1780 Maria Theresa Proof Silver Thaler (Dollar)
The world's most famous silver coin!
The silver thaler was originally struck in Austria from 1740 to 1780 and was the currency of the Austrian Empire. The silver thaler was very important for trade with the Levant (parts of Turkey, Lebanon, Syria) and the Maria Theresa Thaler became the best known and most popular silver coin in the Arabian world. After the death of Empress Maria Theresa in 1780, Joseph II permitted the Austrian mint to continue striking the coin with the 1780 dies in order to meet the demand from the Middle East. The 1780 thaler was the only silver coin that the Arabs trusted and would accept. Since then, the Maria Theresa thaler has been restruck for trade purposes at Vienna, Austria with the 1780 date frozen in time. The thaler became the unofficial currency in some areas of Africa and Asia, and is still in use today as a "trade silver dollar" in many Arabian bazaars.
The obverse (front) has a portrait of the mature Empress Maria Theresa. The inscription "M. Theresia D.G.R. Imp. Hu. Bo. Reg." 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 center, surrounded by four quarters representing Hungary, Bohemia, Burgundy and Günzburg. The inscription reads "Archid. Aust. Dux. Burg. Co. Tyr. 1780" and translates: Archduchess of Austria, Duchess of Burgundy, Countess of Tyrol, 1780.
The coins offered here are from an old-time hoard from 1964 and are "proof" restrikes dated 1780. Due to a fortunate purchase, we are able to offer these "proof-strike" coins for about what you would pay for a regular uncirculated issue! The coins have brilliant mirrored backgrounds with nicely frosted images. Each coin is about 1.6 inches in diameter - slightly larger than a U.S. Silver Dollar. Each coin contains approximately 0.75 ounce of pure silver.
The story of the Maria Theresa Thaler is undoubtedly unique in the history of money and numismatics. It is not only one of the most beautiful silver coins in the world, it is also the most famous and most widely spread. The Maria Theresa Thaler belongs in every coin collection because of its special history. It is also a gift of unusual interest and a souvenir of incredible value!
"History of the Maria Theresa Thaler courtesy of the Austrian Mint."