Germany German Thaler Reproduction (Counterfeit) 1500 to 1700
The designation 'thaler' (pronounced like 'dollar' but with a 't') is given to many different large coins of south central Europe. They are beautiful coins and are avidly sought by collectors. Jim's example (he sent us this picture) is from the old German State of Wurttemberg and showns St. Christopher with the Christ child. The two-headed eagle on the back exemplifies the idea that church and state are one, the prevailing thinking of the place and time.
If it were genuine, Jim's coin would be worth about $20000 US dollars. But it is not genuine. It is a replica produced by a commercial enterprise (a bank, I think) and sold as a souvenir. It is worth about $10 as a novelty.
Genuine thalers are produced by striking a metal blank between two hard dies which come together with great force. Jim's coin was produced by casting, not striking, and then it was toned and polished. This can be determined using a few dianostics. The toned (darkened) surface is easily discerned relative to the polished (brightened) surface. This can happen in genuine circulating coins, but the toning and polishing are far too even on Jim's coin to be caused by normal circulation.
Casting is done by filling a mold with molten metal, letting it cool, then removing the piece by separating the two halves of the mold. You can easily see bubbles left in the casting where the molten metal did not fill the mold completely.
Finally, casiting leaves a sprue
, or piece of metal which hardened in the mold's fill hole. Sprues are removed by machining after the casting is cool. You can see the residual marks of the machining and this is a dead give-away that the coin was cast, not struck.
If you are interested in such analysis, there is a great web site that addresses counterfeiting of old coins like this at ForumAncientCoins.com
, Genre: Central Europe North South
Requested by: Jim, Wed, 28-Sep-2011 14:46:39 GMT
Answered by: Paul, Tue, 03-Dec-2013 02:54:57 GMT
Last review by CoinQuest: Fri, 27-Nov-2015 21:04:58 GMT
Requester description: 1575 wurttemberg 60 kreuzer. how would I know if they where the genuine item or copies?
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