Holy Roman Empire, Archbishopric Salzburg, Michael of Kuenburg, Ducat 1555

In 1284, Venice minted a gold coin that made monetary history under the name of "ducat." As trade coins, ducats circulated throughout Europe, and before too long were minted nearly everywhere. In the German-Austrian territory alone more than 250 princes, bishops and towns issued ducats – some only for a short time, others, like Salzburg, over centuries. The archbishops of Salzburg soon realized that Salzburg's economy benefited from good money and the expansion of its currency area. The Salzburg coins thus distinguished themselves by constant quality and beauty over more than three centuries, and indeed always circulated way beyond the archbishopric's boundaries.