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Dictionary of the Coins of the World [K]

This is an ongoing work (one of those never-ending projects) consisting of a compilation of all known names used for coins from the ancient times to the present. Where possible, a description of coins of that name is given, as well as the most likely origin of the name, including translations. In many cases, links are made to pages which will show various examples of that denomination. Obviously, the images not all-inclusive but hopefully will give the user an idea of what some of the coin denominations looked like and how coins of the same name differ from country to country and through time.


Kahavanu - [Ceylon, Shri Lanka, Sri Lanka]

Kairie -

Karolin - [German States]

Karshapana - [India Ancient]

Kas - [India-Dutch]

Kashbegis -

Kasu - [India-Independent Kingdom]


Kharub - [Tunisia]

Khayriya - [Egypt]

Khoums - Plural khoums.  A coin and monetary unit of Mauritania, equal to the fifth part of an ouguiya.

{1970-1975: From French from Arabic khoms one fifth [of an ouguiya].}



Khwarizm - An Arab mathematician and astronomer (780-850)?

Kin - {Japanese kin gold; money}


Kina - A cupronickel coin and monetary unit of Papua New Guniea, equal to 100 toea.

[Papua New Guinea]

Kip - A paper money and monetary unit of Laos, equal to 100 at.  Abbr. K.

{1950-1955: From Lao kě:p currency unit, ingot.}


Klein Pfennig - [Austria]

Koban - A gold coin of the Netherlands East Indies (Java coinage).  It has on the obverse the Dutch lion in a square on the kobans of the Keicho era (Japan) 1596-1614).


Kobo - Plural kobo, kobos.  A bronze coin and monetary unit of Nigeria, equal to the 100th part of a naira.


Koertling - A small groschen first struck at Goettingen in 1360, and initially worth 6 pfennigs.  It became popular throughout Lower Saxony and was revalued upward to 8 pfennigs as the pfennig shrank.  It was later reduced to 6 hellers in the 16th century and disappeared a century later.  It was often confused with the groeschel, even by the Germans themselves.

[German States]

Kopeck - A Russian silver coin introduced in 1534.  The kopeck equalled two silver dengas.  The kopeck was considered wire money in that the planchets were made by cutting lengths of heavy silver wire and hammering them into shape.  Silver kopecks were small.  They weighed between a half and two-thirds gram.  At their widest, they were only about 15 millimeters.  The obverse featured a horseman carrying a spear, which gave the coin its name.  The spear was to distinguish the kopeck from the denga which also portrayed a horseman but, holding a sword instead.  There was a brief legend beneath the horseman.  The reverse design was simply the legend.  Throughout the time of the silver kopeck, the design remained virtually unchanged.

In 1700, Peter the Great put Russia on the decimal system and instituted a coinage reform.  Now, 100 kopecks equalled one silver ruble.  These new kopecks would be machine struck and of copper.  First struck in 1704, the new kopeck still featured the horseman and spear, but the obverse legend was lengthened to include the Czar's titles.  The reverse gave the denomination and date, although the date was given in cyrillic characters rather than numerals.  The silver, wire money kopeck continued to be struck alongside the copper ones until 1718.

{From Russian kopeika, from kop'e spear or lance.}

[Germany, Poland, Romania, Russia, USSR]

Kopejek - Variant form of kopeck in Tannu Tuva (formerly Outer Mongolia).  It was struck in aluminum-bronze and has a value of 1/100 aksha.

[Tannu Tuva]

Kopek - Variant form of kopeck.

Kopfstuck - A common name given to the 20-kreuzer peice, particularly during the 18th and 19th centuries.

{From German kopf head.  Derived from the fact that this was the smallest portrait coin which received wide circulation.}

[German States]

Kori - A gold coin of the Indian State of Cutch-Bhuj, struck under Maharaja Pragmalji II (1860-1875).  The obverse has an arabic legend with a Christian date in arabic numerals, and the reverse has an indian legend with a Samvat date.  It was also struck in the state of Junagarh under Rajah Bahadur Kahn II in 1891 and the state of Nawanagar under Vibahji II (1852-1895).

[Indian States-Cutch-Bhuj, Junagarh, Nawanagar]

Korona - Also krone.  A former silver coin and monetary unit of Austria, equal to 100 hellers.  It was discontinued in 1923.


Kortling - [German States]

Korun - [Czechoslovakia]

Koruna - Plural koruny.  An aluminum bronze coin and monetary unit of Czechoslovakia, equal to 100 halers.  Abbr. Ks.  Also korona.

{1925-1930: From Czech koruna from Latin corona crown or wreath.}


Koruny - Plural of koruna.

Koula - A gold coin of Tonga, struck in 1962 by Salote Tupou III.


