Republic of Zurich, Taler 1726

Early modern trade coins – gold and silver coins thus – had to fulfill several criteria to be successful. They had to be of a constant high value, if they were to circulate beyond regional borders; robust as they were in circulation for a long time; and 'file-proof' to prevent tampering. Because they were used for larger transactions, they often ended up abroad, so their design had to be easily recognizable as well.

This taler satisfies all of these conditions. The city view of Zurich and the two lions left no doubt: this was trustworthy Zurich money. The dies were the work of the famous die cutter Hans Jakob Gessner, as the signature shows. 'File-proof' the coin was made by the corrugated edge, which made every manipulation of the coin immediately obvious.