Cruiser (coin)

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Bernese cruiser from 1776

Kreuzer is the name given to the reason for the nominal size of various smaller coins that were common in southern Germany , Austria and Switzerland . The abbreviation was Kr, kr, K, or Xr.

The former Portuguese coins Cruzado de Ouro and Cruzado de Prata and the Brazilian currency units Cruzeiro and Cruzado are also freely translated as cruisers .


The cruiser goes back to a groschen coin , which was minted from 1271 in Merano in South Tyrol (so-called "Etscher Kreuzer"). Because of the double cross on the obverse of the coin, it was soon given the name Kreuzer. It spread throughout the south of the German-speaking area in the 15th and 16th centuries. The Imperial Coin Act of 1551 made them a unit for small silver money.

In Germany the cruiser was in use until the introduction of the mark in 1871. In Switzerland it existed until the introduction of the franc currency in 1850. In some cantons attempts were made to replace all small coins with the black (and its multiples), but the population was so used to the old coin system that the compromise was coins of 2½ Rappen, which corresponded to a cruiser, were minted. In Austria, the old coin system was abolished in 1857. However, the cruiser continued to exist as a hundredth of the guilder until 1900 (embossed setting 1892) and was called Neukreuzer. A detailed description of the cruiser, which is particularly widespread in the southern German to the Tyrolean area, with its three types of light, heavy and exchange cruiser and its locally different exchange rates can be found in the Krünitz Encylopedia from 1790.


72 kreuzers corresponded to one gold gulden or one silver guldiner , 237 kreuzers to one Cologne (weight) mark . Accordingly, the cruiser was initially minted in a silver - copper alloy, from the 17th century mostly only in copper. According to the Augsburg coin order from 1566, one guilder corresponds to 60 kreuzers for 9/10 fine silver. In Switzerland, Zurich, Bern, Lucerne and Schaffhausen agreed in 1565 that “of the 10 Kreuzer pieces, 55 should weigh one mark and hold 14 lots”. In some states, for example in Bavaria, one-kreuzer coins were still available until 1871 in a billon alloy that contained less than 50% silver. The simple Kreuzer coins were in contrast to the 10- to 20-Kreuzer coins since the 17th century fractional coins .

In most of the currency systems of the southern German region, the following applied: 8 Heller = 4 Pfennigs = 1 Kreuzer, and 4 Kreuzer = 1 Batzen . In the southern German states with a guilder currency, 60 kreuzers yielded one guilder until 1872. In contrast, in northern Germany the groschen or shilling was the common small coin above the pfennig.


Cruisers are also used as currency in Duckburg . There 100 kreuzers correspond to one thaler (a north German thaler was equivalent to 105 kreuzers in southern Germany from the 17th to the 19th century). In the first German-language editions of the comic series, payments were still made in marks and pennies.

See also

  • Andreas-Hofer-Kreuzer were the famous cruisers that were supposed to cover the urgent need for money during the Tyrolean struggle for freedom, and the last coins to be minted in Hall.


Web link

Commons : Kreuzer  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b D. Johann Georg Krünitz: Economic-technological encyclopedia or general system of statistics, city, house and agriculture and the history of art in alphabetical order . Joachim Pauli, Berlin 1780, p. 374-378 .
  2. Schweizerisches Idiotikon , Vol. III Sp. 944, Article Chrüzer .
  3. ^ Max Döllner : History of the development of the city of Neustadt an der Aisch up to 1933. Ph. CW Schmidt, Neustadt ad Aisch 1950, p. 498.