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Austrian 1 Ducat gold coin

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Austria’s most distinguished historical gold coin, the Franz Joseph ducat, is an exquisite gold piece that is ... read more
We sell We buy Spread
1780,27 17.00%
1789,35 15.86%
1798,43 14.70%
Self pick-up from office - FREE
Delivery by UPS courier - 123,75
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Self pick-up from office - FREE
Delivery costs start from 123,75
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The photos are used for illustration purposes only and may not be an exact representation of the product.


Austria’s most distinguished historical gold coin, the Franz Joseph ducat, is an exquisite gold piece that is acclaimed throughout the world for its long-term uniformity and high purity. Also referred to as the “Austrian ducat”, or “1 ducat”, it embodies the history of the Austrian Empire, the second largest European nation and one of the world’s leading powers of the time. Past events are immortalised in a gold purity of 98.6 %, which is among the highest gold finenesses among classic gold coins. Extremely rich in detail, the one ducat gold coin is embellished with the powerful coat of arms of the House of Habsburg, one of Europe’s oldest and most influential royal families, and with the effigy of one of the last great monarchs of Europe, Franz Joseph of Austria. The design of this coin was struck for the first time in 1872, and is today being applied by the renowned Austrian Mint to produce restrikes of the Franz Joseph ducat. As a long-term partner of the Austrian Mint and a leading European dealer in this coin, Tavex is able to offer market leading quotes for this magnificent historical gold coin.

Why Buy

  • The Franz Joseph 1ducat is Austria’s most famous historical gold coin. Acclaimed for its long-termuniformity, high purity and artistic beauty, the Franz Joseph ducat is thebest-known gold coin in Central Europe.
  • The Franz Joseph 1ducat is well suited for coin collections. To own this coin literallymeans owning a piece of European history. It embodies the history of one of theworld’s great powers, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and portrays one of theleading monarchs of that time, Emperor Franz Joseph.
  • Franz Joseph 1ducat gold coins are money. Austrian ducats are exempt from Value Added Tax, andare exchangeable throughout Europe by bullion dealers and investors alike.
  • Franz Joseph 1ducat gold coins are internationally recognised. Their history spanning morethan a century, and currently being struck by the renowned Austrian Mint,coupled with their unique design and shape, makes them highly distinguished andaccepted worldwide.
  • Franz Joseph 1ducat gold coins are the equivalent of savings. Austrian ducats are an idealchoice for any long-term saver who appreciates the security and stability ofowning physical gold coins.
  • Franz Joseph 1ducat gold coins track the price of gold. The base value of therestruck 1 ducat coins is primarily determined by their fine gold content whichis linked to the prevailing price of gold.
  • Franz Joseph 1ducat gold coins are great gifts for your loved ones. Besides being asymbol of long-term endurance, the ducat gold coin is also a piece of precioushistory.

Buying gold items means low risks and maintaining wealth

Gold's value has grown over the years making it good to maintain or grow wealth.

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Fact: gold price in DKK has risen 96.4% in the last 8 years. The lowest price was 7537,09 DKK/oz and the highest 17061,50 DKK/oz. Current world market price is 16415,00 DKK/oz


The majority of gold ducats depicting Franz Joseph were issued from the early 1900s onwards. The 1 ducat coins dated 1915 are today being produced by the Austrian Mint as official restrikes.

The history of the ducat coin

It is no exaggeration to claim that the ducat is the world’s number one gold coin with regards to uniformity, and one of the top three most important classical coins ever to have been produced in Europe.However, contrary to what one might think, the ducat does not originate in Austria,but instead draws its heritage from medieval Italy. The birthplace of the gold ducat, whose uniformity would facilitate trade for over 700 years, was the Italian city of Venice. During the 12th and 13th centuries,Venice was a trading powerhouse and the dominant city-state along the coastal areas of the Adriatic Sea. To further the city’s trade and prominence, the ruling duke at the time began to mint a gold coin whose weight was set at 3.5grams with a determined gold purity of 98.6% (23.68 karat). Because “dukes”governed the city, the new coin was given the name “ducatus”, which is Latin for “dukedom”, hence the name of the present “ducat”. 

