Officially, The Slovak Republic came into existence on January 1, 1993 after the fall of communism in Russia, sometimes referred to as the “Velvet Revolution”, while their split from Czechoslovakia is often referred to as the “Velvet Divorce”.
But, this wasn’t the first taste as an independent state. For a brief period during World War II, the first Slovakia Republic emerged as an independent state from 1939 to 1945. The state emerged when Nazi Germany coerced Slovakia into declaring independence as a separate state from Czechoslovakia and subsequently helped to install a pro-Nazi Germany government thus creating what is referred to as a “Nazi Puppet State”.
During the short tenure of the first republic, the new Slovakian government had to replace existing Czech coinage to maintain their economy and minted a variety of coins from 1939 to 1944. During that coinage period, only 6 million of the coins were produced with a silver content and were available in denominations of 10, 20, & 50 Koruns. One such example of silver coinage during this time period is the one year type of the 1941 20 Korun.
On the obverse of the coin there is the traditional Slovakia coat of arms surrounded by two sprigs. On the reverse of the coin are the depictions of Saint Cyril and his brother Saint Methodius.
Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius are the patron saints of Europe. Cyril and Methodius were Byzantine Greek monks having lived from 827 AD to 869 AD. Cyril and Methodius are best known for their work in Christianising the Slavs, devising the Glagolithic (or Slovac) alphabet and with devising the Cyrillic alphabet, each of which were necessary to translate Bible texts for the Slovakian peoples.
General Market Notes
Though a small mintage, there are no difficulties in acquiring a 1941 20 Korun and most examples are extremely affordable for a silver issue.
Even though this is a one year type it does have two varieties. Variety 1 & 2 coins can be identified by looking at the reverse design. In the lower right, there is a church in the background. If the cross atop the church has a single bar cross then it is variety 1. If the cross has a double bar cross then it is a variety 2.
Of the two varieties, variety 2 coins carry a premium so be prepared to hand over extra cash if you wish to have to a variety 2 example in your collection.