Maria Theresa Thaler

What is the most famous silver coin in the world?

If you have 16 children you need a lot of presents. The best are those that you can share equally. Empress Maria Theresa always had the perfect solution ready to hand and moreover one which would keep its value, the Maria Theresa thaler.

The Maria Theresa thaler is the most famous silver coin in the world. First minted in 1741 it looked very different then. This is what the thaler looked like with the Empress wearing a widow’s veil after the death of her husband. At the end of her life they swapped the youthful image of the Empress for the one which is still used today. Ever since the death of the Empress in year 1780 the thaler has been restruck as a trade coin with the same date. The image of the Empress is encircled by a Latin text.
English: 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 initials S. F. stand for the two mint officials of the time.
The back shows a double eagle with the Imperial Crown. The arms of Hungary, Bohemia, Burgundy and Burgau are depicted on the shield. The edge of the thaler is grooved and bears the motto of the Empress Maria Theresa “Justitia et Clementia”, which means justice and clemency. In Austria the thaler was officially recognised as legal tender until 1858. In parts of Africa it was legal tender even at the end of the Second World War. Its scope reaches from the north-west Africa to parts of India. Its great significance also means that during the Second World War the mints in Rome, London, Paris, Brussels and even Bombay reminted the Maria Theresa thaler largely in its original form. Over the first 200 years 320 million coins were manufactured.
As an historical item of immense international significance, the Maria Theresa thaler is highly valued throughout the world and is minted today exclusively by MünzeÖsterreich AG.


A-1031 VIENNA · AUSTRIA · P.O. BOX 181
PHONE +43 1 717 15-149 · FAX +43 1 715 40 70