Monday, July 21, 2008

Joachimsthaler

[edit] The Joachimsthaler
By 1518 guldiners were popping up everywhere in central Europe. In Bohemia, a part of the Holy Roman Empire then controlled by the Jagellonian monarchs, a guldiner was minted—of similar physical size but slightly less fineness—that was named the Joachimsthaler from the silver mined by the Counts of Schlick at a rich source near Joachimsthal (St. Joachim's Valley, Czech: J├íchymov) (now in the Czech Republic) where Thal (Tal) means "valley" in German. Joachim, the father of the Virgin Mary, was portrayed on the coin. Similar coins began to be minted in neighbouring valleys rich in silver deposits, each named after the particular 'thal' or valley from which the silver was extracted. There were soon so many of them that these silver coins began to be known more widely as 'thaler'. From these earliest 'thalaer' developed the new Thaler - the coin that Europe had been looking for to create a standard for commerce.

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