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Ferdinand I Holy Roman Emperor


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I recently purchased this coin of Ferdinand I, no date, struck sometime in Ferdinand's reign (1558-1564) as Holy Roman Emperor or posthumously by his son. The Stacks cataloger attributed it to Dav-8030, but I note there are several varieties of Dav-8030. This coin is struck from roller dies and has rosettes on both sides, has HIS. rather than HISP for Spain on the reverse. Since I don't have a copy of Davenport's "European Crowns 1486-1600" where this Davenport number is located, I don't know what the defining properties are for the various varieties. Perhaps someone who is knowledgeable about HRE early talers might help.

 

According to what I've read, scholars used to assign this roller-die strike to Ferdinand's son as roller presses weren't in general use until after Ferdinand's death; however other expert opinions I've read mention the fact that Ferdinand experimented with roller presses in Augsburg before his death, and this variety might come from that time. Otherwise, all Ferdinand's talers are hammered.

 

The Stacks cataloger called this one of the finest known, and the luster and strike as well as the surfaces are amazing for a coin of this age. Ex: Stacks ANA 2014.

 

Here are the pictures:

 

1521 Austria Obv

1521 Austria Rev

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MARV,

 

This is a fantastic looking coin! Having said this, how sure are you this is an original piece? Do you know its provenance prior to Stack's?

 

I noticed a few blast white talers came to market in recent years and I personally struggle to understand how silver coins could have resisted developing patina for half a millennium.

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OK, here is what I dug up (NPI): I can't find any history prior to March, 2014, but this coin (raw) was in a Kuenker auction, 246, lot 3397 where it sold for around 2400 Euro plus commission (15%?). In August, it appeared in the Stacks auction, in a slab. In the Kuenker sale, this coin had more of the black toning around the periphery and possibly some light toning in the fields. By the time it appeared in the Stacks sale, much of the black toning around the periphery was gone, and the coin was now a blast white. My theory is that the successful buyer at Kuenker recognized what an outstanding coin it was, and guessed that it might grade high, especially if the ugly black "stuff" was removed, so he/she sent it to NCS where as much of the black was removed without over dipping the coin. There is enough pattern of the black "stuff" left to recognize that the Kuenker and Stacks coins are the same, but the Kuenker picture online is too fuzzy to really see what the coin looked like prior to slabbing. So the Kuenker buyer realized a gain of about $2500 for the process since the coin sold at Stacks for just shy of $6000 including commission. Although I generally don't buy blast white coins, this coin has such brilliant and genuine frosty luster that you just can't pass it up, especially on the reverse. To be picky, the obverse has a few hairlines, but where do you find another 16th century coin with such luster and strike? Every wrinkle in Frederick's bust is absolutely full. You have to see it to believe it. The Stacks cataloger raved about it.

 

In searching acsearch.info or coinarchives, this variety is not common compared to other varieties of Frederick's coins. There are quite a few VF and EF coins, and one or two unc, as well as coins with planchet defects, but nothing comes close. Even some nice AU coins sold for $2000-3000 years ago. There just aren't many coins from the 1500's that are unc period. Perhaps there was a small horde of these found at one time. Just couldn't pass it up. But now I am researching it's history, and I'm hopeful that an "expert" might shed more light on the circumstances of the coin's issue. I've emailed the Hall mint museum and the Austrian Mint for an expert opinion. We'll see.

 

WRT its genuineness: I have compared the dies to every other example on those search sites, and there are several different varieties of this coin; however this particular variety compares 100% to others of the same variety. I have no doubt it is genuine. It was bought out of Stacks by a famous Austrian dealer that anyone who collects Austrian would be familiar with, but whom I won't name. So if anyone knows talers, that man does. It has stimulated my interest in HRE talers. See www.taleruniverse.com

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Very impressive, not to mention lighting fast research! I was considering bidding on this coin at Stack's, but was unsure about the color. Beautiful as it is, I still prefer to see the impact of centuries on my coins.

 

From what I see on Omni coins your collection is shaping to set a new record for rarity and quality.

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Very impressive, not to mention lighting fast research! I was considering bidding on this coin at Stack's, but was unsure about the color. Beautiful as it is, I still prefer to see the impact of centuries on my coins.

 

From what I see on Omni coins your collection is shaping to set a new record for rarity and quality.

Well thanks for the compliment. I take my time and try to buy coins that I like and (hopefully) when the time comes, others will also like them. Since you're obviously interested in talers, you really should take a look at taleruniverse.com. He's got a very impressive number of just beautiful talers and 2 talers!

 

If you would have tried for the coin at Stacks, you would have had to have deep pockets as I was told that the Austrian dealer was prepared to go to $10,000 for the coin.

 

I'm with you on having some toning, but this is once that I had to make an exception. There have been other times that I've bought "white" coins with fabulous luster, but most of those have been Morgan silver dollars. They were in bags so most didn't tone, but a high grade brilliant silver proof-like Morgan is an object to behold. Of course the nice rainbow-toned coins in high grade blow you out of the water. But then again, they're not 500 years old.

 

Just FYI, Heritage has auctioned many, many talers, but only two of this type since 2003. In fact the best one they sold was in 2003. Here's a link: http://coins.ha.com/itm/austria/world-coins/austria-ferdinand-i-taler-nd-1543-dav-8030-hall-mint-armored-bust-with-crown-and-scepter-eagle-and-legends-choice-unc-a-super/a/332-11460.s#Photo

 

Not as nice as the one I bought, but still nice. Sold for $2357 with commission. I'm guessing there was a small horde at some point.

 

Best

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