This little piece of metal is for me, a very interesting piece of history, it is said that Emperor Peter I of Russia first introduced this coin when he tried to, putting it nicely, get rid of beards and get the european fashion to Russia. How cool isn’t this coin? I would gladly pay the tax in present time, if it were for a good cause… Or wait… I just paid the beard tax when I bought this coin, guess I’m in the clear then ;)
Tho Beard Tax were introduced even earlier, in 1535 by King Henry VIII of England, a tax that varied on the wearers social position. I guess wealthier people payed more, kinda like it is with normal tax in present time in Sweden. I kinda think his daughter, who taxed every beard above 2 weeks growth, was a little harsh. I my opinion we should tax people who don’t grow beards, or am I wrong? (women not included)
Want to get your own Beard Token? No problem, just head on over to BeardToken.com and order your coin today.
Also, if you want to know more, please read this post: On this day – Russiapedia – Beard Tax
A small preview from the above link:
“In order to enforce the new fashion order which was adopted in other European countries, Peter levied a heavy tax on those still much attached to their facial hair. All men except priests had to pay up to 100 roubles (a small fortune in those years) annually.”
From Wikipedia on Beard Tax:
A beard tax is one of several taxes introduced throughout history on men who wear beards.
In 1535, King Henry VIII of England, who wore a beard himself, introduced a tax on beards. The tax was a graduated tax, varying with the wearer’s social position. His daughter, Elizabeth I of England, reintroduced the beard tax, taxing every beard of more than two weeks’ growth.
In 1698, Emperor Peter I of Russia instituted a beard tax to modernize the society of Russia following European models. Those who paid the tax were required to carry a “beard token”. This was a copper or silver token with a Russian Eagle on one side and on the other, the lower part of a face with nose, mouth, whiskers, and beard. It was inscribed with two phrases: “the beard tax has been taken” (lit: “Money taken”) and “the beard is a superfluous burden”.