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In autumn 2014, replica of Maximilian’s II thaler was added to Czech Mint’s series Tribute to Historical Mints. The coin used to be struck in České Budějovice in the 16th century in a mint established in 1569 in a vacant Dominican convent after the plague seriously threatened the operation of the mint in Prague. In this period, Maximilian II strived to unify the currency in the entire Habsburg monarchy. However his efforts failed and mintage of thalers continued.
The new issue of Czech Mint is a replica of a thaler minted between 1573 and 1577. It was designed by outstanding Czech artist, academic sculptor Jan Lukáš. As well as other coins which had been struck in České Budějovice, the obverse of the thaler features a mark of Tobias Gebhart – a lion’s head. The prominent feature on the obverse side is the effigy of emperor Maximilian II, it is complemented with the year of mintage 1575. Around the rim of the thaler we can see abbreviations which stand for the emperor’s titles – Dei Gratia Romanorum Imperator Semper Augustus Germaniae, Hungariae, Bohemiae Rex (By God’s Grace the Holy Roman Emperor, King of Germany, Hungary and Bohemia). In the centre of the reverse the author placed a heraldic plastic of the period and at the periphery the other titles of the ruler in Latin: Archidux Austriae, Dux Burgundiae, Marchio Moraviae (Archduke of Austria, Duke of Burgundy and Margrave of Moravia). The replica of Maximilian’s II thaler of České Budějovice will certainly not escape attention of experienced numismatics, but it is also a challenge for beginning collectors to start a new fascinating collection.
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