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Neil S Berman - Expert Numismatist & Silver Coin Dealer

Silver Coins Trade through History

The Thaler (or Taler or Talir)

Leopold Thaler Silver CoinThe Thaler (or Taler or Talir) was a large silver coin used throughout Europe for almost four hundred years. "Thaler" is an abbreviation of "Joachimsthaler", a coin type from the city of Joachimsthat in Bohemia, where some of the first such coins were minted in 1518. As the 15th century drew to a close the state of much of Europe's coinage was quite poor because of repeated debasement induced by the costs of continual warfare, and by the incessant centuries-long loss of silver and gold in indirect one-sided trades importing spices, porcelain, silk and other fine cloths and exotic goods from India, Indonesia and the Far East. This continual debasement had reached a point that silver content in some coins had dropped, in some cases, to less than five percent, making the coins of much less individual value than they had ever been. Countering this trend, with the discovery and mining of silver deposits in Europe, Italy began the first tentative steps toward a large silver coinage with the introduction in 1472 of the Lira tron in excess of six grams, a substantial increase over the coinage of the day. In 1474 a nine gram lira was issued but it was in 1484 that  Archduke of Tirol issued the first heavy silver coin, the Half Guldengroschen of roughly fifteen and a half grams,  and it was so desirable that demand for it could not be met. In 1486, large numbers of the first Thaler-sized coin, the Guldengroschen or golden groat, being of silver but equal in value to a Goldgulden. The Guldengroschen, was an instant and unqualified success and was soon widely copied. Pictured is a Thaler of Leopold I, Archduke of Tirol and Holy Roman Emperor, which set the standard for all silver coins for several centuries. We buy and sell all large silver coins like Thalers.














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