Club thaler

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Austrian club thaler from 1866
Prussian club thaler from 1866

The simple and double Vereinsthaler (spelling until 1901: Vereinsthaler ) were the common silver coins of the member states of the German Customs Union and at the same time the last German taler coins . Created by the Vienna Mint Treaty of 1857, they were the main curant coins at the time of the silver standard until 1871.

30 simple club thalers were minted from an inch or new pound of fine silver weighing 500 g. With a fineness of 900/1000, the fine weight was 16.666 g or 1 new lot at the time . In Prussia, 1 thaler was equivalent to 30 silver groschen at 12 pfennigs, in Saxony 30 new groschen at 10 (new) pfennigs, in Hessen-Kassel 30 silver groschen at 12 heller. In the southern German states, where the gulden was the base currency, the thaler was difficult to convert into the gulden sub-units - which was also the other way around, e.g. B. Bavaria: 1 Vereinstaler = 1 3 / 4 Gulden = 105 cruiser Gulden to 60 cruisers à 4 Pfennig or 8 Heller; Austria-Hungary: 1 Vereinstaler = 1 12 gulden, the gulden at 60 kreuzers and later from 1857 100 new kreuzers. In addition to the coins in circulation, there are also numerous commemorative coins . The latter often have the value or weight information z. B. only in the form of marginal writing - like XXX (= counting measure ) a pound fine (silver) .

The coinage law of 1873 assigned the club thaler the value of 3 marks. See Goldmark . It remained an unlimited legal tender until its suspension in 1907. In contrast, the silver coins of the empire were only divisional coins . The Vereinstaler lived on in the 3-mark coins introduced in 1908 until the Weimar Republic .

From 2002 to 2010, the fine silver weight of the German 10 euro commemorative coins (fine 16.65 g, rough 18.0 g for 925/1000) was almost exactly that of the Vereinstaler (fine 16.666 g, rough 18.52 g for 900 / 1000) with the same diameter of around 33 mm. Since 2016 there has been a 20-euro commemorative coin with the same dimensions and the same silver content as the 10-euro commemorative coin. The silver content of the 20 euro coin is almost exactly the same as the silver content of the Vereinstaler.


With the Dresden Mint Agreement of July 30, 1838, the double thaler =  3 12 guilders was created as a uniform "club coin" of the German Customs Union , but not yet under the name "Vereinstaler". The double thaler was valid in the southern German customs union states as well as in Prussia , Saxony , Hessen-Kassel and the Thuringian duchies and principalities. The basis of the currency was silver . Seven double thalers corresponded to a “fine mark ” (233.8555 g), here the “Prussian” Cologne fine mark . The Prussian coin system with 14 thalers ( Graumann coin footer ) and the southern German guldensystem with 24 12 guilders from a "fine mark silver" were merged in the form of this common real circulation coin, whereby the Talerländer in minting the security with "2 Taler = 3 12 gulden ”began on the club's coin and the Guldenländer executed it the other way around with“ 3 12 gulden = 2 thalers ”. This common double thaler received the ironic name "Champagnertaler" due to its large size and was not particularly popular in general. It was valid around 7 12 French francs internationally. By 1853, Anhalt , Oldenburg , Braunschweig and Hanover joined the Dresden Mint Treaty .

Club coin from 1855

Since 1838 there was almost a single German currency, since a "North German" double thaler =  3 12 gulden "South German" = 3 gulden "Austrian". The only practical problem was that the small divisional money (Heller, Pfennige, Kreuzer, Groschen) of the Taler and Gulden countries could only be exchanged for one another with a "loss of exchange" and that in addition many older, not yet disreputable small coins from the 18th century were in circulation which were based on older coin feet in terms of value and therefore were not directly comparable in terms of value with the "new" customs union currency from 1838 onwards. Some of these older coins were also rejected entirely in the other customs union countries.

In addition, older Kurant coins such as B. Kronentaler or thins and Gulden after the previously applicable 13 1 / 3 doubloons foot and valid French, Dutch and Austrian coins to whose courses club COIN Valvationstabellen was determined. From around 1840, however, the "new" Kurant parts of the respective (regional) club coins, such as simple thaler, third thaler, sixth thaler, half, single or double guilder, which were below the nominal value of the common club coin, were accepted everywhere in the Zollverein, regardless of the issuer. although they did not have the word “club coin” in their embossing. Relative to their face value, they corresponded to the common currency of the club, e.g. B. a 13 thaler Saxon-courant was worth exactly 35 kreuzers south German or 16 taler prussian-courant exactly 17 kreuzers and 2 pfennigs south German. To facilitate trade, there were also practical conversion tables for the currencies of the countries with the North German Talermünzfuß, with the Bremen and Hamburg mint and those with the South German or Austrian Guldenmünzfuß, which were accurate to fractions of a penny and additionally exchange tables for common gold coins such as Friedrich d'or and Ducats , included.

