Names like Groschen, grossus/grossi, grossone, Grosz, Gros, Groš, Garas etc. were used in the Middle Ages for all thick silver coins, as opposed to thin silver coins such as deniers or pennies. Historically it was equal to between several and a dozen denarii.
The type was introduced in 1271 by Duke Meinhard II of Tyrol in Merano. The 1286 example depicted here weighs 1,45 g, it is marked with ME IN AR DVS and a Double Cross (Obverse), and with DUX TIROL and the Eagle of Tirol (Reverse)
It was minted since the Middle Ages in the following areas:
Later the tradition of Groschen was dropped in most states while others continued to mint only coins smaller than the original coin. In Poland for example, since 1526 these included coins of 1/2 grosz, 1 grosz, 1,5 grosz, 2 grosz, 3 grosz, 4 grosz and 6 grosz. Their weight gradually dropped to 1,8 grams of silver and since 1752 they were replaced by copper coins of the same name.
In recent times, the name was used by two currencies in circulation:
Likewise, in Germany Groschen remained a slang term for the 10 Pfennig coin, thus a 1/10 part both of the (West German) Deutsche Mark and the East German Mark. The word has lost popularity with the introduction of the Euro, although it can still be heard on occasion, especially from older people.
In Bulgaria, the grosh (Cyrillic: грош) was used as a currency until the lev was introduced in the 19th century. The term has been retained as a general word for a coin or currency in a number of money-related proverbs and sayings, and can also be regularly encountered in folk tales or stories set vaguely in the past.
In Israel 'Grush' (Plural 'Grushim') is used as slang for a small cost ("pennies"). This usage comes from the Yiddish used by Israel's Ashkenazi population, ultimately deriving from its German and Eastern European origins.
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