The name given to a small silver coin which was current in Brandenburg, Meck- lenburg, Pommerania, etc., from the thir- teenth to the sixteenth century. In Pom- meranian archives they are mentioned as early as 1279 as marca denariorum slavi- calium , and they appear to have been last struck in Berlin in 1562. They are also referred to as Wendische Pfennige, parvi denarii slavicales, or vincones .
Their value varied, but in all cases it seems to have gradually declined from the original standard. Thus in Pommerania it ranged from eighteen to thirty-four to the Bohemian Groschen ; in Mecklenburg from eighteen to twenty-four to the Schilling; and in Brandenburg from sixteen to forty to the Groschen.
The etymology of the name is not clear. Some authorities assert that, the griffin on the issues of Mecklenburg was taken for a finch, and Dr. F. Friedensburg. in the Blatter fur Munzfrcunde . 1913 (5183). cites German proverbs showing that a finch, a small bird, is frequently employed to indicate comparisons between small and large objects. Another plausible deriva- tion is based on the belief that the Mecklen- burg coins were nicknamed Ogen, from the large eyes in the head of the ox; this, combined with the superior quality of the silver, of which they consist, created the word vienke (feine) ogen.
See Also: Vinkenange
Source: Frey's Dictionary (American Journal of Numismatics, Vol. 50, 1916)