The representatives of the Holy Roman Empire* had been struggling in vain at the Perpetual Diet in Regensburg for more than 100 years to create a common currency for the more than 300 political entities in Germany.
*a mere shadow of it's former self following the Thirty Years' War
|"Friedrichsthaler" of 1785 minted in Berlin (A): FRIEDERICUS BORUSSORUM REX, EIN REICHS THALER (©Wikipedia/GNU Free Documentation License)|
|Maria-Theresia-Thaler of 1780 (©Wikipedia/Carlomorino)|
*The name Thaler originates from the silver mining city of Joachimsthal in Bohemia being part of the Holy Roman Empire. Later Thaler became eponymous for many other coins: Daalder in the Netherlands, Daler in Skandinavia, Talero in Italy, Talar in Poland, and Dollar in the USA.
|Joachimsthaler of 1525 (©Wikipedia/Stephan Schlick)|
As would be expected. Without exception European rulers manipulated currencies based on the weight of silver or gold. Gold coins were "diluted" with silver whereas silver coins lost their fineness with time.
|Three mark coin of 1910 |
Following the foundation of the Second Reich in 1871 all existing German currencies were replaced by the Goldmark* deliberately using the old name Mark. As a curiosity and a reminiscence the Second Reich minted a silver coin with a value of 3 marks! corresponding in value exactly to the Prussian Thaler. This "new" Thaler coin was still used in the Weimar Republic.
*divided into 100 Pfennig