The first written mention of glassmaking in Bohemia dates back to 1162, though the most famous period of Czech glassmaking only came at the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries. That was when the Baroque era glassmakers first made the “Bohemian crystal” – sturdy glass decorated by cutting and engraving whose exceptional sheen and physical properties resemble natural crystal.
With their unique discovery, Bohemian glassmakers overshadowed the Venetian glass, which had been peerless until then, and gained an unrivalled position on the European markets. Even though the secret of making the Bohemian crystal was divulged over time, the Bohemian glass conquered the world.
The small Bohemian town of Jablonec nad Nisou – Gablonz an der Neiße – played an important role in the expansion of glassmaking, accounting for 65 % of the global production of glass jewellery towards the end of the 19th century, and the local industry employed more than 30,000 people. The 20th century started in a grand style for the Jablonec area as well since the amount of taxes that the town’s entrepreneurs paid to the Habsburg monarchy in 1911 equaled the taxes collected for the entire land of Dalmatia!
Jablonec also became the mint town at the end of the 20th century. It is home to the Czech Mint, a company with its roots in the glass jewellery industry and the Czech Republic’s exclusive supplier of coins. It was just a matter of time until the strengths of both industries would combine.
This came to fruition in the works of art from the Crystal Coin series. The wealth of shapes and the unique lustre please both the eye and the soul and demonstrate that Czech glassmakers, glass cutters, engravers, and minters are true masters of their respective crafts.
Through the coins, the Czech Mint and Preciosa – top supplier of the highest quality crystal components – wish to tell the story of their region and to present the traditional crafts of Jablonec nad Nisou to the world. This honest handwork of regional artists and craftsmen serves both as a thoughtful gift for any occasion and as a numismatic rarity for collectors.
On the occasion of the Expo 2021 world fair, a special Crystal Coin with a globally understandable motif of the Tree of Life was created. The essence of the Czech pavilion in Dubai, with the Czech Mint's exposition as an integral part, is transformation – the latest technologies turn air into water and a dry desert into a blooming garden. One of the symbols of this transformation is a rainbow, and the crystal leaves on the coin therefore shine in all its colours. A part of the mintage is available for purchase by visitors to the Expo in Dubai and a part is offered to our customers through e-shop.