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“Den Siegern bei Waterloo” Vereinstaler

“To the Victors of Waterloo” Union Thaler

An item this article deals with technically is neither an official decoration nor an unofficial medal. That object with an eyelet for ribbon suspension was just an altered standard silver coin issued in the Kingdom of Hanover in 1865 according to provisions of the Vienna Coinage Treaty of 1857, and known as Vereinsthaler, or “Union thaler”. However, being unofficially turned into a portable medal by its owner, possibly a Battle of Waterloo veteran, this piece is worth being mentioned as a queer artifact of the bygone era.  

Come 1865, just one year before the Kingdom was annexed by Prussia and turned into a province of the latter (September 20, 1866), Royal Mint of Hanover issued three commemorative Vereinsthalers: dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the unification of East Frisia (Ostfriesland) and Hanover (mintage – 2,000 pieces); dedicated to the Celebration of the taking of the Frisian Oath on December 15, 1865 (mintage – 2,000 pieces); dedicated to the fiftieth anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo described in detail below. All the three commemoratives differed in reverses and edge inscriptions only, having same obverse.

Both obverse and reverse of the “Den Siegern bei Waterloo” Vereinstaler had raised border with rim made of multiple small raised dots adjacent to it.

An obverse had a bust of the king Georg V facing left (or right in heraldic perspective) and circumscribed “Georg V, King of Hanover by the Grace of God” (“Georg V v[on]. G[ottes]. G[naden]. Koening v[on]. Hannover”) in capital letters. Name of Hanoverian medalist Heinrich Friedrich Brehmer (25.11.1815-01.01.1889) executed in capital letters – “Brehmer ∙ F ∙” – was situated just below the bust. Capital letter “B” being a mintmark of Theodor Wilhelm Brüel (1810-1885), Royal Hanoverian Münzmeister (since 1844), financial councillor (since 1853) and, finally, privy financial councilor of His Majesty George V (since 1856), was placed at the bottom of an obverse.

A reverse had an inscription in capital letters running in seven horizontal lines: “Devoted to the Victors of Waterloo, June 18, 1865” (“Den Siegern bei Waterloo gewidmet am 18 Juni 1865”) within a wide laurel wreath tied by a ribbon at the bottom.

Edge of the coin bore Latin motto of the Royal Guelphic Order, a Hanoverian order of chivalry instituted on April 28, 1815 by the Prince Regent (later King George IV), executed in capital letters: “Not Afraid of Difficulties” (“~ Nec ~ ∙ ~ Aspera ~ ∙ ~ Terrent ~ ∙”).

Vereinsthaler measuring 32,8 mm in diameter and weighing 18,52 g was manufactured of .900 fine silver.

Totally 15,000 “Den Siegern bei Waterloo” thalers were minted. It has been considered in some sources that this coin was issued as pension payments to Hanoverian veterans of the Battle of Waterloo.

Union Thaler to Victors of Waterloo 1