In 1284, the first ducat gold coin was minted in Venice and gained international acceptance as a “trade coin” throughout Europe. The word Ducat is from Medieval Latin “ducalis” meaning a “duke’s coin”. The Venetian Gold Ducat had a purity of 99.47% gold with a weight of 3.545 grams. Its was the highest purity that metallurgy could produce during the medieval period.

Over a period that spanned from the late 1200’s to the early 1900’s the Gold Ducat was minted in several different denominations and by many different kingdoms and empires. It was one of the most important gold trading coins in European history.

The ducat coins we profile here are from Austria. It is believed that the first Austrian Ducat gold coin was minted in 1612 and possibly even earlier than this.

Austrian 1 Ducat and 4 Ducat Gold Coins

The ducat gold coins available today for investment purposes are official re-stikes and are minted in Austria by the Austrian Mint. The original ducats were coined from 1872-1914. The reproductions have the same design as the original editions, depicting the portrait of Emperor Franz Joseph I with laurel wreath on the head.

Re-strikes were minted with the "1915" date of issue. There are also very rare misprints with the year "1951", which were made by a mistake of the punch cutter. The inscription on the motif page reads "FRANC ● IOS ● I ● D ● G ● ASTRIAE IMPERATOR" which means Franz Joseph by the grace of God Emperor of the Austrians.

Franz Joseph I was Emperor of Austria from 1848 until his death in 1916. The Austrian Ducat gold coin is available as 1 Ducat and 4 Ducat. The reverse side shows the crowned Habsburg double eagle with sword. The words engraved on the value and motif side are in Latin. On the value side is the inscription "LOD ILL REX A 1915 HVNGAR BOHEM GAL" which means King of Lodomeria, Illyria, Hungary, Bohemia and Galicia.

The fine gold content of the Austrian Ducat is 986/1000, which was very high and pure for a gold circulation coin at the time. The rest is copper, which gives the coin scratch resistance. The 4-ducat coin is 39.5mm in diameter and only 0.71mm thick, which makes it very flexible. The 1 Ducat gold coin has a diameter of 19.75 mm.

The ducat is a popular gift and collector's coin, and is one of the few historical coins still being produced.

Venetian Ducat

The first ducat was minted in 1284 in Venice. On the motif page of the Venetian ducat, St. Mark is shown passing the cross flag to the kneeling Doge. The value page shows a portrait of Jesus in a mandorla (almond-shaped frame).

The gold ducat shows the latin inscription "Sit tibi Christe datus quem tu regis iste ducatus". The inscription translates as "To you, Christ, be this Duchy, which you govern, be dedicated to you”. The Venetian Ducat is also called Zecchine. Zecchine is derived from the Italian "zecca", which means mint or mint.

The ducats were coined in Venice until the end of the Republic in 1797 with a consistent  design and fine weight. The Venetian ducat was the most stable currency in the world and was widely traded throughout Europe.


• Austrian ducats Gold coins are well designed and part of European history.

• Are still manufactured today as official re-strikes.

• Have a fineness of 98.6% pure gold.

• Are very beautiful gifts for baptisms, birthdays, anniversary and celebrations.

Semi-Numismatic coins

Gold investors and collectors should become familiar with the factors that influence the price of semi-mummified coins. The price of gold coins is made up of the gold spot price and the premium. The gold spot price is the price of gold on the various global exchanges. The gold price fluctuates minute by minute and is mainly influenced by supply and demand.

The premium is the sum of the cost and margin of the mint and Gold Bullion Dealer. However, when purchasing numismatic coins, other factors also influence the premium. Some of these price factors include:

• The condition of the coin. Coins in “brilliant uncirculated condition” can sometimes have a higher premium.

• Coins of historical significance may also have a higher premium.

• Limited editions will also have a higher premium. The demand for these coins will often be higher due to their potential collector value.

It is important that semi-numismatic coins are kept in their protective packaging in order to preserve the value of the coins.

Austrian Mint AG

The manufacturer of the Austrian ducat gold coin is the Austrian Mint AG, which also is responsible for the production of the Austrian Euro. Since 1989, the Austrian Mint has been a public company and a subsidiary of the National Bank of Austria in Vienna.

Until 1988 it was called "Wiener Hauptmünzamt" and has over 600 years of history. Today, Austrian mint is the manufacturer of various commemorative coins, gold coins and silver coins. The mints most important products include ducat gold coins (re-strikes), the Vienna Philharmonic gold and silver coins series and the Maria Theresa thaler.


Manufacturer: Austrian Mint
Country of origin: Austria
Fineness: 986/1000
Alloy: gold / copper
Size: 1 Ducat Gross weight: 3.49 g Fine weight: 3.44g
Size: 4 ducat Gross weight: 13.96 g Fine weight: 13.77 g
Scratch resistance: Good


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