Did you know that a silver Carolus guilder weighs 23 grams?
Today, our € 2 coin weighs roughly 8.5 grams, so the silver Carolus guilder was almost three times as heavy.
In those days, coins had an intrinsic value: the coin’s value depended on its weight in precious metal. In the Southern Netherlands the silver coins were fairly small, so that traders had to carry large quantities of coins for major transactions. In 1543, a heavy silver guilder was minted for the first time: the silver Carolus guilder. The face of the coin bears a portrait of Charles V.
If you would like to see a silver Carolus guilder for yourself, as well as other coins minted in the reign of Charles V, then visit the National Bank’s museum before 27 August.
The fourth piece of the tapestry puzzle will appear on 29 June.