Collecting old silver thalers is a worthwhile endeavor. These big, bold, beautiful coins carry interesting artwork, intriguing history, and lasting value. The German States of antiquity minted them in countless different designs and denominations. The 1601 - 1700 Standard Catalog of World Coins (5th Edition) has a total of 785 pages of coin pictures, descriptions, and values for the German States, at least half of which are dedicated to large-sized silver thalers.
But, if you want to collect these coin, you must be ready to open your pocketbook. They are very valuable, cataloging for hundreds to thousands of US dollars each.
Susan's coin is from the old German State of Brunswick-Luneburg, where the flying horse is a common design element. This one has the hand of God overhead and a mining scene beneath. On the reverse side are multiple shields surrounding a central monogram. The monogram changes with the specific principality (called duchy) of issue:
crowned script EA, F: Calenbuerg
crowned block CL: Celle
Denominations range from 1 thaler to 12 thalers.
Needless to say, the CoinQuest forum is far too superficial to determine value of these coins with any specificity. We can identify the coin and point you in the right direction, but you must pursue details with knowledgeable numismatists (coin collector). Your best bet is to click to PNGDealers.com and find a reputable dealer near you.
Looking at the catalogs for general guidance, typical values for these thalers run like this:
worn: $500 to $1500 US dollars
average circulated: $1000 to $5000
well preserved: $2500 to unknown
(Note: catalogers often list pricing as 'unknown' when there have not been enough free-market transactions involving the coin to ascertain an approximate value. An estimate for genuine coins of 'unknown' catalog value would be tens of thousands of dollars)
The coin in our picture comes from Heritage Auctions, and CoinQuest thanks Heritage for use of their coin photo. It is a beautiful specimen!
As with all valuable coins, you must be aware than counterfeits abound in today's market. Unscrupulous people are out to cash in on naive buyers and sellers. Deal only with reputable people when it comes to valuable coins, and, even then, proceed slowly.
Finally, lest I forget, the number 1 rule in coin collecting is:
NEVER CLEAN A COIN. CLEANING RUINS VALUE.
If you would like to send a picture of your coin to CoinQuest, we may be able to give you an estimate of value. Use the Contact Us link to start an e-mail exchange.