The coins are dedicated to a fashion accessory that owes its name to the Croats: the cravat, the precursor of the necktie
On April 18, 2023, the Croatian National Bank and the Croatian Mint jointly issued two collector coins that complement each other: a two-ounce silver coin and a one-ounce gold coin that celebrate Croatia’s contribution to men’s fashion. After all, it was the Croats who invented the cravat, the forerunner of the tie.
The special feature of both coins is how they work together. In the style of a modern intarsia inlay in silver and gold, the complete collector coin can only be appreciated when both coins are put together. The 2oz silver collector coin has a cravat-shaped cut-out, into which the gold coin is inserted.
Limiting the mintage to as few as 500 specimens per coin, the Croatian Mint has made a great debut on the euro collector market with these first two Croatian collector coins in the new euro currency.
How the Cravat Came to Be Named
On August 13, 1643, the French king Louis XIV ordered the Comte de Balthazard to raise three regiments of Croatian horsemen. This light cavalry, which carried two pistoleers and a muzzle-loader in addition to their sabres, had proved its worth in special operations during the Thirty Years’ War. Catholic commanders used Croatian horsemen as a vanguard for reconnaissance purposes and entrusted them with the task of procuring food for the main army. As small units that mostly operated all by themselves in enemy territory, their members had to be fearless and courageous to successfully carry out their tasks. In 1667, these regiments were incorporated into the French standing army under the name “Royal-Cravate cavalerie”. A last reminder of their former duties, their casual uniform with the typically tied neckerchief started a Europe-wide trend of tying the neckerchief “à la croate”.
Soon, a variety of styles emerged for how to tie the indispensable neckerchief. The English-speaking world began to refer to it as a necktie while the French, Germans – and of course, the Croats – continued to call it cravate, Krawatte, and kravata.
The gold coin has the shape of a cravat representing a necktie. The obverse is a modern, longitudinally striped tie whose stripes alternate between polished and frosted surfaces. The polished stripes feature the legend REPUBLIKA HRVATSKA / 100 EURO / 2023. Inspired by the original neckties of the Croatian cavalry, the reverse features large checks, also alternately polished and frosted.
The obverse of the silver coin depicts three Croatian horsemen of the French regiment of 1667. All are shown in a three-quarter view, the left soldier from the front, the others facing left. The casually tied cravat is highlighted as part of their uniform. The legend reads À LA CROATE / REPUBLIKA HRVATSKA / 6 EURO 2023. The reverse presents a detail from the chest of a formally dressed gentleman wearing a shirt and jacket. The depiction on the silver coin is only completed when the gold coin is inserted.
The design is by Nikola Vudrag, who has already created several coins for the Croatian Mint.
Issue Date and Price
As of April 18, 2023, the coins can be purchased directly from the shop of the Croatian Mint. Please note, that the price will change on a daily basis according to the precious metal fixing. On April 17, 2023, the price is set at 4,020.87 Euro for the set (3,270.87 Euro for the gold, 600 Euro for the silver coin plus the Croatian VAT of 25% for the silver issue; please note that when exporting the coin your local VAT will apply).