Regenbogenschüsselchen mit Hirschkopfdarstellung

Staatliche Münzsammlung München


Obverse: front view of deer head within a circled line.

Reverse: Three bow-shaped segments positioned in the shape of a triangle.

Celtic minting began in the area of the present Bavaria in the second century BC and ended as early as in the second half of the first century BC. This end was marked by the Roman conquest of the Alpine foothills. The gold coins of the Vindelici, a Celtic tribe that gave its name to Roman Augsburg, are nowadays known to the general public mainly under the term “rainbow cups”. This term derived from old folk-tales according to which these coins were always placed where a rainbow had touched the ground and that they had been washed away by the rain. This led to the development of a function as lucky charm with an alleged healing effect. Both traditions remained valid until the nineteenth century. This gold stater from southern Germany shows a deer head on the obverse. It is one of the very rare gold coins minted by the Celts and therefore one of the most famous pieces in the exhibition of the exhibition of the Staatliche Münzsammlung (State Coin Collection) in Munich.