The Tyrolean Mint was a mint in Tyrol that produced coins from the 13th century to 1809, and then again from 1975 to 1976. It was initially located in Merano, in modern-day Italy, but was moved to Hall in Tirol in 1477.
History[edit | edit source]
During the 13th century, the Tyrolean Mint was established in Merano, in modern-day Italy. In 1477, a mint at the Hasegg Castle in Hall was established, which was initially intended to serve as a second coining site. However, several economic and political issues led to the closure of the first mint, and the mint in Hall became the sole entity responsible for the production of Tyrolean coins. Many of the coins from the mint bore an F, H, HA, or eagle mint mark. On October 21, 1809, the mint ceased its production of coins due to the Napoleonic Wars and the increasing lack of local silver resources. In November of that year, the mint was converted into a gold and silver redemption office for the Kingdom of Bavaria. After Tyrol returned to Austria in 1814, there were attempts to reactivate the mint, but these requests were ignored. The Tyrolean Mint produced coins once again from 1975 to 1976, after nearly 170 years of inactivity. It has since become a museum open to the general public, and demonstrations of historical minting techniques used in Tyrol are given from time to time.
Coin production[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Coining
Like at most medieval mints, the coins produced at Tyrol were initially hammer struck. Since the first half of the 16th century, there were attempts to introduce a mechanical alternative for producing Tyrolean coinage. Around 1550, Spanish inventors offered their minting machines to Ferdinand I, the emperor of Austria. However, after the machine underwent an inspection at Augsburg, the offer was declined. In 1558, Austrian inventor Kaspar Seller intended to show his machine to Emperor Ferdinand in Vienna, but instead went to London where he showcased his invention. Jacob Stampfer, who had been mint master at the Zürich Mint since 1561, brought a machine to Hall in 1563, but his invention was deemed as being too prone to failure. Rudolf von Rohrdorf contacted Ferdinand about his machine afterward, and after it passed inspection, a machine was moved to Tyrol in 1564, but after it failed to work because of lack of water power, it was moved to Mühlau.
After Ferdinand's death, Swiss inventor Hans Vogler contacted his son, Archduke Ferdinand II, about using his machine at the Tyrolean Mint. Unlike most previous attempts, the machine's use was granted.
Mint marks[edit | edit source]
Responsibilities[edit | edit source]
The Tyrolean Mint was mainly responsible for the issuance of the area's own coinage. However, it also produced poltura coins for Hungary, and in the 1970s, the mint produced Austrian commemorative coins.
Commemoration[edit | edit source]
During medieval times, the Tyrolean Mint was one of the most important mints in Austria. As a result, it has become the topic of a few Austrian commemorative coins. The first of these was a 100 schilling coin from 1977, which marked the 500th anniversary of the founding of the mint in Hall. Another was issued in 1986, marking the 500th anniversary of the first thaler coin minted at Hall. This coin had a denomination of 500 schillings. A few decades later, in 2003, Austria's bimetallic niobium 25 euro coin series began. The first coin of the series was issued in 2003, which was minted to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the city of Hall. Featured on the coin's reverse was a die of a medieval Tyrolean guldengroschen.
References[edit | edit source]
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