200 korun – 400th anniversary of death of Rabbi Jehuda Löw
On 17 June 2009, the Czech National Bank is putting into circulation a commemorative silver 200 Kč coin to mark the 400th anniversary of the death of the prominent Jewish scholar Rabbi Jehuda Löw ben Becalel. The 200 Kč coin is minted from an alloy containing 900 parts silver and 100 parts copper and is issued in two quality versions, normal quality and proof quality, which differ in surface treatment and edge marking. Proof quality coins have a highly polished field and a matt relief; the edge is plain with the frieze “ČESKÁ NÁRODNÍ BANKA * Ag 0.900 * 13 g *”. Normal quality coins have milled edges. The coin is 31 mm in diameter, weighs 13 g and is 2.35 mm thick. As with any other coins, deviations in diameter of 0.1 mm and thickness of 0.15 mm are allowed. Upward deviations in weight of 0.26 g and silver content of 1% are permitted.
The obverse of the coin features a composition of four Stars of David of various sizes on which are written years commemorating the pogroms against the Jewish population in the Czech lands. Written around the left-hand, bottom and right-hand edge of the coin is the name of the state “ČESKÁ REPUBLIKA”. The individual letters of the word “ČESKÁ” are of different sizes. The denomination and abbreviated monetary unit “200 Kč” are located on the right-hand edge of the biggest Star of David. The mark of the Czech Mint is located between the word “REPUBLIKA” in the name of the state and the right-hand edge of the biggest Star of David. The reverse of the coin features a silhouette of the Golem. Positioned between the silhouette of the Golem and the outer of the circle of the 200 Kč coin are Hebrew texts from the Talmud, which are reversed as intended by the designer. The reversing of the texts expresses a look back through history generally and the history of the Jewish community in the Czech lands in particular. Located at the centre of the Golem are the inscription “RABI JEHUDA LÖW BEN BECALEL” and the years “1609 – 2009”. The coin was designed by Josef Šafařík. His initials – made up of a large “J” enclosing a smaller “Š” – are located next to the right of the letter “Ö” in the word “LÖW”.
Each coin comes with a cream-coloured postcard-sized catalogue card. The relief of the coin is dry-stamped through silver foil. The text is given in Czech and English. The card is the same for the normal-quality and proof-quality coins.