Introduction of the club thaler

Saxon club thaler from 1871 as a commemorative coin on the occasion of the won Franco-German War

The Vienna Mint Treaty of January 24, 1857 finally included Austria and almost all other customs union states in the coin union.

The single and double club coins were set as the main silver coins instead of the previous "club coins", which have now also been introduced in the guilder countries in the respective country-specific design. The new meter was the inch or new pound of 30 new lots or 500  grams . The difference in silver fine weights between the older thalers and gulden on a mark weight basis (minted from 1750 to 1856) and the new ones based on inch pounds (from 1857) was e.g. For example, with the simple thalers with 16.704 g to 16.666 g only minimal, so that in practical monetary transactions there was no difference in the exchange rate between the old "club coins" and the new "club thalers and guilders".

In addition, a gold club crown (50 one pound fine) and half a club crown (100 one pound fine) were contractually introduced and minted by many countries; however, usually only in small numbers. This club gold crown did not become the basis of the new gold mark in Germany or later in Austria in 1871 .

With the departure of Austria and the end of the German Confederation after the defeat in the German War in 1866, the Austrian taler came to an end. In the area of ​​the later German Empire, club thalers were minted for circulation until the introduction of the gold mark in 1871. The last double club thaler was a commemorative coin on the occasion of the golden wedding of the Saxon royal couple in 1872.

As of 1871, the Vereinstaler, as a silver Kurant coin, no longer fit into the Mark system with its gold standard . The two-thaler pieces of German stamping became invalid in Germany on November 15, 1876, the Austrian club thalers on January 1, 1901. The simple club thalers of German stamping and the older simple thalers based on the old 14-thaler (mark) developed by Martin Kröncke Coin feet even from 1750 (!) Remained valid as legal tender with a value of 3 Marks until October 1st, 1907. The taler was so popular among the population that from 1908 imperial coins with a value of 3 marks were minted until the Weimar Republic .

Countries with club stamps

The fineness was 16.667 g for Vereinstaler and 33.408 g for Double Thaler. Deviations from this are indicated.

Countries with club currency Minting time Mints Margin writing
Club thaler Double thaler
Duchy of Anhalt 1858-1869 1839-1855 Berlin GOD BLESS STOP
Grand Duchy of Baden 1857-1871 1841-1855 Karlsruhe COIN TREATY OF JANUARY 24, 1857
Kingdom of Bavaria 1857-1871 1837-1869 Munich XXX ONE POUND FINE or GOD BLESS BAVARIA
Duchy of Brunswick 1858-1871 1842-1856 Braunschweig until 1859;

Hanover from 1864

Free City of Frankfurt 1857-1865 1841-1855

(fineness: 33.333 g)

Kingdom of Hanover 1857-1866 1854-1855

(fineness: 33.333 g)

Electorate of Hesse

(unofficial Hessen-Kassel)

1858-1865 1840–1855
(fineness: 33.41 g)
kassel GOD WITH US
Grand Duchy of Hesse

(unofficial Hessen-Darmstadt)

(fineness: 16.67 g)
(fineness: 33.41 g)
Darmstadt COIN TREATY OF JANUARY 24, 1857
Principality of Hohenzollern-Hechingen - 1844-1846 Stuttgart CONVENTION * OF * JULY 30 * 1838 *
Principality of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen - 1841-1847 Stuttgart CONVENTION * OF * JULY 30 * 1838 *
Principality of Lippe 1860 and 1866 1843 Berlin COIN TREATY OF JANUARY 24, 1857
Principality of Liechtenstein - 1862 Vienna CLEAR AND SOLID
Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin 1848
(thaler, fineness: 16.704 g);

1864 (club thaler)

- Berlin
Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz 1870 - Berlin GOD UMBRELLAS MECKLENBURG
Duchy of Nassau 1859-1864 1840-1854

(fineness 33.333 g)

Grand Duchy of Oldenburg 1846
(fineness: 16.704 g)


1840 (33,408 g) Hanover;

Wiesbaden (double thaler)

Empire of Austria 1857-1867 1857-1867 Vienna (all double thalers);

Kremnitz ; Karlsburg ; Milan ; Venice

Kingdom of Prussia 1857-1871 1839-1856

(fineness: 33.333 g)


Hanover (from 1866);
Frankfurt (from 1866)

Principality of Reuss older line (Greiz) 1858-1868 1840-1854 Berlin
Principality of Reuss-Lobenstein-Ebersdorf - 1848 Berlin
Kingdom of Saxony 1839–1856
(fineness: 16.704 g)



(fineness: 33.333 g)

