The Maria Theresa thaler (MTT) is a silver bullion coin that has been used in world trade continuously since it was first minted in 1741. It is named after Empress Maria Theresa, who ruled Austria, Hungary, and Bohemia from 1740 to 1780 and is depicted on the coin.
In 1741 they used the Reichsthaler standard of 9 thalers to the Vienna mark (a weight approximating half a pound of fine silver). In 1750 the thaler was debased to 10 thalers to the Vienna mark. The following year the new standard was effectively adopted across the German-speaking world when it was accepted formally in the Bavarian monetary convention. Because of the date of the Bavarian Monetary convention, many writers erroneously state that the Maria Theresa Thaler was first struck in 1751.
Since the death of Maria Theresa in 1780, the coin has always been dated 1780. On 19 September 1857, Emperor Francis Joseph of Austria declared the Maria Theresa thaler to be an official trade coinage. A little over a year later, on 31 October 1858, it lost its status as currency in Austria.
The MTT could also be found throughout the Arab world, especially in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Muscat and Oman, in Africa, especially in Ethiopia, and in India. During the Japanese occupation of Indonesia in World War II, enough people preferred it to the money issued by the occupying forces that the American Office of Strategic Services created counterfeit MTTs for use by resistance forces.
In German-speaking countries, following a spelling reform dated 1901 that took effect two years later, “Thaler” is written “Taler” (the spelling of given names like “Theresia” was not affected). Hence 20th-century references to this coin in German and Austrian sources are found under “Maria-Theresien-Taler”. The spelling in English-speaking countries was not affected. The MTT continues to be produced by the Austrian Mint, and is available in both proof and uncirculated conditions.
1780 Austria The Maria Theresa Thaler Coin * Restrike * 83% Silver 28.1 grams