World_Coin_Nut's Blog

31 Aug 2020

Baptismal Thalers

Coins - World | World_Coin_Nut

I don’t consider myself to be a religious person, more “spiritual”. I know kind of hippie sounding but it’s as good a description as any. I grew up in a semi-religious family and had my share of exposure to stories from the bible.

Many coins from around the world have religious themes but my focus is on the coins of the German States. Coins minted before the German unification in 1871. A common image on these coins is the baptism of Christ by John the Baptist in Jordan. I honestly don’t know what drew me to these particular pieces aside from most of them being beautifully engraved.
SAXE-GOTHA-ALTENBURG 1692 ThalerGotha mint, Goppel-1135, Schnee-502
Diameter: 40mm
Obverse: John the Baptist baptizing Christ in Jordan
Obverse Legend: DIS IST MEIN LEIBER …
Reverse: 9-line inscription, large ornament above, crossed palm branches below divide date
Subject: Baptismal Thaler
Ruler: Friedrich II​
Photo#2Harz 1697 ThalerZellerfeld mint; Rudolf Bornemann, mintmaster, Fassbender 2792
Diameter: 51.5mm
Obverse: St. John the Baptist kneeling right, baptizing Jesus Christ standing facing in River Jordan, hands crossed over breast; dove of the Holy Spirit and radiate name of God above
Reverse: Biblical passages in ten lines​
Photo#3Hamburgca.16352 Thaler
Diameter: 59mm
Obverse: The Annunciation
Reverse: The Baptism of Christ
Note: Ref. G#1586. Prev. KM#F85.​

Baptismal Thalers in general are a common theme but there are no issues that are individually better than scarce. Since they are such a popular theme a lot of collectors will find the price point to be unattainable. The last coin pictured is a restrike from the 1970’s that you may find have a more attractive price. You are going to pick them up for anywhere close to spot price but it has a much more attractive price.

Photo#41762 Saxony Taler – 1977 Restrike
f. Godfather. Baptism of Christ by Johannes d.T. / Engel holds (empty) cartridge, outline. in 2 linesGrade: Proof
Catalog: Welter#2192
Composition: Silver
Weight: 25.17 g
The baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist is a major event in the life of Jesus which is described in three of the gospels: Matthew, Mark and Luke. It is considered to have taken place at Al-Maghtas, located in Jordan.

Photo#5Gerard David –The Baptism of Christ, c. 1505​

Most modern theologians view the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist as a historical event to which a high degree of certainty can be assigned. Along with the crucifixion of Jesus, most biblical scholars view it as one of the two historically certain facts about him and often use it as the starting point for the study of the historical Jesus.

The baptism is one of the events in the narrative of the life of Jesus in the canonical Gospels; others include the Transfiguration, Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension. Most Christian denominations view the baptism of Jesus as an important event and a basis for the Christian rite of baptism. In Eastern Christianity, Jesus' baptism is commemorated on January 6th. In the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, the Lutheran Churches, and some other Western denominations, it is recalled on a day within the following week, the feast of the baptism of the Lord. In Roman Catholicism, the baptism of Jesus is one of the Luminous Mysteries sometimes added to the Rosary.

This is the extent of my collection of Baptismal Thalers but I am sure there will be additions made in the future.



Level 4

Wow!!! Amazing coins!!


Level 6

How did I miss this one! Absolutely beautiful collection! Great photos and history! ; )


Level 5

Certainly an interesting topic for coins. Lets you know there is a coin for any part of history if you look hard and long enough!


Level 5

WOW WCN! I didn't realize that numismatics played such a role in religion! Thanks for posting this story. It was certainly my lesson for today in coins!


Level 6

Finally, you blogged about a coin I knew a little about. I still learned form this blog. Beautiful coins. I like the restrike. It shows what the beauty of the originals was like. Thanks.

It's Mokie

Level 6

A beautiful collection, your Thalers never fail to fascinate. Thank You for sharing your knowledge.


Level 7

Well to me there a little bit more. I studied to be a Catholic Priest. A missionary the Redemtorist. We studied in Eire Pa. About a mile from lake . So when i see coins like this it brings back wonderful memories. The coins are beautiful. There out of my budget but someday I will pick one up. As usual the history of these is tremendous. A Bishop friend of mine collects them. Thanks for sharing these coins. And bringing back the memories.


Level 5

Awesome collection. Would love to acquire one of these. Thanks for sharing these.

A curious set to start. They have lovely designs, and i'm sure they have some great history hidden behind each one. Hopefully those coins you submitted come back with a decent grade, they look great, but you never know.


Level 5

There's nothing like the thalers of the German States to give you a glimpse into the culture of each of those states. When I was living in the Bavarian region of Germany, I noticed a clear border between the Roman Catholic Church in the South and the Lutheran Church in the North. I am posting a link to an 1868 thaler I bought at a local coin shop south of Munich commemorating the birth of Christ. It is details graded with hairlines, but hey, I got it in Bavaria! https://coins.www.collectors-society.com/wcm/coinview.aspx?sc=15626


Level 5

Details grades on these don't really bother me. I think a lot of these were "handled" regularly although they didn't really circulate that much. Part of the handling would have entailed keeping it nice looking by giving it a good wipe down which the TPG's of course view as cleaning.


Level 5

These are beautiful. I didn't know about these, thanks for the photos and the knowledge. Good luck in future acquisitions, please keep us informed. Later!

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