The Guldiner

The 1486 Guldiner

 

In 1474 a nine-gram lira was issued but it was in 1484 that Archduke Sigismund of Tirol issued the first truly revolutionary silver coin, the half Guldengroschen of roughly 15½ (fifteen and a half) grams. This was a very rare coin, almost a trial piece, but it did circulate so successfully that demand could not be met.

 

Finally, with the silver deposits—being mined at Schwaz—to work with and his mint at Hall, Sigismund issued, in 1486, large numbers of the first true Thaler-sized coin, the Guldengroschen (great gulden, being of silver but equal in value to a Goldgulden).

 

The Guldengroschen, nicknamed the guldiner, was an instant and unqualified success. Soon it was being copied widely by many states who had the necessary silver. The engravers, no less affected by the Renaissance than were other artists, began creating intricate and elaborate designs featuring the heraldic arms and standards of the minting state as well as brutally realistic, sometimes unflattering, depictions of the ruler (monarch).

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