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Maria-Theresien-Taler (face and reverse side)
Maria-Theresien-Taler, also called Levantine Dollar, popular silver dollar bearing the bust of Maria Theresia (when introduced, it bore different images of the monarch, from 1780 an image of the elderly Maria Theresia wearing a widow´s veil). In 1751 the Taler was introduced as a trade coin in Austria (valid until 1858). Soon afterwards it appreciated 10% in value and was issued in an increasing number of countries, e.g. in the Balkan States, the Middle East (the Levant) and in Africa.
From 1741 to 1750 Maria-Theresien Taler were struck once a year in Vienna and Kremnitz (now Kremnica, Slovakia). Later they were also struck by other mints located at Hall in Tirol, Prague, Graz, Günzburg (situated in Vorder-Österreich (the Habsburg lands in the western parts of the Austrian empire, in Switzerland, Swabia and Alsace)) and at Karlsburg/Alba Julia (Transylvania); from 1820-1859 also struck in Milano; until 1866 in Venice; from 1867-1935 exclusively struck in Vienna (total amount of 163 millions of taler). When Italy conquered Abessinia in 1935, Austria ceded the prerogative of minting the Maria-Theresien Taler to Italy (until 1960); in consequence the taler were struck in Rome; later also in London, Birmingham, Paris and Bombay. In 1946 the Vienna Mint again started a small-scale production of the coin.
Today the Austrian Mint strikes Maria-Theresien-Taler which constitute exact copies of the ones issued in 1780 (except that Maria Theresia´s year of death has been added). The popularity of the Maria-Theresien Taler, which constitutes a numismatic monument to Mercantilism, is certainly due to both its consistent silver content (only changed once between 1780 and 1781, when it was increased by 2.4 mg) and its design.
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