Tyrolean thalers of Archduke Ferdinand

Archduke Ferdinand II had outstanding influence on the minting of thaler coins in Austria for three important changes mainly following his initiatives. On one hand, a new technology, using water-powered cylindrical minting was introduced in the Hall mint, thus highly increasing the efficiency of producing coins. Secondly, the exchange rate of thalers was increased (returning to an earlier system and abandoning Guldentalers) and later their silver content was reduced, thus rendering thalers more attractive. The third change was essentially the consequence of the first two, namely that the Hall mint used not only silver mined in the territory of the Holy Roman Empire, but also imported partly from America, partly - in form of coins - from Spain. As a consequence of these factors a very large number of thaler coins were produced in Hall under the ruling of Archduke Ferdinand II, this number is estimated to as high as 10 million. The nominal weight of these thalers was 28,82 g, struck from silver with fineness of 0,875.

A further specificity of the thalers after 1577 is that no mintage year is indicated on them. Although these coins are all fairly similar in structure and outlook, the very great number of struck pieces required a high number of dies resulting in a similarly large number of variants.