Shooting Thaler Coin – Schützentaler
The Shooting Thaler Commemorative coins are another set of coins that are subject of interest for coin collectors. Originating from the ancient European Thaler coins, the Shooting Talers were minted to memorialize the traditional shooting festival in Germany and Switzerland. Shooting festivals, or Schutzenfest in German, are target shooting tournaments popular in the Germanic regions. The Shooting Thalers pay tribute to these tournaments through the coin’s intricate designs depicting heraldry and patriotism. Although other countries issued similar commemorative coins for shooting competitions, only the Swiss-issued coins are regarded as Shooting Thalers. Now, these commemorative coins are not to be confused with shooting medals as these coins are meant for coinage circulation and not just for display. There are only two groups of Shooting Thalers that were not denominated for circulation, the St. Gallen and the Stans issues.
The first three issues were Cantonal Issues in the 19th Century: the first issue was minted in 1842 for the Chur; second in 1847 for Glarus; and third in 1851 for Geneva. The Chur had silver coinage and was denominated at four francs. The coin design was made by Karl Friedrich Voigt.
The Glarus issue was also designed by Mr. Voigt with the help of another coin designer S. Burger. Silver was also used in its coinage. It was denominated at 40 Batzen. The Geneva issue, the value of which is at ten francs, was designed by Antoine Bovy.
The succeeding 19th century issues were of Swiss Confederation: Solothurn at five francs designed by Antoine Bovy in 1855; Bern at five francs, designed by Ferdinand Korn in 1857 and then issued again1885 with design by Edouard Durussel and Christian Buhler; Zurich at five francs and designed by Ferdinand Korn 1859 and in 1872, issued again with new design by Fritz Landry; Stans in 1861 with design by Antoine Bovy and Lukas Ferdinand Schloth; La Chaux-de-Fonds, designed by Antoine Bovy and Jacob Siber in 1863; Schaffhausen by Antoine Bovy again in1865; Schwyz, also designed by Antoine Bovy in 1867; Zug, again bearing Antoine Bovy design in 1869; St. Gallen, designed by Fritz Landry in 1874; Lausanne in 1876, designed by Edouard Durussel; Basel, again by Edouard Durussel design in 1879, Fribourg in 1881, another Edouard Durussel design and Lugano, by Edouard Durussel in 1883. Initial minting of these commemorative coins used silver but a few rare issues used gold and white metal.
The minting of Shooting Thaler coins stopped with the Bern issue in 1885 and started again in 1934 for Fribourg’s target shooting competition. It was followed by another minting in 1939 for the Lucerne shooting festival. However, with the break out of World War II, the minting stopped again. It wasn’t until 1984 when mintage of Shooting Thalers has revived again through the persistent efforts of Richard Nelson, a coin dealer from California.