During the reign of Emperor Franz Joseph I, the crown was the official currency in the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary. The crown emerged as successor to the gulden through the Austrian currency reform of 1892. By 1900, the crown completely replaced the gulden as a means of payment..
The crown was considered official means of payment in both the Austrian and the Hungarian half of the Reich. Austro-Hungarian crowns were commonly referred to as "Austrian crowns". The crowns circulated in the Hungarian half of the empire were called "corona" or "korona".
From 1892 to 1908 crown gold coins were issued with the nominal value of 10 and 20 crowns. For the 60th anniversary of the reign of Emperor Franz Joseph I, the 100 denomination crown gold coin was added to the series.
As with the Ducat, the crowns are historical gold coins. Crown gold coins from Austria/Hungary are for investment purposes as official re-strikes with the original motif. The 20 and 100 crowns are minted with the year 1915 and the 10 crowns are imprinted with the year 1912. The motif side of the Austrian crowns depict the side portrait of Emperor Franz Joseph with or without a laurel wreath.
The value side depicts a double-headed eagle with heraldic shield, which represents the coat of arms of the Empire of Austria. The crown of the Austrian Emperor, also known as Rudolfs crown, is shown above the eagle heads. In the claws of the eagle are a ruler's sword and a crowned sphere.
The term crown derives from the Latin term "corona" and stands for ring, wreath or crown.
The Hungarian crowns (corona) were minted from 1892-1918. The 1916-1918 editions are extremely rare and have collector value. These yearly issues are not recommended for investors due to the high surcharge.
The Hungarian Korona and the Austrian crown both depict Emperor Franz Joseph I. on the motif side. The difference in the portrait on the Hungarian corona, is that Emperor Franz Joseph I is shown in a full length profile with a scepter in his right hand and a crowned sphere in his left hand.
On the value side of the Hungarian corona is the large Hungarian coat of arms. The big state coat of arms contains the actual coat of arms in the middle and is framed by the respective symbols of the individual parts of the country. On the large coat of arms, which is held by two angels, sits the holy crown of Hungary with diagonal cross.
Crowns from 1892-1915 of the Austrian Half of the Empire
After the currency reform in 1892, the Austrian gold crowns were considered official currency in the Austrian Empire and were the country's first gold standard. The original Austrian gold crowns were minted from 1892 to 1915, whereby the 10 crowns were manufactured until 1912 and the 20 crowns until 1915. The 100 crown gold coin was first introduced in 1908 for the 60th anniversary of the reign of Emperor Franz Joseph I and minted until 1915.
Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria
Franz Joseph I from the House of Habsburg-Lorraine was born in 1830 at Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna. Franz Joseph was the eldest son of Archduke Franz Karl, the younger brother of Emperor Ferdinand I. His mother, Archduchess Sophie, was the daughter of the Bavarian king. After the abdication of Emperor Ferdinand in 1848, Sophie urged her husband to renounce the throne and hand it over to Franz Joseph. Franz Joseph would become Emperor of Austria in 1848 and held that title until his death in 1916.
Under the influence of his mother, Franz Joseph made many decisions that led to domestic and foreign political tensions. In 1854 he married Princess Elisabeth of Bavaria, also known as "Sissi". The marriage produced four children. Through the influence of Elisabeth, many tensions were eased and allowed the people to have more influence, which led to the long-awaited independence. In 1867 Franz Joseph was crowned apostolic king of Hungary. With the appointment of King of Hungary, the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary was created. In 1898, Empress Elisabeth fell victim to an assassination attempt. Emperor Franz Joseph I died in 1916 of pneumonia.
10 Crowns Austria Gold Coins (1892-1912)
The motif side of the Austrian 10 crown gold coin shows the right side profile of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria in the form of a bust. The yearly editions that depict this profile of the Emperor include 1892, 1893, 1896, 1897, 1905 and 1906. The inscription around the outer edge reads: "FRANC IOS I G IMP AVSTR REX BOH GAL ILL ETC ET AP REX HVNG" (Francis Joseph I by the grace of God Emperor of Austria and King of Bohemia, Galicia and Illyria and apostolic King of Hungary).
The 1909 and 1911 editions also show a portrait of the emperor, however, a laurel wreath adorns his head. Under the emperor's neck is the signature of the artist, Stefan Schwartz, engraved as "ST. SCHWARTZ ". The edge bar is distinguished by a circle of dots around the inner edge.
The 10 crown issue of the 60th jubilee in 1908 also shows the portrait of the emperor with laurel wreath, but without the signature of the artist. This issue is referred to as a "Marshal" type.
The value side shows the coat of arms of the Empire of Austria depicted as a double-headed eagle in all editions, with the exception of the 1908 yearly issue. Above the eagle heads, the crown of the Austrian emperor is depicted, which is known as Rudolf's crown. In the left claw of the eagle, is the crowned sphere and in the right claw is the imperial sword. Similar to the the motif side, the edge bar is marked with dots around the inner edge. In the upper left quarter is the inscription "X CORONÆ" (10 crowns) and in the upper right quarter is the year of issue engraved in Roman numerals (example MDCCCCXII = 1912). In the middle of the lower edge of the coin, the year is shown in Arabic numerals, framed by the words "10" and "COR".
