|Presently Austria's coins consist of denominations in Euros and Eurocents. During the period
1924-2001 it was Schilling and Groschen, from 1892-1924 it was Krone and Heller, and prior to
1892 it was Florin/Gulden, Thaler and Kruezer.
Euro: Twelve countries of the European Economic and Monetary Union; Austria, Belgium,
Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain
gave up their national coinage and currency and issued, January 1, 2002, a common currency,
the euro. The coinage of all participating nations share a common front but have nationalistic
reverses. Austria used three themes for her coinage, flora, historical buildings, and famous
Austrians. The one, two and five Euro cent use floral designs, the ten, twenty and fifty Eurocents
use famous buildings and the one and two Euro use famous Austrians. It is interesting to note
that the Austrian Euro coins do not denote the country of origin in any of the inscriptions and they
display the denomination on both sides of the coin.
Schilling: The schilling was the basic unit of currency of Austria until January 1, 2002 when the
Euro replaced Austria's national coins and notes. The schilling could be subdivided into 100
The name schilling probably comes from the Old High German "scilling" probably after "scilt" or
"schild" meaning shield. The shilling was struck for the first time as money in France in 1266. In
the beginning in South, Southwest and North Germany, Austria and Switzerland it was a
twelve-pfennig piece. From the fourteenth century onwards, shillings were worth 6, 8 and 10
pfennigs. Then the "long schilling" of Bavaria (worth 30 pfennigs) came along. The last German
schillings were issued for Mecklenburg in 1866. The Austrian schilling replaced the corona
(Korona in German) in 1924. Actually the last dated corona type coins carried the 1916 date and
the first schilling coin were issued eight years later in 1924. The schilling was replaced by the
German reichsmark during 1938-1945 but was reintroduced in late 1945.
Starting in December 1945 the schilling was once again Austria`s sole legal tender unit of
account. Coins were not released however until 1947 even though the one and two schilling coins
bore a 1946 date.
Groschen: The gros or its other European variants, the grosso in Italy or the groat in England
were multiples of the denier or penny, worth anywhere between four and twelve deniers
depending on where you were and when. Gros meant large or thick in contrast to the thin denarii.
In German the suffix "chen" was added to mean "little", so groschen would mean "little-big". In
modern times, Austria was the last country to use groschen as a denomination. The 10 and 50
Groschen coins were minted through the end of 2001. 100 Groschen equals one Schilling.
Medals & Tokens
|Kreuzer: Any of several small coins of low value formerly used in Austria and Germany. The word "kreuzer" probably came
from the Middle High German kriuzer, previous to that from the Old High German krzi, and previous to that from the Latin crux,
cruc- meaning cross.
The kreuzers evolved from the Veronese (or Bern) pfennig and the most commonly used coin was a three Kreuzer coin also
called a Groschen. The kreuzer coin was named after the double cross displayed on a coin minted in 1270 in Tirol (Tyrol,
another modern federal state of Austria). It was a minor Silver coin of Austria-Hungary until 1760 and was Copper afterward
until 1892 when it was replaced by the "Heller". It was worth one 60th of a Gulden and from 1857 onwards one 100th of a
Gulden/Florin, The Gulden is abbreviated as fl as it is pretty much synonymous with Florin. The Florin got it's name from the
fact that it was first minted in Florence in 1252. In more modern times 60 Kreuzers was equal to 1 Gulden. The introduction
of the Konventionsmünze in 1753 gave the Thaler a value of 120 Kreuzers, which made the Gulden (formerly a monetary unit
of account) a real coin. From 1857-1892 the Gulden was equal to 100 Kreuzers. With the introduction of the gold currency in
1892, one gulden was equal to 2 Kronen, but the coins remained in circulation for some time.
Thaler The Taler or Thaler in English is a large silver coin that was introduced in 1486 in Tirol (Tyrol) under the names of
Unzialis, Guldiner or Guldengroschen. The name thaler is derived from the Joachimsthaler coined from 1520 onwards at
Joachimsthal (Jachymov, Czech Republic) in Bohemia. The name quickly spread throughout a large part of Europe becoming
the rijksdaalder in the Netherlands, the tallero in northern Italy, the rigsdaler in Denmark, the tolar in Slovenia as well and then
the dollar in the US and Canada. In Austria, thalers were often called by the pictures on the coin or bore the names of the
monarchs such as the Maria-Theresien-Thaler. Thalers were minted in Austria until 1856, and in the form of the Vereinstaler
(Common Thaler) until 1867.