Duchy of Saxony-Altenburg 1841
(fineness: 16.704 g)


1841-1852 Dresden

Grand Duchy of Saxony-Weimar-Eisenach

(fineness: 16.704 g)


(fineness: 33,408 g)
Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha 1841–1852
(fineness: 16.704 g)


1841-1854 Dresden
Duchy of Saxony-Meiningen 1859-1867 1841-1854 Munich
Principality of Schaumburg-Lippe 1860 and 1865 1857
(fineness: 33.33 g)
Principality of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen 1859-1870 1841-1854 Berlin
Principality of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt ( subordinate rule Sondershausen ) 1858-1867 1841-1845 Berlin
Principality of Waldeck-Pyrmont 1859 and 1867 1842-1856 Berlin;

Hanover (1867)

Kingdom of Württemberg 1857-1871 Stuttgart

Countries with club guilder currency

Countries with club guilders - instead of club currency were Bavaria, Württemberg, Baden, Hessen-Darmstadt, Hessen-Homburg, Frankfurt / M., Nassau, Hohenzollern-Hechingen and Sigmaringen, Saxe-Meiningen-Hildburghausen, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (in the Principality of Coburg) and Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt (suzerainty in Rudolstadt). The Cologne mark was set at 233.855 grams as the basic coin weight in Article X. From this basic coin weight 24½ guilders were minted (Article II of the treaty), the guilders were divided into 60 kreuzers according to Article III .

In 1842, Luxembourg joined the Mint Association without specifying the main currency. From 1857 the club guilder countries and Austria also minted the single and double club thaler in addition to the guilder.

Value comparison for small coins

Some examples of the difficulties in comparing the value of small coins between club thalers and club guilders from the period 1838 to 1871 (76):

2 Taler (north German) = 3 12 gulden (south German) , this follows ...

60 ( silver , new ) groschen (north German) = 210 Kreuzer (south German)
1 groschen = 3 12 kreuzers
6 Pfen (n) ing (e.g. Prussian) = 7 Pfennig (southern German)
5 (new) pfennig (Saxon) = 7 pfennig (southern German)

In addition, there are the Kurant conversion rates between those of the Hamburg and Bremen currency, which did not belong to the Münzverein:

Hamburg (1 mark = 16 schillings = 192 pfennigs) :

17 Mark (Hamburg) = 7 Taler (Prussian or North German)
1 Schilling (Hamburg) = 9 934 Pfenning (Prussian)

Bremen (1 Taler Gold = 72 Grote = 360 Swars ) :

100 thalers gold (Bremen) = 112 thalers (Prussian or northern German)
1 Groten (Bremen) = 5 35 Pfenning (Prussian)

These few examples clearly show that the main trading coins were already comparable from 1838 onwards - but there were considerable "rounding" problems with the small coins when comparing low-value goods between the various customs union states as well as Hamburg and Bremen.

Numismatic meaning

Since the Vereinstaler was valid for the longest period of the German Empire, it is the logical extension of the “German Empire” collecting area for coin collectors . The special attraction lies in the fact that it was shaped by almost all members of the German Confederation , including Austria and Liechtenstein . There are also club thalers from the states of Hanover , Nassau , Hessen-Homburg and Hessen-Kassel , which became extinct after 1866 , as well as the Free City of Frankfurt .

The only exceptions were the Hanseatic cities of Hamburg , Bremen and Lübeck , which did not join the German customs area until 1888. Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Mecklenburg-Strelitz , which only joined the German Customs Union indirectly through the North German Confederation , did not explicitly designate their last thalers with the same silver fineness as “Vereinstaler”.

Since simple Vereinstalers are collected less than German silver coins minted after 1871 in Mark currency, the prices for these talers are usually also lower than the mentioned silver coins of the empire with comparable preservation and circulation. Only the much rarer double thalers and the (club) guilders, which were already disreputable from 1876, achieve higher collector prices.

See also


  • Dieter A. Gehrke: The coins of the Kingdom of Prussia 1797–1871. Hobria Berlin 1967, VEB Grafische Werkstätten Zittau / Görlitz
  • Rudolf Lorenz: The coins of the Kingdom of Saxony 1806–1871… Hobria Berlin 1968, VEB Grafische Werkstätten Zittau / Görlitz
  • Hans Schwenke: The coins of the Kingdom of Bavaria 1806–1871. Hobria Berlin 1969, VEB Grafische Werkstätten Zittau / Görlitz
  • Hans Schwenke: The coins of the Kingdom of Württemberg 1806–1871. Hobria Berlin 1968, VEB Grafische Werkstätten Zittau / Görlitz
  • Johann Christian Gädicke: The Berlin calculator from small to large prices ... Berlin 1858, Ernst'sche Buchhandlung Quedlinburg

Web links