The value page of the 1908 anniversary edition, is identical to the other editions, with the exception of the year and the inscription. In this edition, the inscription reads "DVODECIM LVSTRIS GLORIOSE PERACTIS" (twelve lustres (5-year periods) is gloriously fulfilled / 60 years completed with distinction). The coin edge is decorated with ornaments.
Weight: 3.39 g
Fine gold content: 3.05 g
Diameter: 19 mm
20 Crowns Austria Gold Coins (1892-1912)
The front side of the 20 kroner gold coin issued between 1892-1905 shows the side profile of Franz Joseph I with laurel wreath. The inscription reads "FRANC • IOS • I • D • G • IMP • AVSTR • REX BOH • GAL • ILL • ETC • ET AP • REX HVNG" (Franciscvs Iosephvs I Dei Gratia Imperator Avstriae, Rex Bohemiae, Galiciae, Illyriae et cetera et Apostolicvs Rex Hvngariae Franz, which translates Joseph I, by the grace of God Emperor of Austria, King of Bohemia, Galicia, Illyria et cetera and Apostolic King of Hungary).
The motif page of the 1909-1914 and 1916 editions shows the right side profile of Emperor Franz Joseph I without laurel wreath. Below the neck is the signature of the artist "ST.SCHWARTZ", standing for Stefan Schwartz. "FRANC • IOS • I • D • G • IMP • AVSTR • REX BOH • GAL • ILL • ETC • ET AP • REX HVNG •", is the inscription around the outer edge. The 1908 jubilee edition for the 60th anniversary of the throne shows the side portrait of Franz Joseph I with laurel wreath.
The value side of the 20 kroner gold coin is identical to the 10 kroner issue. Only the denomination is different and reads; "20 COR" or "XX CORONÆ" (20 crowns).
The margin of the coin is smooth and shows the inscription "VIRIBVS VNITIS" (Viribus Unitis). Viribus Unitis means "united forces", which was the motto of Emperor Franz Joseph I.
Weight: 6.78 g
Fine gold content: 6.09 g
Diameter: 21 mm
Nominal value: 20 Crowns
100 Crowns Austria Gold Coins (1908-1915)
The 100 crown issue was first introduced in 1908 for the 60th anniversary of Franz Joseph I. and was minted until 1914. The 1915 edition are official reprints, issued for investment purposes. Since the original crowns, like the ducat, are historical gold coins, they have a high collector value and therefore are more expensive.
The 1908 edition of the 100 crown gold coin shows a side profile of Emperor Franz Joseph. The inscription around the outer edge is the same as the other crown gold coins and reads; "FRANC IOS I G IMP AVSTR REX BOH GAL ILL ETC ET AP REX HVNG".
The value page shows the glory goddess lying on clouds. This motif appeared only on the 1908 edition and was issued as a commemorative coin in honor of the emperor. From 1909, the Austrian coat of arms appears on the reverse side of the gold coin.
The goddess of glory is depicted holding a laurel wreath in her outstretched right hand and supporting herself with her left arm on a shield with the Austrian coat of arms. The symbolism is said to have multiple meanings. It is believed to represent the proud empire of Austria, however, some say that this motif is a romantic legend.
Many Austrians are said to be convinced that the "lying goddess of glory" is the Empress, Elisabeth of Austria-Hungary ("Sissi"). Elizabeth died by an assassination 10 years before the gold coin was introduced.
The inscriptions around the outer edge are the dates of “1848 1908” and the nominal value of “100 Cor”. Below the goddess of glory is the inscription: "DVODECIM LVSTRIS GLORIOSE PERACTIS" which translates “12 Lustrum (5 year periods) gloriously completed”. Lustrum (Latin for "cleanse") was considered a cleansing offering in the ancient Roman religion, which repeated itself every five years. In relation to the coinage, it refers to 60 years of the reign (12 × 5 Lustrum) of Emperor Franz Joseph I.
The motif page of the 100 crown gold coins from 1909 to 1914 depicts a portrait of the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I. Directly below the imperial portrait is the signature of the Austrian artist Stefan Schwartz "ST. SCHWARTZ". The inscription on the outer edge of the coin reads "FRANC IOS I G IMP AVSTR REX BOH GAL ILL ETC AND AP REX HVNG" (Franz Joseph I by the grace of God Emperor of Austria and King of Bohemia, Galicia and Illyria and apostolic King of Hungary).
On the back is the coat of arms of the Empire of Austria - the double-headed eagle with heraldic shield. Above the eagle heads is the crown of Rudolf (crown of the Austrian emperor) In the claws of the eagle are both a sword and a crowned sphere. The inscription on the upper edge of the coin reads: "C CORONAE" (100 crowns), followed by the year in Roman numerals, for example, "MDCCCCXIV" (1914). Under the eagle coat of arms, the year of issue and the face value is engraved in Arabic notation.
