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Forgeries of Maria Theresia Talers


Deutsche Version



Description of variants

Original and Restrike

The Talers




Other strikes

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As one would expect, there are lots of Maria Theresia Taler forgeries. We separate forgeries into those made to be used as currency, and those made to be sold to coin collectors or tourists.

As a general rule, we do not identify coins struck by governments or government agencies as forgeries, even though some of those may not have been authorized by the Austrian government. If a strike is identified as unauthorized, the term "unauthorized restrike" would probably be more appropriate.

Privately struck coins are only considered forgeries if the strike was not authorized by the Austrian government or Austrian mint.

Forgeries to be used as currency

Forgeries to be used as currency are relatively rare (compared to the total number of Maria Theresia Talers struck). Typically, the weight of such coins will be less than that of the original, and/or the coin material will not be silver. Quality of currency forgeries is often bad to very bad. Such forgeries are therefore typically easy to identify.

Forgeries made to be sold to collectors

Such forgeries are often difficult to identify, even for experts. The idea here is to either forge a rare variant (to make a lot of money from a few coins), or to produce a common variant in worse material than the original (to make a lot of money by selling a lot of forgeries). The latter type may also be called Tourist forgery, since it is often specifically made to be sold to tourists. This type will often be encountered in Asian countries, especially China, and in Arabic countries.

Falsified authentic restrikes

Sometimes authentic restrikes are falsified to create a more desirable and collectable coin. Two types of such falsifications are currently known to exist: It is very difficult if not impossible to identify falsifications based on a scan or picture. In most cases, a suspicious coin has to be examined under certain light conditions to see traces of the falsification. Such traces can be: In most cases, it will not be possible to detect the falsification on a scan or picture. Even high resolution scans will typically not reveal manipulations. Therefore, unless you want to risk losing your money, it is not recommended to buy any specimen of Maria Theresia Thalers missing part of the inscription purely based on pictures or scans.

List of currently known forgeries

Counterstamp forgeries

Many counterstamps currently on the market have to be considered forgeries. Such forgeries can often be identified as follows:

In addition, many counterstamps on Maria Theresa Talers may in fact be phantasy products, though this is only a theory at this time. Please see Counterstamps for more information.

The following table compares a possibly authentic counterstamp with an obvious forgery. The forged counterstamp is struck on a 20th century coin, and the counterstamp die shows errors which might have been created for example by a cast or by a rusted (and cleaned) die.

Possibly genuine Counterstamp
Host coin type: IIIb3-2, Cc7I-e, W2a
Variant 4 Variant 4 cm
Forged Conterstamp
Host coin type: IIIb3-2, Cc8-e, W2
[struck from 1950]
Variant 6 Variant 6 cm

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