Austrian 1 Ducat Gold Coin
The word ducat is from Medieval Latin ducatus meaning “relating to a duke (or dukedom)”, and initially meant “duke’s coin” or a “duchy’s coin”. These historical gold coins were used in trade throughout Europe from medieval times to the late 20th century.
The first gold ducats were produced in the year 1140 and the inscriptions and pictures changed considerably through the Middle Ages. One of the most common versions seen today is the Austrian 1 Ducat Gold Coin.
The front of the Austrian 1 Ducat Gold Coin which features the likeness of Franz Joseph I who was born in 1848, and died in 1916. The reverse depicts the House of Habsburg’s coat of arms. The Habsburgs occupied the Holy Roman Empire throne from 1438 – 1740. They produced kings of Bohemia, England, Germany, Hungary, Croatia, Ireland, Portugal, Spain Dutch and Italian countries.
The double-headed eagle or Imperial Eagle was a symbol of the Holy Roman Empire. Above the Imperial Eagle is the Imperial Crown worn by Holy Roman Emperors from the House of Habsburg becoming the crown of Austria after the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire. The Imperial Eagle holds the Imperial Regalia or the crown jewels. The Imperial Eagle holds the Imperial Sword, which was used during coronations and holds the Imperial Orb, a symbol of divine right.
Today’s modern Austrian 1 Ducat Gold Coin follows in the steps of the Austrian 100 Corona because those dated 1915 are re-struck. A re-strike is an official reissuing of a coin which is no longer in production. The Austrian 1 Ducat is made of gold which is 0.987 pure (high purity) and its melt weight in gold is 0.1122 troy.
So this virtually pure gold coin contains a little over 1/10 of an ounce of pure gold. It is about 0.777 or slightly more than ¾ of an inch in diameter so it makes a statement. To attain this size/purity ratio the Mint makes the Austrian 1 Ducat Gold Coin thin (about 0.0314 inches) and in so doing produces one of the great pure bullion products today.
These beauties are large for their weight and the coin’s purity is instantly recognizable as real gold. The Austrian 1 Ducat Gold Coin offers other advantages: (1) it is minted by a sovereign government so production, purity and weight are guaranteed allowing precious metal dealers worldwide to post daily buy and sell prices. (2) The Austrian 1 Ducat Gold Coin enjoys a worldwide audience because premiums are low and it is a recognizable bullion coin having been traded for decades. Its smaller size also makes this pure coin a excellent barter choice. (3) The re-strike Austrian 1 Ducat Gold Coin also offers a possible government foil. Because of its date (1915) this coin was a popular way of getting around the US prohibition on gold ownership prior to 1975 in the United States. For this reason some believe that if gold were confiscated in America the Austrian 1 Ducat Gold Coin might be exempt because of its dating. Whether you buy the argument or not it is nonetheless a reason for this coin’s continued popularity. (4) There is no reporting requirement (Federal Form 1099B) when buying or selling the Austrian 1 Ducat Gold Coin and it fluctuates directly with the daily gold market.