Austrian 1915 One Ducat Fact File
The first fact to note about the Austrian 1 Ducat of 1915, is that it was not minted in 1915!
Ducats were gold coins, and also units of account, formerly used in most European countries; including Holland, Russia, Austria, and Sweden. The value of a ducat was generally about 9s. 4d, that is nine shillings and fourpence.
There was also an Italian ducat silver coin , value about 3s. 6d.
According to The Oxford English Dictionary, the first Ducat was a silver coin issued in 1140 by Roger II of Sicily, as Duke of Apulia.
In 1284, the first gold ducat, also called a zecchino d'oro, was struck at Venice under the doge John Dandolo. This coin, worth about 9s., bears on one side figures of St. Mark and the Doge, and on the other a figure of Christ with the legend 'Sit tibi Christe datus quem tu regis iste ducatus'; this, though it did not originate, may have contributed to spread the name, which was subsequently. applied to the gold coins of various European countries.
Austrian 1915 One Ducat
Ducats were issued by Austria in 1612, and probably earlier. The last regular issue of ducats was in 1914. All the ducats dated 1915 are restrikes, of which there were 996,721 struck between 1920 and 1936. One ducat coins dated 1915 are still being produced by the Austrian Mint as official restrikes.
Franz Joseph I was born in 1848, and died in 1916.
An Austrian Tradition
There is some tradition in Austria for issuing commemorative coins posthumously. After the death of Francis I in 1765, his widow, Maria Theresa, decreed on the 21st July 1766, that coins would be issued bearing the portrait of Francis I, and the date of his death. Alphabetical mintmarks were to be used to denote the actual year of issue, with A = 1766. The posthumous coins were issued erratically.
Also after the death of Maria Theresia in 1780, the very famous Maria Theresa Thaler continued to be issued bearing her portrait and the date 1780.
Description (1915 Restrike)
The laureate head, facing right, of Emperor Franz Joseph I
FRANC IOS I D G AUSTRIAE IMPERATOR
The arms of Austria superimposed upon a crowned double-headed Imperial eagle.
HUNGAR BOHEM GAL LOD ILL REX A A 1915
High Carat Gold
Ducats were produced in high purity gold, 233/4 carats, making them among the highest purity gold coins ever issued for circulation.
Because they have inherited their design and appearance from medieval gold coins, they are very thin compared with modern coins, at just 0.8 mm thick.
It will be noticed from our table that the weight, and fine gold content changed in the eighteenth century. For a period of over seventy years, two slightly different specifications were used. However it can also be seen that the weight change is only minimal, almost negligable, but we show it for sake of accuracy.
Ducat Technical Specifications
1598 - 1779||20.0||3.5000||.986||.1109
1705 - ||20.0||3.4909||.986||.1106
Notes on Table
Diameter = Diameter in millimetres.
Weight = Gross weight in grams.
Fineness = purity of gold alloy.
Gold Content = Actual gold content in troy ounces.
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Obverse of 1882 Austrian One Ducat
Reverse of 1882 Austrian One Ducat
Obverse of 1915 Austrian One Ducat
Reverse of 1915 Austrian One Ducat
Obverse of 1848 Ferdinand I Austrian One Ducat
Reverse of 1848 Ferdinand I Austrian One Ducat