The Maria Theresa Silver Thaler was struck in Austria from 1780.
Maria Theresa succeeded her father, Charles VI, in 1740 at the age of 23. Her father had tried to guarantee the female succession through the Pragmatic Sanction, although Prince Eugene of Savoy believed he would have done better to have left her an efficient army and a full treasury! She was Queen of Hungary and of Bohemia, Archduchess of Austria (the title of Empress came in 1745 when her husband, Francis Stephen, was elected Holy Roman Emperor), and she defended her lands and rights courageously in the War of the Austrian Succession against Frederick of Prussia and his allies. Internally her reign was marked by great reforms in the areas of justice, finance, education, agriculture and medicine.
The silver taler was the currency of the Empire and of the Austrian hereditary lands. The silver taler was very important for trade with the Levant (parts of Turkey, Lebanon, Syria) and the Maria Theresa Taler became the best known and most popular silver coin in the Arabian world. After the death of the Empress, Joseph II permitted the mint at Günzburg (today in Bavaria, but at that time Austrian territory) to continue striking with the 1780 dies in order to meet the demand from the Middle East. The 1780 taler was the only silver coin that the Arabs trusted and would accept. Thus began the long minting history of the "Levantine Taler" of the Empress Maria Theresa. Since then the Günzburg taler has been restruck for trade purposes at Vienna, as well as at mints in Prague, Milan and Venice from time to time. The taler became the unofficial currency of some of the lands in North Africa, and it can still be found today in many Arabian bazaars. This version of the taler became so important that it was restruck even in London, Bombay, Paris and Rome. The "Levantine Taler" lost its status as legal tender in Austria in 1858, but thanks to an imperial edict of 1857 as well as the present laws of the Austrian Republic, the mint at Vienna still produces this famous trade-thaler down to the present day.
Both terms refer to the same coin type.
The raised edge of the coin has the motto of the Empress "Iustitia et Clementia" (Justice and Clemency) with various ornaments.
The obverse has a portrait of the mature Empress. She wears a widow's veil (which was reduced in order to meet Arabian demands) and a brooch with nine pearls. The inscription:
M. THERESIA D.G.R. IMP. HU. BO .REG.
This translates as:
Maria Theresa, by the grace of God Roman Empress, of Hungary and Bohemia Queen
Below the bust one finds the initials "S.F.", which stand for 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 centre, surrounded by four quarters representing Hungary, Bohemia, Burgundy and Burgau (Günzburg). The inscription reads:
ARCHID. AUST. DUX. BURG. CO. TYR. 1780
This translates to:
Archduchess of Austria, Duchess of Burgundy, Countess of Tyrol, 1780
|Silver Content||833.3 / 1000|
|Copper Content||166.6 / 1000|
|Total Weight||28.0668 grams|
|Fine Weight (Actual Silver Content)||23.3890 grams|
|Fine Weight (Actual Silver Content)||0.7520 ounces|
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Bullion coins are provided as is and on occasion may have some minor scratches or edge knocks. These are not regarded as faulty or damaged goods as their precious metal content and value as a bullion coin is not affected. Any coin sold for a value less than a 180% intrinsic is considered a bullion coin.
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