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Florence gulden (1341) Behrens 66.jpg
Florence gulden (1341)

Guilder is the English translation of the Dutch and German gulden, originally shortened from Middle High German guldin pfenninc "gold penny". This was the term that became current in the southern and western parts of the Holy Roman Empire for the Fiorino d'oro (introduced in 1252). Hence, the name has often been interchangeable with florin (currency sign ƒ or fl.).


The guilder is also the name of several currencies used in Europe and the former colonies of the Dutch Empire.

Gold guilder

The guilder or gulden was the name of several gold coins used during the Holy Roman Empire. It first referred to the Italian gold florin introduced in the 13th century. It then referred to the Rhenish gulden (florenus Rheni) issued by several states of the Holy Roman Empire from the 14th century. The Rhenish gulden was issued by Trier, Cologne and Mainz in the 14th and 15th centuries. Basel minted its own Apfelgulden between 1429 and 1509. Bern and Solothurn followed in the 1480s, Fribourg in 1509 and Zürich in 1510, and other towns in the 17th century.

The Reichsmünzordnung or imperial minting ordinance of the Holy Roman Empire first defined standards for the Rhenish gulden (Rheinischer Gulden) in 1524. It also defined a silver Guldengroschen of equal value to the gulden. [1] :363-367:364-365

The standards of the Rhenish gulden has changed over the centuries, as follows: [2] :19 [1] :364-365

Currency guilder

With increasingly standardized currencies in the early modern period, gulden or guilder became a term for various early modern and modern currencies, detached from actual gold coins. The Dutch guilder first emerged as the currency of the Burgundian Netherlands after the monetary reforms of 1435 under Philip the Good. [2] :20 [3] It remained the national currency of the Netherlands until it was replaced by the euro on 1 January 2002.

The Reichsmünzordnung of 1524 defined fixed standards for the gold Rhenish gulden and the Guldengroschen of equal value. By 1551, however, both coins were valued at 72 kreuzer, and a new guilder currency unit of 60 kreuzer was defined. [1] :364-365 The latter gulden was then defined over the succeeding centuries as a currency unit worth a fraction of the silver Reichsthaler.

In 1753, Austria-Hungary and Bavaria agreed to the Conventions monetary standard which resulted into two differently valued gulden: the Austro-Hungarian florin of the Austrian Empire from 1754 to 1892, and the South German gulden of the Southern German states from 1754 until German unification in 1871. Currencies identical to the South German gulden include the Bavarian gulden, Baden gulden & the Württemberg gulden.

A Danzig gulden was in use from 1923 to 1939.

Currencies derived from the Dutch guilder

See also

Other coin names that are derived from the gold of which they were once made:

Related Research Articles

Gulden is the historical German and Dutch term for gold coin, equivalent to the English term guilder.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Thaler</span> Large silver coin used in 16th- to 19th-century Europe

A thaler is one of the large silver coins minted in the states and territories of the Holy Roman Empire and the Habsburg monarchy during the Early Modern period. A thaler size silver coin has a diameter of about 40 mm and a weight of about 25 to 30 grams. The word is shortened from Joachimsthaler, the original thaler coin minted in Joachimstal, Bohemia, from 1520.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Florin</span> Gold coin and currency of the Republic of Florence

The Florentine florin was a gold coin struck from 1252 to 1533 with no significant change in its design or metal content standard during that time. It had 54 grains of nominally pure or 'fine' gold with a purchasing power difficult to estimate but ranging according to social grouping and perspective from approximately 140 to 1,000 modern US dollars. The name of the coin comes from the Giglio bottonato, the floral emblem of the city, which is represented at the head of the coin.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ducat</span> Gold or silver coin used as a trade coin in Europe

The ducat coin was used as a trade coin in Europe from the later Middle Ages from the 13th to 19th centuries. Its most familiar version, the gold ducat or sequin containing around 3.5 grams of 98.6% fine gold, originated in Venice in 1284 and gained wide international acceptance over the centuries. Similarly named silver ducatons also existed. The gold ducat circulated along with the Florentine florin and preceded the modern British pound sterling and the United States dollar.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Groschen</span> Name of various coins, often in Central Europe

Groschen a name for various coins, especially a silver coin used in various states of the Holy Roman Empire and other parts of Europe. The word is borrowed from the late Latin description of a tornose, a grossus denarius Turnosus, in English the "thick denarius of Tours". Groschen was frequently abbreviated in old documents to gl, whereby the second letter was not an l, but an abbreviation symbol; later it was written as Gr or g.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kreuzer</span> Historic coin in southern Germany, Austria, Switzerland

The Kreuzer, in English usually kreutzer, was a coin and unit of currency in the southern German states prior to the introduction of the German gold mark in 1871/73, and in Austria and Switzerland. After 1760 it was made of copper. In south Germany the kreuzer was typically worth 4 pfennigs and there were 60 kreuzers to a gulden.


