Collecting German Thalers can be very fun and interesting. The history behind the coins are the most interesting aspect of collecting them. One thing I should point out, is the art work on some of the these large Thalers, are just amazing. You can collect ones with religious themes on them, or ones that have city views. If your into collecting by coat of arms, than you will not be disappointed. One area I find very interesting and possibly the most historical, are the commemorative issues. Within the commemorative issues, you can collect the Thalers that commemorate the deaths of Kings, Dukes, Queens and the births of Royal family children and grandchildren.
To make a Thaler collection specialized, you should decide what Thalers you want to collect. As stated earlier within this article, there are many types to collect. A lessen I learnt the hard way, is not to let yourself get carried away. Do not think you can collect one Thaler from every German State, Duchy, Bishopric or Free Cities. It is almost impossible to do. You would have to be a multi-millionaire to do this.
Ok, so now lets look at how to put together a very nice collection of Thalers. First off, I would recommend getting the Davenport books on German Thalers. These books are the most comprehensive works on German Thalers. After doing some intensive studying, you want to find out which types of Thalers you want to collect. The reason I state to do some research, is do to the fact that there are many interesting types. If you find out that you may be interested in collecting varieties within a series. Than you must also understand that some of the varieties can be very expensive. Without a good book that covers these varieties, you can become lost very fast. Not only lost on which Thalers are rare, but also which ones are most sought after. A good book will also help you with knowing how many minor and major die changes there are within a series. So, as you can see, the old saying of buy the book before the coin does hold true.
Next, would be to find out which Thalers you find are the most interesting. As stated earlier within this article, there are many States, Duchies, Bishoprics and Free Cities within the Holy Roman Empire to pick from. The Free Cities are very interesting with City Views on the reverse of the coin. City View Thalers are very popular, and most are rare to find in high grade mint state.
So find out which category of Thalers you want to study up on. As you can see there are many types to collect. One series I’ve forgotten to mention, is the metallic issues. These Thalers are medals, but were given legal tender. These issues have some of the nicest designs on them.
The most important part in assembling a collection, is to have some type of order within it. If you plan on collecting by State, than look at collecting one or two States. This way your collection will be more specialized, and not one that looks just thrown together. Look at collecting Thalers from both the 17th and 18th centuries. Some of the Rulers did rule during both centuries. Doing it this way, you can include the commemorative Thalers of the Ruler. Such as a 25th year of Reign, or a Thaler commemorating the Rulers age and one that commemorates his death. You can also collect Thalers that show the Ruler on a horse, holding his sword or scepter. Or, you can collect a Ruler dressed in his armor. As you can see there are many ways to assemble a nice interesting Thaler collection. This is were a good specialized book comes as a must have.