Krajcar - [Austria]

Krajczar - Hungarian name for the kreuzer.

Kran - A former silver coin of Iran.

{1880-1885: From Persian quiran.}

[Iran, Persia]

Krejcaru - A local name for the groschen.

Kreutzer - Variant form of kreuzer.

Kreuzer - The descendant of the Tyrolese etschkreuzer first struck in 1270, this coin became the chief subsidiary unit of South Germany from about 1500 until 1873.  During this whole period the kreuzer was a small base silver coin in most states.  Though minted in copper in certain localities after the late 17th century, it was of respectable size even in that metal.  The common relationships of the kreuzer were: 8 heller = 4 pfennig = 1 kreuzer;  1 schilling or albus = 2 kreuzer; 3 kreuzer = 1 groschen; 4 kreuzer = 1 batzen; 60 kreuzer = 1 gulden (until 1873); 100 kreuzer = 1 gulden (Austria 1857-1892).

{From German kreuzer from Middle High German kruizer translation of Middle Latin denarius cruciatus, cruciger from the cross marking them) from kriuz cross from Old High German krăz, from Latin cruc crux cross.}

[Austria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Switzerland-Cantons]

Kreuzthaler - Variant name of the albertusthaler.

Kriegsgeld - Emergency pieces struck during periods of strife, notably the Seven Years War (1756-1763) and the First World War.  Much local notgeld of 1917-1918 is inscribed kriegsgeld.

{From German krieg war + geld money.}

[German States, German Empire]

Krisnalas - A gold coin of the Netherlands East Indies (Java coinage) struck from 896 to 1158.  The obverse has a symbol, and the reverse has a simple incuse square.

Kromsterte - A 15th century double groschen of Flanders showing a lion with a shield of arms on its breast.

[German States-Flanders]

Krona - Plural kronor.  A silver and cupronickle coin and monetary unit of Sweden, equal to 100 öre.  Abbr. Kr.  Also, the monetary unit of the Faeroe Islands, equal to 100 öre.

{1870-1875: From Swedish from Middle Latin corona crown or wreath.}

[Iceland, Sweden]

Króna - A nickel-brass or aluminum coin and monetary unit of Iceland, equal to 100 aurar.

{1885-1890: From Icelandic króna from Middle Latin corona a gold coin so called because it bore the device of a crown.}


Krone - Plural kroner.  A cupronickle coin and monetary unit of Norway and Denmark worth 100 öre.

Plural kronen.  A former gold coin of Germany worth 10 marks.

Austria-Hungary worth 100 heller.

[Austria, Denmark, Germany, Greenland, Norway]

Kronen - Plural of krone in Germany.

Kronenthaler - Variant name of the albertusthaler, particularly in South Germany where they were struck until 1837 and used in trade until 1851.

[German States]

Kroner - Plural of krone in Norway and Denmark.

Kronor - Plural of Krona in Sweden and the Faeroe Islands.

Krónur - Plural of króna in Iceland.

Kroon - Plural kroons, krooni.  A former aluminum bronze coin and monetary unit of Estonia equal to 100 marks or senti.

{From Estonian kron from Swedish krona krona.}


Krooni - Plural of kroon in Estonia.

Kroons - Plural of Kroon in Estonia.

Krugerrand - A one-ounce gold coin of the Republic of South Africa, equal to 25 rand.  It was first issued in 1967.

{From Kruger (Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger, 1825-1904, South African statesman and president of Transvaal from 1883-1900) + rand rand.}

[South Africa]

Kuna - [Yugoslavia]

Kune - [Yugoslavia]

Kupang - [Thailand]

Kurus - Plural kurus.  A monetary unit of Turkey, the 100th part of a lira; piaster.

{1880-1885: From Turkish kurus piaster.}


Kurush - Coin equal to 40 para.


Kurusluk - Also gurusPiaster piece.


Kwacha - A cupronickel coin, paper money and monetary unit of Malawi, equal to 100 tambala.  Abbr. K.

Also, a cupronickel coin, paper money and monetary unit of Zambia, equal to 100 ngwee.  Abbr. K.

[Malawi, Zambia]

Kwanza - Plural kwanza, kwanzas.  A paper money, cupronickel coin, and monetary unit of Angola, equal to 100 lwei.  It replaced the escudo in 1977.

{From Swahili kwanza first?}


Kwartnik - A coin struck in the Russian territories by Louis the Great (1370-1382).  In 1394, these were adopted in Poland under Ladislas Jagiello (1386-1434) as 2 grosz or polgrosz.

[Russia, Poland]

Kyat - A paper money, cupronickel coin, and monetary unit of Burma, equal to 100 pyas.

{1950-1955: From Burmese cyat (written kyap).}


Kyat Tical

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