Weight: 33.87 g
Fine gold content: 30.49 g
Diameter: 37 mm
Nominal value: 100 Crowns
Official reprints of the Austrian Crowns in 1912 and 1915
The official re-stikes for investment purposes are the 10 crowns gold coins with the year 1912 and the 20 and 100 crowns gold coins reprints with the year 1915. 1912 and 1915 were not original minting years, but represent the same design of the last gold coin issued for each denomination.
Crowns (Korona) from 1892-1918 of the Hungarian Half of the Empire
In 1867 Franz Joseph was crowned apostolic king of Hungary. With the coronation he took over the government of Hungary. After the currency reform in 1892, as in the Austrian half of the empire, gold crowns were introduced as the official currency in Hungary and replaced the forint. The crowns are referred to as Korona in Hungary.
The design of the Korona gold coin was created by engravers Karoly Gerl and Josef Reiszner.
The Hungarian Gold Korona has a fine gold content of 90% with a copper content of 10%. This corresponds to the standard for gold coins used in the Latin Monetary Union (LMU). The Hungarian gold crown is well suited as investment gold due to its high circulation figures and its exemption from VAT.
The design on both sides of the Korona gold coin is the same for all issues of the 10, 20 and 100 editions. The two exceptions are the 100 Korona anniversary edition of 1907 and the 20 Korona issues from 1913. The only change was the addition of the Bosnian coat of arms on the reverse side of the coin.
The 20 Korona gold coin was issued from 1892-1918. The 1913 edition is very rare and has a high premium due to its collector value. The 100 Korona gold coin was introduced in 1907 and was only minted for two years. The 1907 edition celebrates the 40th anniversary of the coronation of Franz Joseph I.
The 10 Corona has a ornamental circle that decorates the outer edge. The coin edge of the 20 and 100 corona gold coin has the inscription "BIZALMAM AZ ŐSI ERÉNYBEN" (translated: My trust is in the traditional virtue) and ornaments.
On the motif side, a full profile view of the Hungarian King and Emperor Franz Josef I is depicted. He wears a Hungarian uniform, his body faces the viewer and the head points to the right edge of the coin. In his left hand with outstretched arm he embraces the crowned sphere. In his right hand, with his arm bent, he holds the scepter resting on his shoulder. Over his uniform he wears a ermine cloak as a sign of his royal dignity. His head is covered by the Holy Crown of Hungary.
The inscription reads "FERENCZ JOSZEF ● I ● K ● A ● CS ● ES ● M ● H ● S ● D ● O ● AP ● KIR". Written: Ferencz József Isten kegyelméből austriai császár és Magyar-, Horvát-, Slavon-, Dalmátországok apostoli királya, which translates as "Franz Josef, by the grace of God Emperor of Austria, apostolic King of Hungary, Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia" , Below the emperor's picture is the year of minting. The motif page is surrounded by a continuous ring of dots.
The value page shows the large Hungarian coat of arms, as it was depicted up until 1918. The actual coat of arms of Hungary is shown in the middle of the shield and is surrounded by the respective symbols of the individual parts of the country.
The Holy Crown of Hungary is on top of the large coat of arms and is held on the sides by two angels. In the quadrant above the coat of arms is the lettering "MAGYAR KIRÁLYSAG" (Kingdom of Hungary), which begins over the wing tip of the left angel and ends above the right angel. Below the coat of arms are the mintmark and the denomination in Arabic numerals with the word “KORONA”.
Weight Fine gold content Diameter Purity Nominal value
3.39 g 3.05 g 19 mm 900/1000 10 Korona
6.78 g 6.09 g 21 mm 900/1000 20 Korona
33.87 g 30.49 g 37 mm 900/1000 100 Korona
Anniversary Edition 100 Korona Gold Coin 1907
In 1907, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the reign of Franz Joseph, King of Hungary, the 100 Korona gold coin was issued.
On the motif side of the anniversary coin is a side portrait of Franz Joseph I with full beard and laurel wreath tied to the back of his head. The neck protrudes out to the coin edge. The inscription, which is located in the remote border area, is "FERENCZ JÓZSEF I • K • A • CS • ÉS M • H • S • D • O • AP • KIR" (Franz Josef, by the grace of God Emperor of Austria, apostolic king from Hungary, Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia)
The value page shows the portrait of the coronation of Franz Joseph as King of Hungary by Pope Pius IX on July 8, 1867 in Budapest. The nominal value of "100 KORONA" is engraved in the lower margin. Around the outer edge is the inscription "MEGKORONÁZTATÁSÁNAK NEGYVENEDIK ÉVFORDULÓJÁRA 1867-1907" (on the 40th anniversary of his coronation 1867-1907).
Weight: 33.87 g
Fine gold content: 30.49 g
Diameter: 37 mm
Nominal value: 100 Korona
Manufacturer: Austrian Mint
Country of origin: Austria
Alloy: gold / copper
Scratch resistance: Good
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