The Guldengroschen or Guldiner was a large silver coin originally minted in Tirol in 1486, but which was introduced into the Duchy of Saxony in 1500.

<i>Conventionsthaler</i> Coin

The Conventionstaler or Konventionstaler, was a standard silver coin in the Austrian Empire and the southern German states of the Holy Roman Empire from the mid-18th to early 19th-centuries. Its most famous example is the Maria Theresa thaler which is still minted today. The Conventionsgulden was equivalent to a 12Conventionsthaler.

<i>Reichsthaler</i> Formerly used coinage

The Reichsthaler, or more specifically the Reichsthaler specie, was a standard thaler silver coin introduced by the Holy Roman Empire in 1566 for use in all German states, minted in various versions for the next 300 years, and containing 25–26 grams fine silver.

The guilder or florin was the currency of the Netherlands from the 15th century until 2002, when it was replaced by the euro.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dutch rijksdaalder</span> Historical coin

The rijksdaalder was a Dutch coin first issued by the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands in the late 16th century during the Dutch Revolt which featured an armored half bust of William the Silent. It was the Dutch counterpart of the Reichsthaler of the Holy Roman Empire but weighed slightly less, at 29.03 g of 0.885 fine silver, reduced to 0.875 fine by the 17th century. Friesland, Gelderland, Holland, Kampen, Overijssel, Utrecht, West Friesland, Zeeland, and Zwolle minted armored half bust rijksdaalders until the end of the 17th century.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Austro-Hungarian florin</span> Currency of the lands of the House of Habsburg

The florin was the currency of the lands of the House of Habsburg between 1754 and 1892, when it was replaced by the Austro-Hungarian crown as part of the introduction of the gold standard. In Austria, the florin was initially divided into 60 kreutzers. The currency was decimalized in 1857, using the same names for the unit and subunit.

The South German Gulden was the currency of the states of southern Germany between 1754 and 1873. These states included Bavaria, Baden, Württemberg, Frankfurt and Hohenzollern. It was divided into 60 kreuzer, with each kreuzer worth 4 pfennig or 8 heller.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kronenthaler</span>

The Kronenthaler was a silver coin first issued in 1755 in the Austrian Netherlands and which became a popular trade coin in early 19th century Europe. Most examples show the bust of the Austrian ruler on the obverse and three or four crowns on the reverse, hence the name which means "crown thaler" (also Brabanter and crocione.

The Rhenish gulden or Rhenish guilder was a gold, standard currency coin of the Rhineland in the 14th and 15th centuries. They weighed between 3.4 and 3.8 grams (0.12–0.13 oz).

The Reichsmünzordnung was an attempt to unify the numerous disparate coins in use in the various states of the Holy Roman Empire in the 16th century.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gold coin</span> Coin made from gold

A gold coin is a coin that is made mostly or entirely of gold. Most gold coins minted since 1800 are 90–92% gold (22‑karat), while most of today's gold bullion coins are pure gold, such as the Britannia, Canadian Maple Leaf, and American Buffalo. Alloyed gold coins, like the American Gold Eagle and South African Krugerrand, are typically 91.7% gold by weight, with the remainder being silver and copper.

The North German thaler was a currency used by several states of Northern Germany from 1690 to 1873, first under the Holy Roman Empire, then by the German Confederation. Originally equal to the Reichsthaler specie or silver coin from 1566 until the Kipper und Wipper crisis of 1618, a thaler currency unit worth less than the Reichsthaler specie was first defined in 1667 and became widely used after adoption of the Leipzig currency standard of 1690.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Coinage of Saxony</span>

The history of Saxon coinage or Meissen-Saxon coinage comprises three major periods: the high medieval regional pfennig period, the late medieval pfennig period and the thaler period, which ended with the introduction of the mark in 1871/72. Rich silver deposits, which were discovered near Freiberg after the middle of the 12th century, helped Saxony to a leading position in German coinage.

The Reichsmünzfuß was a coinage standard or Münzfuß officially adopted for general use in the Holy Roman Empire. Different imperial coin standards were defined for different types of coins.


  1. 1 2 3 Shaw, W. A. (1896). "Appendix V - The Monetary System of Germany". The History of Currency, 1252-1894 (Third ed.). New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. pp. 363–367. ISBN   978-0342143832. LCCN   75006519. OCLC   613143051. OL   14346094M via Google Books.
  2. 1 2 Munro, John (n.d.). Money And Coinage In Late Medieval And Early Modern Europe (PDF) (Lecture). Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 June 2022. Retrieved 22 July 2022 via University of Toronto.
  3. The Vierlander, a precursor to the euro.