Maria Theresa thaler

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Maria Theresa thaler. Modern re-coinage (recognized by the pearls in the brooch and the shape of the cross "X" after the year).

The Maria-Theresien-Taler (MTT, also Mariatheresientaler) is a silver coin minted from 1741 until today with a portrait of Empress Maria Theresa , the Archduchess of Austria and wife of the Roman-German Emperor Franz 'I Stephan . It served in the Austrian Habsburg Monarchy , but also in other European and non-European territories, as a trading coin and means of payment and is now considered a collector's item .

Between 1751 and 2000 approx. 389 million Maria Theresa thalers were minted.


Talers with the portrait of Maria Theresa were minted since 1741. The designation Maria-Theresia-Taler has only been used since the coinage convention concluded with the Elector of Bavaria in September 1753 . Since the Empress' death in 1780, the thaler has been minted as a trading coin with this year. The taler was minted, among others, by the following mints in the Holy Roman Empire and in the Habsburg territories: Brussels , Hall , Günzburg , Kremnitz , Karlsburg , Milan , Prague , Utrecht and Vienna . Outside of this, the minting took place in Birmingham , Bombay , London , Paris , Rome , Venice, among others .

The thaler was legal tender in the Austrian Empire until October 31, 1858 . From November 1st, the Austrian currency was introduced in the decimal system. Their guilders comprised 100 cruisers . Until well into the 20th century, the Maria Theresa thaler was a recognized means of payment in parts of Africa and Asia as far as India. In the Arab world it was called Abu Kush or Abu Noukte . A number of European countries minted large silver coins that imitated the Maria Theresa Thaler, for example Venice, the Kingdom of Italy, Prussia and Ragusa. The appearance was imitated. In the south and west of the Arabian Peninsula , the Maria Theresa thaler remained the sole means of payment in the 19th century against the resistance of the Ottoman Empire . The Abyssinian Empire introduced it as the official national currency for over 100 years at the beginning of the century.

As a means of funding for colonial endeavors, Great Britain began in 1935 to produce the taler on its own and to bring it into circulation in African states such as Ethiopia , Sudan or East Africa (e.g. Somalia ) for stabilization purposes . In order to cope with the transport difficulties of large quantities of this good, the British had around 19 million pieces manufactured in Bombay in the early 1940s .

After the war, the coin was officially reissued in Austria. Since 1946 the coin in Vienna has minted over 49 million copies. The Günzburg stamp with the mint master mark  SF (after the mint masters of the Günzburg mint Schöbl and Faby) is still in use today. All of these coins after the reign of Maria Theresa are now referred to as "re-coins." All re-coins before the new thaler are also referred to as "older re-coins". Apart from the rarer pieces of the older re-mintings, the prices of the re-mintings can usually no longer be compared with those of real Maria Theresa thalers from the times of Maria Theresa. The main features of the re-mintings are on the one hand the aforementioned SF mint mark, but also the missing eagle in the lower right part of the coat of arms on the obverse and the pearl-studded brooch on the lapel. They are important because all three features also occur individually in the old coins.

All imprints bear the year 1780.

For the 300th birthday of Maria Theresa, a four-part special edition of the Maria Theresa Thaler was published in 2017.

Technical specifications

The thaler has a diameter of 39.5 mm and is 2.5 mm thick. After the historical standard of coinage of the fine silver content is 23.389 g or 0.751974  troy ounces , corresponding to 1 / 12 Wiener Mark kg of 0.280668. With the fineness of 833⅓ / 1000 results in a rough weight of 28.0668 g. The current re-coins also follow these standards.

with a gross weight of 1/10 of 1 Vienna mark of silver ,


The inscription on the front and back reads M. THERESIA. DGR IMP. HU. BO. REG. // ARCHID. AVST. DUX. CASTLE. CO. TYR. 1780. X and is the abbreviation for Maria Theresia Dei Gratia Romanorum Imperatrix, Hungariae Bohemiaeque Regina, Archidux Austriae, Dux Burgundiae, Comes Tyrolis . 1780, German: Maria Theresa, by God's grace, Empress of the Romans , Queen of Hungary and Bohemia, Archduchess of Austria, Duchess of Burgundy, Countess of Tyrol . The X means that 10 pieces correspond to the 833⅓1000 fine marks (= Cologne marks to ≈233 g silver) and the coin is thus minted as a conventional thaler . The edge embossing - a security feature - reads "IUSTITIA ET CLEMENTIA", German: "Justice and Mildness".


