Neil S Berman - Expert Numismatist & Silver Coin Dealer
Silver Coins Trade through History
Maria Theresa Thaler or Taler
The Maria Theresa Thaler or Taler is a common silver bullion coin that has been used in world trade continuously since they were first minted in 1741, at that time using the then Reichsthaler standard of nine Thaler to the Vienna mark. In 1750 the Thaler was debased to ten Thalers to the Vienna Mark, a weight approximating a pound of fine silver. The following year the new standard was effectively adopted across the German speaking world when that standard was accepted formally in the Bavarian monetary convention. It is due to the date of the Bavarian Monetary convention that many writers erroneously state that the Maria Theresa Thaler was first struck in 1751. It was named after Empress Maria Theresa, who ruled Austria, Hungary and Bohemia and from 1740 to 1780. The word Thaler later gave rise to daaider and daler, which became dollar in English. Since 1780, the coin has always been dated 1780. In 1857, the Emperor of Austria declared the Maria Theresa Thaler to be an official trade coinage. A little over a year later Thaler lost its status as currency in Austria. The Thaler has been struck at many mints including Birmingham, Bombay, Brussels, London, Paris, Rome, Utrecht, in addition to the original Hapsburgs mints at Gunzberg, Hall, Karlsberg, Kremnica, Milan, Prague and Vienna. It is reported 389 million were minted between 1751 and 2000. The Thaler is 39.5-41mm in diameter and 2.5mm thick, weighs 28.0668 grams and contains 0.752 troy ounces of fine silver. The inscription on the obverse of this coin is in Latin: "M. THERESIA D. G. R. IMP. HU. BO. REG." The Reverse reads "ARCHID. AVST. DUX BURG. CO. TYR. 1780 X". It is an abbreviation of "Maria Theresia, Dei Gratia Romanorum Imperatrix, Hungariae Bohemiaeque Regina, Archidux Austriae, Dux Burgundiae, Comes Tyrolis. 1780 X", which means, "Maria Theresa, by the grace of God, Empress of the Romans, Queen of Hungary and Bohemia, Archduchess of Austria, Duchess of Burgundy, Countess of Tyrol. 1780". The "X" was added in 1750 indicating the new debased standard of the thaler. Around the rim of the coin is the motto of her reign: "Justitia et Clementia", meaning "Justice and Clemency".