start page Charles V TOUR :   female relatives

Archduke Sigismund, the Rich in Coin of Tyrol, ruled 1446-1490
Sigismund of Tyrol (*1427 in Innsbruck; †1496 in Innsbruck) became titular Archduke of Austria in 1477. He was just 11 years old when his father died and Sigismund's cousin, the future Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III became his guardian. In 1446 Sigismund was able to take over the government of Tyrol and Further Austrian (some territories in Swabia, Breisgau and Alsace). By 1490 the opposition of Tyrolean nobles compelled Sigismund to hand over the rulership to Frederick's son Archduke Maximilian I, who later succeeded his father as Holy Roman Emperor. With Sigismund's death in 1496, the Tyrolean branch of the Habsburg Leopoldian line became extinct.

Sigismund took over the coinage of Etschkreuzer, the heaviest type of coin at the time (Ø 18 mm, approx.1 g.), which was produced in Merano since 1271. In 1477 he moved the Tyrolean mint from Merano to Hall in the Inn valley, near the flourishing silver mines of Schwarz. The rich supply of silver there allowed him to introduce heavier and heavier coins in quick succession: In 1477 6 Kreuzer pieces and Pfundner (12 kreuzer), in 1484 half Guldiner (30 kreuzer) and finally in 1486 Guldiner (60 kreuzer pieces) as the silver equivalent of the golden florin.

Florin n. d. Hall (ab 1478).     Ø 22 mm, 3,32 g.   M./T. 44; Friedb.6.
Die cutter Konrad Michelfelder.

Obv.:   ·SIGISMundus·ARᗭ - hIDVX·AVSTriaᗺ  -  Standing Archduke from front, wearing archducal hat, armour, cloak, ball sceptre in right hand and left hand on sword hilt.
Rev.:   ✠MOnᗺTA·nOVA·AVRᗺA·ᗭOMITIS·TIROLis  -  Lily cross and four coats of arms: Austria, Carinthia, Styria [panther left], Tyrol [eagle].
The image on the obverse repeats in 1486 in the Guldiner, see below.

Florin n. d. Hall.     Ø 22 mm, 3,26 g.   M./T. 46; Friedb.6.
Die cutter Benedikt Burkhart.


For the Tyrolean gold florins minted from 1478 onwards, melted-down gold coins were used. Their minting did not yield a profit. However, they were so popular that they continued to be minted after Sigismund's death.

Florin n. d. Hall (after 1508 under Maximilian I).     Ø 22 mm, 3,29 g.   M./T. 47; Friedb.6.
Die cutter Ulrich Ursentaler d.Ä.

Obv.:   SIGISMundus·ARCHI - DVX·AVSTRIE  -  Standing Archduke from front.
Lily cross and four coats of arms: Austria, Carinthia, Styria [panther left], Tyrol [eagle].

The significant silver production in Schwartz allowed Sigismund to introduce heavier silver coins
as multiples of the Kreuzer.

6 Kreuzer n. d., Hall.     Ø 24 mm, ca.3,2 g.   M./T. 48.
Obv.:   ✠SIGISMVnDVS'ARᗭhIDVX·AVSTRIᗺ  -  Effigy in armour to the right, with archducal hat, cloak, ball sceptre in his right hand, left hand on sword hilt. (Die crack in the field.)
Rev.:   ✠GRO - S'ᗭOM - ITIS· - TIROL  -  Long cross, in the angles the coats of arms of Austria, Carinthia, Styria and Tyrol, similar to the florin.
The effigy of the mint lord appears on a silver coin for the first time north of the Alps.
This successful coin type was also minted by Sigismund's successors and found many imitators.

Pfundner n. d., Hall (12 Kreuzer).     Ø 28 mm, 6,31 g.   M./T. 57.
Die cutter Wenzel Kröndl.

Obv.:   ✱SIGISMVnDVS·ARᗭhIDVX·AVSTRIᗺ  -  Bust right, with archducal hat.
Rev.:   ✱:GROSSVS·፧·ᗭOMITIS·፧·TIROLIS:  -  Arms of Austria on the breast.

Compare the oil painting (1480-90, 42x33 cm, KHM Galeria Belvedere in Vienna), shown by Wikipedia.

Showpiece n. d. (1483) by die cutter Reichart Weidenpusch.   Ø 40 mm, 31,75 g.  M./T.58.
See a better illustration of the obverse of the original in the Münzkabinett, KHM Vienna

It can be assumed that this medal was actually intended to be the pattern for the planned Guldiner pieces. The following half-Guldiner presents the archduke more similar to the 6-Kreuzer pieces.