A large number of forgeries exist of the Maria Theresa thaler. A distinction must be made here between counterfeited traffic (or counterfeit coins) and counterfeit collectors (or counterfeit coins).

  • Traffic forgeries: One rarely comes across traffic forgeries. Typically they are characterized by a lower weight and / or a different material (no silver) and are usually relatively easy to recognize because of their poor quality.
  • Counterfeit collectors: Counterfeit collectors are often very difficult and can only be recognized by experts. Either an attempt is made to forge a rare variant, or a frequent coinage is produced in poorer material and sold in large numbers. Such forgeries can usually be recognized by the wrong weight or by the incorrect marginal writing.

Pieces minted by governments or on behalf of governments are not necessarily to be regarded as forgeries, even if such mintings were not authorized by the Austrian government. Privately produced specimens are only considered forgeries if the minting has not been authorized by the Austrian government or the Mint in Vienna.


The Maria Theresa thaler was often the subject of so-called counterstamps . With this special numismatic feature, marks are applied to the coin by means of stamps, which, although not fundamentally impairing the original coin image, only authorized it as a local means of payment. Examples of this can be found in at-Talh in Yemen or in the colonial subjugated Portuguese Mozambique .

25 Schilling special coin

In 1967 a dividing coin of 25 schillings was issued, which has the appearance of the Maria Theresa thaler on the top. With a diameter of 30 mm and a gross weight of 13 g, this is smaller and lighter than the coin.


  • Hans Josef: Maria Theresa Thaler . 2nd edition, Brill, Leiden 1961.
  • Carl Peez and Josef Raudnitz: History of the Maria-Theresien-Thalers . Carl Graeser , Vienna 1898. (Digitized: [1] )
  • Walter Hafner: Lexicon Maria Theresien Taler 1780. Frühwald publishing house 2018

Web links

Commons : Maria-Theresien-Taler  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Variants of the Maria Theresia Taler 1780. Retrieved March 31, 2016 .
  2. ^ Archives for the History of Sociology in Austria: Large Chronicle of Gramatneusiedl, Marienthal and Neu-Reisenberg 1850 to 1859 , queried on October 30, 2010
  3. Money in Africa . In: Zeitschrift für Schul-Geographie 11 (1890), pp. 81–82
  4. ^ Robert-Tarek Fischer : Austria in the Middle East. The great power politics of the Habsburg Monarchy in the Arab Orient 1633–1918. Böhlau, Vienna 2006, ISBN 3-205-77459-0 , p. 47.
  5. a b Jochen Renger: Silver coins in Yemen. The Maria Theresia Thaler . In: Yemen-Report , vol. 39 (2008), issue 2, ISSN  0930-1488 .
  6. a b Gerhard Herinek: Austria Catalog for Coins and Banknotes 2019 . Ed .: Gerhard Herinek. 46th edition. Christine Steyrer, Vienna, ISBN 978-3-902662-50-7 , p. 169 .
  7. New Maria Theresa Thaler for the anniversary, April 15, 2017, accessed April 15, 2017. - With video of the minting process.
  8. a b Law of August 2, 1892, with which the krona currency is determined, Article XXII. (RGBl. 126/1892) . The kg conversion of the Vienna Mark follows the information in this law.
  9. Scheidemünzengesetz 1988 Art. 1 § 15
  10. ^ The Maria Theresia Taler 1780, forgeries of the Maria Theresia Taler 1780. Accessed on March 31, 2016 .
  11. Jump up ↑ The Maria Theresia Taler 1780, Maria Theresia Taler 1780 forgeries. Retrieved March 31, 2016 .
  12. The Maria Theresia Taler 1780, struck with counterstamp. Retrieved March 31, 2016 .
  13. 25 Schilling 1967, 250th birthday of Empress Maria Theresa. Retrieved March 31, 2016 .
  14. ^ Ordinance of the Federal Ministry of Finance of March 7, 1967 regarding the 25 Schilling "Maria Theresientaler" StF coins : Federal Law Gazette No. 114/1967