The Czechoslovak currency was released in 1919 and the issuance of Czechoslovak tender began. The Czech Mint published a half-ounce gold medal on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of this event The medal is part of a free cycle of the most beautiful unrealized designs submitted to the Czech National Bank competitions.
Legal tender is not just a means of exchange - it is also an expression of national identity. It should provide a unique testimony to the political and economic situation of a state and reflect on the past, which tells us the historical and cultural heritage of society. 100 years ago, when the Czechoslovak currency was created, there was no time for long thinking. The young republic needed tender and the measures of the Austro-Hungarian banknotes were only a temporary solution. As a result of the great rush, the first Czechoslovak tender was artistically and technically inconsistent, as the works of several Czech, Austrian and American artists and engravers were printed in two foreign and six domestic printing houses. A hundred-crown designed by Alfons Mucha became the very first Czechoslovak currency and it was put into circulation on July 7, 1919. Although he only got two days to design it, he managed it. His wife was his model, and her mirror portraits became the main motif of the reverse side of the banknote. The obverse side of the world-famous Art Nouveau painter was decorated with rich ornamental motifs.
Most of the participants of the Czech National Bank's art competition concentrated on the reverse side of the state banknote. On the contrary, the academic sculptor Marie Šeborová chose the motifs from the obverse side. Although her proposal did not win, the CNB's expert committee awarded it with an extraordinary reward. The obverse side of the commemorative medal, which is based on this unrealized design, is dominated by the heraldic features of Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia and Slovakia inspired by the lower part of the back of the state banknote. The reverse side of the medal then presents a text that appeared on the reverse side of the first Czechoslovak state banknotes. The medal is confirmed by the signature of Finance Minister Alois Rašín.
The half-ounce gold medal was published in a mere 99 pieces - each one is hand-numbered on the edge and accompanied by an illustrated certificate of authenticity that tells the story of the first Czechoslovak tender.