The history of the Dutch Rijksdaalder

The Dutch Rijksdaalder was officially recognised in Dutch Republic in the year of 1606 by coin law, all though Rijksdaalders already had been minted for some time in the former Habsburg Netherlands.

It was based on the “Reichsthaler” that circulated in the Holy Roman Empire at the time, and had a rate of 50 “Grosschen”.

Electorate of Saxony, Reichstaler from 1575 from the Dresden mint, Mmz. HB. * Source ;

Around the beginning of the 16th century the very first Thalers were minted in the region of Joachimsthal, where also silver was mined. Herein lie the proposed origins of the Dutch Rijksdaalders through the German Reichsthalers.

Based on the Leipzig “Reichsmünzordnungen” which were issued in 1566, the Reichsthaler or in Dutch called “Rijksdaalder”, soon also would be minted in the Habsburg Netherlands.

Rijksdaalder in the Spanish Netherlands

The first Rijksdaalder produced in the Habsburg Netherlands was the Burgundian Rijksdaalder which was minted from 1567 until 1571, and in some regions after 1571 on their own account and not according to the central coin law.

The Burgundian Rijksdaalder had a starting weight of 29.38 grams, a Fine Silver percentage of 892/1000, and set at a rate of 32 Stuivers (160 Cents).

From 1581 in diverse places in the Habsburg Netherlands “Eagle & Helmed Rijksdaalders” were produced in accordance with the 1566 Reichsmünzordnungen. 

Holland Burgundian Rijksdaalder – King Philip II, 1568. * Source ;

The Helmed Rijksdaalder had a rate of 42 Stuivers (210 Cents) and after 1586 a rate of 45 Stuivers (225 Cents).

When the Northern Provinces of the former Habsburg Netherlands became more independent, they also started minting the so called “Leicester Rijksdaalder”.

In accordance with the 1st Dutch Coin law the weight was set at 29,24 grams, and the Fine Silver percentage at 888/1000 with a rate of 45 Stuivers (225 Cents).

Eagle Rijksdaalder – Groningen, 1602. * Source ;

With the advent of new regulations directed through the next Coin Law in 1606, the first official Dutch Rijksdaalder came into being in the young Republic of the Seven United Netherlands. 

The weight was set at 29,03 grams / 0,9333 ozt by the States-General, and the composition was regulated to be 885/1000 Fine Silver.

Dutch Rijksdaalder – Overijssel, 1620. * Source ;

From 1619 the rate of one Rijksdaalder was set at 50 Stuivers (250 Cents), which would last in this form until 2002 when the Euro was introduced.

During the 17th century it became obvious that competing coins like the Patagon from the Southern Spanish Netherlands were displacing the Dutch Rijksdaalders out of circulation.

Therefor it was decided to introduce the Dutch Silver Ducat in 1659 which had the same specifications as the Patagon with the intention of replacing the Rijksdaalder.

Patagon – King Philip IV, minted at Brussels in 1621. * Source ;

All though Rijksdaalders in some places still would be minted until the end of the 17th century as trade coins, the Silver Ducat took over and it would take longer than a century before the Rijksdaalder would make an appearance again.

Silver Ducat – West Frisia, 1698. * Own collection ;

Comeback of the Rijksdaalder

In the year of 1840 Dutch Rijksdaalder were minted again under King Willem the Second with a weight of 25 grams / 0,8038 ozt and a Fine Silver percentage of 945/1000.

Rijksdaalder – King Willem III, 1867 (Reverse). * Own collection ;

Rijksdaalder – King Willem III, 1867 (Obverse). * Own collection ;

Under the reign of Queen Wilhelmina in the first half of the 20th century, the silver percentage was reduced to 720/1000 while the weight stayed the same.

The silver Rijksdaalder would be minted until 1966 for circulation with the effigy of Queen Juliana, whereafter they would be produced in nickel.

Only in 1980 a highly limited number of silver Rijksdaalders were produced exclusively as coronation gifts, but for the rest the Rijksdaalders were produced out of nickel until they were cancelled as part of the introduction of the Euro in 2002.

Rijksdaalder – Queen Wilhelmina, 1931 (Reverse). * Own collection ;

Rijksdaalder – Queen Wilhelmina, 1931 (Obverse). * Own collection ;

The Last Silver Rijksdaalder circulation series

Juliana Louise Emma Marie Wilhelmina was queen of the Netherlands during 4 September 1948 until 30 April 1980.

During her reign seven 2½ Guldens, or “Rijksdaalders” were issued in the years of 1959-1964 and 1966.

Obverse :

Effigy of Queen Juliana looking to the right. “W” below the neckline.



Reverse :

Crowned Dutch coat of arms.

Text (Dutch)    : NEDERLAND 2½ G

Text (English) : THE NETHERLANDS 2½ Guilders

Edge lettering :

Text (Dutch)    : GOD * ZIJ * MET * ONS

Text (English) : GOD * BE * WITH * US