Polish Złoty

Name of currency: Polish Złoty

Country / countries used: Poland

Symbol:   zł

Brief history:

The złoty originates way back in the Middle Ages, the term złoty means ‘golden’ in polish and back in the 14th and 15th century it was used when referring to all kinds of foreign gold coins traded within Poland most commonly, the Venetian and Hungarian golden ‘ducats’. It wasn’t until 1496 when the ‘Sejm of the Republic of Poland’ decided to promote the creation and circulation of a purely independent national currency, which is when the official złoty was born, its value set at 30 groszy, which were based on the current currency in Prague the Prague groschen, these in turn were subdivided by either 2 półgrosz or 3 solidi.

The name złoty stuck and even when the monetary system changed it has always been referred to as the złoty, (except during its time unified with the Russian Empire) no longer consisting of gold due to the devaluation in terms of foreign money exchange of the time, it became a silver coin and foreign gold coins circulating as roughly 5 złotych.

The rate of 1 złoty to 30 groszy was only confirmed and the national official currency named as the złoty in 1787, tied to the ‘conventionsthaler’ the silver coin of the Holy Roman Empire at a money exchange rate of 8 złoty being equivalent to 1 conventionsthaler.

The złoty managed to remain the lead currency throughout the ‘Partitions of Poland’ but replaced by the rubel from the Bank of Polski comprising of Russian coinage and notes from 1850 until 1863 due to the unsuccessful uprising in January 1863 Poland became unified with the Russian Empire although the coins continued to be in circulation until the early 20th century.