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|Dimensions (mm)||not provided|
|Weight (carats)||not provided|
|Bi Metalic Coin|
1780 Maria Theresa Silver Thaler Restrike Trade Coin
LARGE COIN 40 MM DIAMETER
SILVER CONTENT 833.33 /1000
COPPER 166.6 /1000
WEIGHT 28 GRAMS
Thaler – the history of a medieval coin.
The thaler was a silver coin that appeared in the German areas in the XVI century. Unlike the other coins of the time, made from silver and very small, only around 1-2-3 g, the Thaler was designed as a heavy coin, with a weight of around 27 g, with a huge market value ( similar to 100$ bill today) and it was meant to be used in large scale transaction.
Medieval Europe didn’t need money. Or better say precious money. When you have a local trading and you agricultural farm produce all you need, money is not necessary to buy things that don’t exist or you don’t need them. In the XIII century, this changed.
The need for a high value coin was the natural consequence of the trade that flourished. In Italy, Venice and Florence minted for the first time in centuries a gold coin, the ducato or florino. The traders demanded this note
But gold was still a very rare metal. If you buy a ship, you will need either some hundred of thousands of small silver coins or some hundreds of gold. But if you go to the market to buy an ox?
In the XIV century, the first heavy coins appeared, with a weight of 5-10 gr, for example the half Guldengroschen of Archduke Sigismund of Tirol. With the weight of 15 gr, it was ideal for transaction with medium value. Also in England or France, similar coin appeared.
Because the mints needed silver, they were created near mines.
In 1518, in a silver mine from Bohemia, now Czech Republic, a new coin was minted.
The mine, one of the few that produced silver in Europe in that time, was named St. Joachimstaler or “The valley of St. Joachim”, with taler meaning valley.
The coin engraver from the mint that functioned around the mine decided to use the large quantity of silver to produce a large coin of silver that proved to be succesful in Germany. The coin, with around 26-28 gr, was named by the population the coin from St. Joachim’s Vallery and later simplified as Joachimsthaler or simply thaler.
In Germany, soon every city and ruller started minting coin similar to the thaler. All of them, in similar size, were named thaler.
In Scandinavia, the thaler was minted by the Swedish kings, who named it daler.
Already in 1570 this coin reached Netherlands. The coin produced here depicted on one side a lion so it was named Lowenthaler or Thaler with the lion. It was such a popular coin that circulated in all Eastern Europe.
In Spain, the coin was a value of 8 real. It was nicknamed talar or tolar. When Spain controlled the America, this coin was used also there. Because of the pronunciation, here it became Dolar. In 1780-1790’s, when the US coin was adopted, the most popular coin of the region was favored instead of the British pound, the official currency until 1776. More, from the symbol of a Spanish thaler, marked with the sign 8 R the symbol $ appeared as a form of writing the 8.
In Austria, this coin was minted until late XIX century. It was name thaler and depicted the double headed eagle on one side and the emperors’ bust on the other.
Maria Theresa (1740-1780) minted a coin of silver, with the weight of 27 g. The coin circulated in the Balkans and Ottoman Empire, and from there in Middle East, as far as Yemen or Africa, to Ethiopia and Somalia.
The beautiful women on one side, with the generous bust, and the good quality of this coin, called the levantin thaler, was so appreciated that the mints from Vienna produced this coin until 1935! They were used in Middle east until this day.
Moreover, London mint minted such coins for India or Rome mint for Ethiopia.
The restrikes can be traced by a small S.F or S.G. on the bust of the empress.
Today, the silver coin is minted no more for circulation. But the thaler still exist- In USA, the name dollar means thaler. In Romania and Bulgaria, the name leu and lev means the same thing- the abbreviation from lowenthaler. In Slovenia, the coin is named tolar.
In Ethiopia, a birr is a transliteration of dollar.
And if you go today to Ethiopia or Yemen, it is likely if you want to pay with a silver coin of Maria Theresa, to be accepted instead of the local banknotes
COIN THALER Tradition
Austria has a tradition of issuing commemorative coins after the death of an emperor, with the date frozen.
Millions have been issued over two centuries, and they have, and still are, used as a "trade dollar" in parts of the Middle East.
They have also been issued by a number of other mints, presumably under the auspices of the Austrian government or mint.
There is at least one book about these coins, A Silver Legend: The Story of the Maria Theresa Thaler, by Semple, Clara. We have not yet seen or read a copy of this book yet, but intend to acquire one, and will add our comments about it here.
The various issues can apparently be distinguished by the mintmarks, but unless you have specialised knowledge of these coins, assume all are modern restrikes.
We have seen many of these coins bought and sold on flea markets and car boot sales at quite high prices, bought by greedy people who thought that they were going to make a quick vast profit, and sold by less-than-honest sellers, who knew the truth!
We also receive hundreds of e-mails and telephone calls every year from people demanding to know their value. We suspect that many of these enquiries are from people who have bought one at a bargain price on a market stall, and hope to be able to sell it for many times what they paid. Sadly we often have to disappoint them!
World's Most Beautiful Coin
One good reason for every coin collector to own one of these coins, is that they have often been described as one of the world's most beautiful coins. They are certainly impressive!
They are produced in two versions, proof and normal.
