Date Circa 1387-1427 CE.
Description: Obverse: A shield with the Hungarian national coat of arms. Reverse: The Crusader cross as seen here was often used as a symbol by the Order members.
History: Since his first appearance in Bram Stoker's 1897 horror novel, Dracula has been a fixture in the popular culture. The blood sucking vampire has appeared in dozens of movies, including the iconic 1931 Bela Lugosi film, and has inspired countless imitations. While much has been embellished, the Dracula character is based on a real person- the Transylvanian prince Vlad III, and actual historical events. One of those events occurred before the birth of the 'real Dracula', and it was the Turkish victory at Kosovo field in 1389, which was one of the bloodiest battles of the fourteenth century. After the devastating defeat, Kosovo became a rally cry for European Christians: "The Turkish infidels must be stopped!"
A new leader emerged in the aftermath of the battle in Hungary and Croatia. Sigismund of Luxembourg, king of both countries, created a secret society in 1408 devoted to repulsing the Turks. This society was called the Order of the Dragon. Working with neighboring kingdoms he recruited many Balkan noblemen, including the Transylvanian prince of Wallachia, Vlad II who joined in 1431. Once indicted into the society he was given the new patronymic Dracul, which is the Romanian word for Dragon. His namesake son, Vlad III was given a similar patronymic: Son of Dragon, or Dracula. Raised as a brutal war machine to use against the Turks, Vlad III, also known as Vlad the Impaler after his preferred form of executing his enemies, became one of history's most notoriously brutal figures. His reputation for cruelty was legendary even in his lifetime. He was known to dunk his bread in the blood of his victims. Once he invited all the poor and infirm of Trigoviste, his capital, into one of his homes. Then he boarded up the doors and burned it to the ground. Vlad III Dracula was killed in battle with the Turks in 1477. This remarkable coin was minted by the founder of the Order of the Dragon, Sigismund of Luxembourg. Vlad III Dracula never minted his own coin, which only enhanced the myth that silver is harmful to vampires.