Maria Theresa thaler silver

Maria Thereseine Thaler © Own image

The Maria Theresa Thaler - A silver coin with a long history

The Maria Theresa Thaler (MTT) is very much associated with Austrian history and was used as currency for a long time. As early as 1741, coins were minted with the portrait of Empress Maria Theresa. However, it is only from 1750 - since the coinage reform - that one speaks of the Maria Theresa Thaler.

The silver coin was used as a means of payment in the Austrian Habsburg monarchy, and was then replaced by the florin from 1858. Nevertheless, the coin was used in other regions and continued to be minted, so that approximately 389 million MTT were produced between 1751 and 2000. However, the thaler was originally minted not only in Vienna, but also in other mints of the Holy Roman Empire: in Brussels, Milan, Prague, Hall, Günzburg, Kremnitz, Utrecht, Karlsburg. Outside the borders of the Roman Empire, the "MTT" was later produced in Birmingham, London, Paris, Rome and Venice.

Maria Theresa thaler silver - A widely used silver coin

The remarkable thing about the silver coin is certainly that they were minted and used as currency not only in the Habsburg Monarchy, but also by numerous other states around the world. Thus, one can actually speak of an "Austrian world currency". The reason for the widespread use was, among other things, the stable weight of the coins and the fact that the inscription on the edges made it difficult to counterfeit them. Although already replaced in Austria in 1858, the Maria Theresa Thaler remained a recognized means of payment in Africa and Asia until well into the 20th century.

The coin was widespread for a long time, especially in the Arab world, where it is still known as Abu Kush ("father of the bird" - because of the double eagle motif). In the west and south of the Arabian Peninsula, for example in Yemen, the silver coin was still the sole means of payment in the 19th century.
In Abyssinia, the coin was even the official national currency for more than 100 years. After Mussolini occupied what is now Ethiopia in 1935, Italy secured the minting rights for the MTT from Austria. As a result, other countries also considered Austria's monopoly to be lifted and now minted the Mariatheresientahler themselves.
In 1935, Great Britain - the English call the coin "fat lady" - began minting the silver coin in order to circulate it in Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan, where it held the position of power. In the early 1940s, Bombay was the production site for 19 million copies of the Maria Theresa Thaler, which Great Britain had produced there for easier logistics.

The coin motif

The MTT was named after Empress Maria Theresa, who is also depicted on the obverse. However, the coin image was changed again and again until the empress's death. Since 1780, the bust of Maria Theresa with the widow's veil can be seen on the coin. If you find a Maria Theresa thaler with the date 1780, it is a restrike. The reverse shows the double eagle with the imperial crown. The edge of the coin is provided with the motto of the regent "Justitia et Clementia" (in German "justice and clemency").

A new edition of the coin has existed since 1946, since then the Austrian Mint has minted almost 50 million pieces of the silver Maria Theresien Thaler. To this day, the Günzburg die with the mintmaster's mark SF (after the mintmasters Schöbl and Faby) is used.

Forgeries of the silver Maria Theresa Talers

There are many forgeries of the Maria Theresa Thaler. A distinction can be made between forgeries of circulation and collector's forgeries. Traffic counterfeits, i.e. illegal copies of a legal means of payment, are less common, while collector's counterfeits are more frequent.

With such collector forgeries (or coin forgeries) even experts have their difficulties to recognize them as forgeries. Here, either rare variants are copied or larger quantities of a common mintage are produced in a poorer material. In the process, a different material may be added to the silver. Caution: The MTT has a fineness of 83.3% silver. This means that the thaler is not pure silver. If a non-precious material is mixed in, you will recognize this by a deviation in the weight with the same coin dimensions. The regular weight of the coin is 28 grams.

However, just because a coin has not been authorized by the Austrian government does not mean that a coin is counterfeit.

The silver Maria Theresa thaler: also choose silver coins as an investment!

Not only gold is a useful investment, think about buying silver coins. The silver Mariatheresia thaler is an excellent silver investment, as it is known and accepted practically all over the world.

For investors, however, only the purchase of restrikes makes sense - the coin is available in mint and proof quality. The value of these silver bullion coins is close to the general silver price.

Maria Theresa - Treasures of History
Collection folder | Series "Maria Theresa - Treasures of History 9,90 

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