If you are not familiar with the Maria Theresa Thaler (a.k.a. M.T. Thaler), you will find interesting and useful information about this silver bullion coin below. Although usually not a rare coin, it has a unique and rich history which makes it a popular, collectable coin internationally.
Several different silver thalers (referred to as talers in German speaking countries) were produced by different countries for centuries to be used for trade purposes. But none are as well known as the M.T. Thaler. The coin is named after Empress Maria Theresa who ruled Austria, Hungary and Bohemia from 1740 to 1780. The first M.T. Thaler was struck in 1741.
The obverse of the thaler at left features the image of the mature Empress wearing a widow`s veil and a brooch with nine pearls.
The Latin inscription around the edge of the coin reads “M. THERESIA D.G.R. IMP. HU. BO .REG.” which translates to: Maria Theresa, by the grace of God Roman Empress, Queen of Hungary and Bohemia. Her additional titles are continued on the coin’s reverse. Below the bust you will see the initials “S.F.”, which are the names of the two Günzburg mint officials in 1780, Tobias Schöbl (S) and Joseph Faby (F).
The reverse shows the imperial double-headed eagle with the arms of Austria at the center, surrounded by four quarters representing Hungary, Bohemia, Burgundy and Burgau (Günzburg). The inscription reads “ARCHID. AUST. DUX. BURG. CO. TYR. 1780? and translates: Archduchess of Austria, Duchess of Burgundy, Countess of Tyrol, 1780. The raised edge of the coin (not shown) has the motto of the Empress “Justitia et Clementia” (Justice and Clemency) with a variety of ornaments.
Total Weight 28.0668 grams, Fine Silver Weight 23.3890 grams=0.7520 troy ounces, Silver Content 833.3 / 1000, Copper Content 166.6 / 1000, Diameter 39.5-41 mm (versus 38.1 mm of a U.S. Silver Dollar), Thickness 2.5 mm
If you were to visit the Austrian mint’s web site, you would see these thalers (talers) available in uncirculated and proof versions. Look at them closely and you will see they are modern restrikes with a 1780 date.
If you are not familiar with the term restrike, it simply means a coin that is minted later than the date stamped on the coin. In this case, the date (1780) has been “frozen” for all coins minted from 1780 to the present date. But to qualify as a true restrike, a coin must be produced by the original mint/government or mints in other countries with the permission of the original government.
M.T. Thalers similar to the one shown above were issued during Maria Theresa’s lifetime but these are dated before 1780 (there have been variations in this coin’s appearance from the early ones minted to the present day as well as those minted by other countries). Some of the pre-1780 thalers are more valuable depending on their scarcity and condition. Almost all examples dated 1780 are restrikes. Those that are not restrikes will be advertised as “not a restrike” or something similar.
As mentioned under Weight and Content above, the M.T. Thaler contains .7520 troy ounces of silver. To find the intrinsic value of this coin, multiply .7520 times the current spot price of silver which can be found at the Kitco web site. As an example, if the spot price of silver is at U.S. $20.00…
You should expect to pay a little over the intrinsic value for a restruck coin in good condition up to maybe twice the intrinsic value for a proof coin plus, of course, the current premium.
Some might describe this as the world’s most beautiful coin but I like to think of it as one of the most beautiful and famous silver coins in the world. It certainly has a rich history and one worthy of your consideration as an addition to your coin collection. If you decide to invest in one or more M.T. Thalers, be sure to deal with a reputable dealer as counterfeit thalers do exist.