Discussion in 'World Coins' started by Eduard, Jul 30, 2019.
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Hmm, I wonder to what extent those 2 thaler coins were actually used ...
I thought I recognised this picture - I've seen it before. There is a chap who has based his excellent collection of (mostly) thalers on the people in this picture. You can see it here. I can only wish it was mine.
The problem with the minor coinage was not only the different denominations but the fact they were uneconomic to make on the basis of their value under the German Convention. As a result states struck lower denomination coins for local use based on a lower standard, the 24-Guldenfuss (24 Gulden to 1 Mark of fine silver). These coins were called "Landesmünzen" (State Coins) or "Scheidemünzen" (literally, separate coins).
There have been beautiful examples of Scheidemünzen on this thread: Chris B's Prussian Pfennig and Eduard's Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt 2 Pfennig posted last Friday, CoinNut's Prussian 1 Pfennig and Schwarzburg-Sonderhausen 3 Pfennig posted on Saturday and Seattlite86's Hannover Groschen posted on Monday.
Yep, the term means that the two parties involved in a transaction could go separate ways (scheiden) afterwards without leaving a debt on one side. If you had Kurantgeld (gold, silver) only, that might have been a problem ...
When I was a soldier stationed in Germany, one of my favorite NCOs enjoyed hailing another soldier as as "heimscheide" or "heimscheibe" - that is, home slice. Anecdote aside, that has generally been my understanding of "scheidemüzen" - 'small change' or 'a slice of currency' or 'a piece of currency.' More simply explained, small currency.
As for the currency issued by a sovereign entity, under the descriptor of "Landesmünzen," my understanding (or feeling, I guess since I have nothing to support it) is that a German government issued a coin with the sole intention of the coin being legal tender for the local economy. My example (this six kreuzer issued by Maximillian I, Joseph, in Baiern (or Bayern or Bavaria)) contains 0.0289 ounces of silver. King Max intended this coin to be worth six kreuzer in the Bavarian economy, no matter what three-hundredths of an ounce of silver was actually worth at the time. And I'd have to think that local consumers and tradesmen (tradespeople? - or was there no PC at the time?) did just that. That is not a denial that if three-hundredths of an ounce of silver was 'worth' more somewhere else, the coin was not melted down or shipped off to where one could get more stuff for the perceived 'value' of the silver. I think that is why there is a distinction of trade coinage, which a sovereign entity uses for international trade. Yes?
The situation at the local level must have been somewhat complicated as far as day-to-day small commercial transactions with minor coinage is concerned - for example, for travellers paying for a meal and beer at the local tavern, buying food, and small items, etc. Minor coinage intended for local use also made its way into neighbouring states, and beyond. In Hessen, for example, Bavarian, Westphalian, Wuerttemberg and Austrian minor coin could be found. Figuring out how much to charge a traveller for a meal must have been a challenge.
Grand Duchy of Hessen-Darmstadt:
Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, measuring only 870 km2 was located in the south of Germany and almost fully surrounded by the Kingdom of Wuerttemberg. The prince abdicated in 1849 in favour of the King of Prussia.
Sigmaringen issued an interesting series of coins to serve the needs of its 45000 inhabitants. This Doppeltaler was minted at Karlsruhe.
Look at the ZU, or at the O in Hohen, or the L's in the signature. Maybe the Karlsruhe mint decided that such a tiny country was not worth fixing that, hehe.
I think that is part of what makes the charm of these relatively early Talers, as opposed to the later mintage after unification in 1873 where all coinage looked the same and consequently lacking appeal (actually boring) to me at least .
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