We usually have single pieces of these coins listed in our eBay auctions, and sometimes also offer them in quantity as silver bullion.
The Empress Maria Theresa (1740-1780)
Maria Theresa succeeded her father, Charles VI, in 1740 at the age of 23. Her father had tried to guarantee the female succession through the Pragmatic Sanction, although Prince Eugene of Savoy believed he would have done better to have left her an efficient army and a full treasury! She was Queen of Hungary and of Bohemia, Archduchess of Austria (the title of Empress came in 1745 when her husband, Francis Stephen, was elected Holy Roman Emperor), and she defended her lands and rights courageously in the War of the Austrian Succession against Frederick of Prussia and his allies. Internally her reign was marked by great reforms in the areas of justice, finance, education, agriculture and medicine. Maria Theresa created the foundations of the modern state.
Her marriage to Francis Stephen of Lorraine was a love-match. She bore him 16 children. Francis Stephen was an able businessman, but had little in the way of political ambition. Even after he became the emperor, he preferred to leave the business of governing to his extremely capable consort. He died in 1765 and was succeeded by his son Joseph II, who now became the frustrated co-regent with his mother, Maria Theresa.
The 1780 Taler
The silver taler was the currency of the Empire and of the Austrian hereditary lands. The silver taler was very important for trade with the Levant (parts of Turkey, Lebanon, Syria) and the Maria Theresa Taler became the best known and most popular silver coin in the Arabian world. After the death of the Empress, Joseph II permitted the mint at Günzburg (today in Bavaria, but at that time Austrian territory) to continue striking with the 1780 dies in order to meet the demand from the Middle East. The 1780 taler was the only silver coin that the Arabs trusted and would accept. Thus began the long minting history of the "Levantine Taler" of the Empress Maria Theresa. Since then the Günzburg taler has been restruck for trade purposes at Vienna, as well as at mints in Prague, Milan and Venice from time to time. The taler became the unofficial currency of some of the lands in North Africa, and it can still be found today in many Arabian bazaars. This version of the taler became so important that it was restruck even in London, Bombay, Paris and Rome. The "Levantine Taler" lost its status as legal tender in Austria in 1858, but thanks to an imperial edict of 1857 as well as the present laws of the Austrian Republic, the mint at Vienna still produces this famous trade-taler down to the present day.
The obverse has a portrait of the mature Empress. She wears a widow`s veil (which was reduced in order to meet Arabian demands) and a brooch with nine pearls. The inscription "M. THERESIA D.G.R. IMP. HU. BO .REG." translates as: Maria Theresa, by the grace of God Roman Empress, of Hungary and Bohemia Queen. Below the bust one finds the initials "S.F.", which stand for the names of the two Günzburg mint officials in 1780, Tobias Schöbl (S) and Joseph Faby (F). The reverse shows the imperial double-headed eagle with the arms of Austria at the centre, surrounded by four quarters representing Hungary, Bohemia, Burgundy and Burgau (Günzburg). The inscription reads "ARCHID. AUST. DUX. BURG. CO. TYR. 1780" and translates: Archduchess of Austria, Duchess of Burgundy, Countess of Tyrol, 1780. The raised edge of the coin has the motto of the Empress "Iustitia et Clementia" (Justice and Clemency) with various ornaments. The story of the Maria Theresa Taler is undoubtedly unique in the history of money and numismatics. It is not only one of the most beautiful silver coins in the world, it is also the most famous and most widely spread. The Maria Theresa Taler belongs in every collection because of its special history. It is, however, also a gift of unusual interest and a souvenir of lasting value!
According to Krause, there have been an estimated 800 million Maria Theresa thalers struck since 1780.
Mint State Perfect Un-circulated (MS-70) Mint state un-circulated coin in perfect condition, showing no traces of wear, and no blemishes, scratches, handling or contact with other coins. The best quality coin possible.
Choice (Gem) Un-circulated (MS-65-69) An above average un-circulated coin which retains all of the original mint brilliance or luster, and has a very few contact marks on the surface or rim, which are barely noticeable.
Brilliant Un-circulated or BU (MS-60-64) An un-circulated coin having no traces of wear but which has a few contact marks, surface spotting or lacks some of its original luster.
Choice About Un-circulated (AU-55 & 58)
A coin having very light wear on only the highest points of the design but no other defects and with most of its luster remaining.
About Un-circulated (AU-50) Coin has evidence of light wear on many of the high points but at least half of the mint luster is still present.
Extremely Fine (EF-40)
The coin design is lightly worn in most places but all the features remain sharp and well defined.
Choice Very Fine (VF-30)
Light even wear on the surface and highest parts of the design but most major features and the lettering are sharp.
Very Fine (VF-20)
Minor features such as some of the finer hair detail, feathers, etc. will be moderately worn. Shows moderate wear on high points of design. All major details are clear.
Moderate to considerable even wear over most features and the lettering. A lot of the details are worn through but you can still see a good deal of the design.
Very Good (VG-8)
The entire design is weak, but a few details are visible. Well worn throughout but coin rims still visible.
Heavily worn but design and legend still visible although quite weak in spots. Many details are gone.
About Good (AG-3)
Very heavily worn with portions of lettering, date and legends worn smooth and barely discernable.
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