Half Guldiner 1484, Hall.     Ø 35 mm, 15,78 g.   M./T. 60.
Die cutter Wenzel Kröndl.

Obv.:  ✠Ꮺ✼SIGISMVnDVS✼ARᗭhIDVX✼AVSTRIᗺ✼Ꮼ  -  Effigy in armour to the right, with archducal hat, cloak, ball sceptre in his right hand, left hand on sword hilt.
Rev.:   Armoured horseman on a tournament horse bursting to the right, with closed tournament helmet, on it peacock thrust, in the right the red-white-red banner, the reins in the left, below the date 1484,
around 14 coats of arms (starting from the top to the left): Portenau [open gate], Kyburg, Austria ob der Enns, Habsburg, Tyrol, Carinthia, Austria, Old Austria [5 eagles], Styria, Carniola, Burgau, Alsace,
Pfirt and Windisch Mark (in Slovenia).

Guldiner 1484, Hall as a piefort of the half-guldiner,   Ø 35 mm, 31,78 g.  M./T.60 Anm; Voglh.2.
Die cutter Wenzel Kröndl.   Piefort as the first large silver coin ever (precursor of the thaler).

Rev.:   Armoured rider on a tournament horse, 14 coats of arms around, as before.
Both the Pfundner and the half Guldiner were also made as pieforts of the same weight as the guldiner (approx. 32 g) for gift-giving purposes. It was found that the diameter-to-thickness ratio was unfavourable for the production. A larger and thinner blank was chosen for the final Guldiner.

Trial strike Guldiner 1486, Hall (Uncialis).     Ø 40 mm, ca.32 g.   M./T.61; Voglh.1/I; Dav.8085.
Die cutter Wenzel Kröndl.

The legend and design are based on the gold florins above.
Rev.:   Horseman and 14 coats of arms, as on the above Half Guldiner 1484.
Also called Uncialis because its weight corresponded to an ounce of the Tyrolean weight mark (ca.30 g.).
The new coin was 937,5‰ fine and corresponded to the value of 60 Kreuzer and the value of a florin.

The open spaces next to the Archduke were filled and the following first serie of Guldiner was issued.

Guldiner 1486, Hall (Uncialis).     Ø 40 mm, 31,82 g.   M./T.63; Voglh.1/II; Dav.8086.
Die cutter Wolfgang Peck.

The Archduke in armour with a long coat. He stands from the front, his head only slightly to the right.
On the left the austrian coat of arms held by lions. On the right crowned tournament helmet
with the Habsburg peacock thrust.

Rev.:   Armoured horseman on a tournament steed leaping to the right with crowned tournament helmet, fluttering ribbons on it and the Habsburg peacock thrust on top. In the right hand the Austrian banner, the left hand on the reins, below the date 1486. In the circle now 16 coats of arms, (counter-clockwise): Nellenburg, Alsace, Kyburg, Tyrol, Montfort, Portenau, Carniola [eagle], Styria, Old Austria [5 eagles], Carinthia[panther], Windische Mark [bell], Hohenberg, Habsburg, Pfirt, Austria ob der Ems and Burgau.

Guldiner 1486, Hall (Uncialis).     Ø 40 mm, 31,71 g.   M./T.64; Voglh.1/III; Dav.8087.
Die cutter Wenzel Kröndl.

As before, but with the head facing the front and with a gothic ornamental circle on the inner circle.
Rev.:   As before, but without flutter bands on the helmet and smaller date 1486.
Following the example of Tyrol, the development from the groschen to the guldiner as the silver equivalent of the florin was repeated in Saxony a little later. Finally, in 1520-26, so many "Joachinsthalers" could be produced with the rich silver yield in St. Joachimsthal that the name "Thaler" later became naturalised for this type of coin.

• Karl Moser / Fritz Dworschak :  Die große Münzreform unter Erzherzog Sigismund von Tirol, Wien 1936.
    Excerpt online.
• Heinz Moser / Heinz Tursky :  Die Münzstätte Hall in Tirol 1477-1665, Innsbruck 1977.
• Rudolf Voglhuber :  Taler und Schautaler des Erzhauses Habsburg von 1484 bis 1896, Frankfurt 1971.

Startseite Charles V   /   Karl V. TOUR :  female relatives