all going toward digital, a future in which kids look at a coin and say “What’s that?” We’ll say: “We used to use those to buy things.” Kids will ask “How?” The main catalog reference is the Standard Catalog of World Coins, to which the KM numbers refer.