The ducat’s gold content was a marketing campaign

From the start, the ducat became an immediate success.This outcome was partially attributed to Venice’s regional influence andfar-reaching trade, but it was the coin’s high purity that was responsible for its recognition and acceptance. The mere undertaking to purify gold to such a high degree was an accomplishment in itself at that time, and, as a result, the ducat emitted such a lustrous gold colour that it made other coinage look bleak in comparison. Apart from the Florentine florin that shared a similar standard andcompeted for trade dominance alongside the ducat, the other circulating coinageof the time was mostly made of silver or gold of lower purity. The fascinatingreason for making the ducat of such high purity was largely attributed to whatwe today would refer to as “marketing”. Pure gold, or 24 karat gold, is bynature extremely soft, and thus coins of such a high karat are not suitable ascirculating coinage since they easily become worn down. On the other hand, a goldcoin with a high fineness diffracts the beautiful and seductive colour of gold,an aspect that even to this day is treasured by many.

The gold ducat becomes the universal coin par excellence

The main purpose of the ducat was to spread Venice’sinfluence and that is exactly what it did. Ducats fostered trade andfacilitated the payment of goods throughout the Mediterranean Sea, reachingeven remote trading outposts in India, Africa and the Middle East. By the 15thcentury, the Venetian ducat had established itself as the internationalcurrency of choice. Its popularity became so pronounced that other nations andcity-states began mimicking the Venetian ducat by striking their own versions,albeit sometimes with a different design and shape, but adhering to thestandard uniformity of 3.5 grams and a gold fineness of 98.6 percent.  Italian well-known city-states such as Rome,Genoa and Florence, other foreign cities such as Constantinople and Acre, aswell as most European nations, including Austria, Sweden, the Netherlands,Germany, and Russia, just to name a few, minted ducats at some time during theirhistory. In fact, since its inception, the ducat has been minted by more than250 different entities, including both public and private mints.

What is most intriguing is that the term “ducat”became associated with a unit of account, a direct result of the integrity ofthe Venetians, but also other entities, in keeping the weight and the purity ofthe ducat uniform throughout the ages. The City of Venice issued ducats with a similardesign for five centuries until conquered by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1797.

The ducat depicts thecoat of arms of the House of Habsburg

The Habsburg royal family, in some respects similar tothe ducat gold coin, was powerful in its reach and endurance through thecenturies. The family arose around the 10th century in connection with theconstruction of Habsburg castle in Aargau, Switzerland.  By the late thirteen century, the family obtainedcommand of the Duchy of Austria, which they ruled for over 600 years until Austriabecame a republic in 1919. The Habsburgs were one of Europe’s most powerfulroyal houses, and, gaining influence through marriages and political alliances,they regularly ruled the Holy Roman Empire (a political entity that stretchedfrom Rome in Italy to northern parts of Germany) between the fifteen andeighteenth centuries. At the zenith of the family’s power, in addition to rulingthe heartland of Central Europe, territories belonging to the Habsburgsincluded Spain, parts of Italy, most of the Netherlands and possessions in theAmericas.   

Following the fall of the Holy Roman Empire at thehands of Napoleon Bonaparte’s Grand Army in the early 19th century,the Habsburgs, shrewd as they were, made a deal with Napoleon, pledging theiralliance and in return were given the right to pull back to their long-termstronghold in Austria. The Habsburg’s patiently consolidated their lands andpower by founding the Austrian Empire comprised of Austria and several vassalstates south and east of the country. Once Napoleon suffered his first majorloss with his disastrous campaign in Russia, the Habsburgs with other allies swiftlyturned against him and crushed the French former Grand Army in 1815. As one ofthe victors, the Habsburgs laid claim to additional territories that includedCroatia, northern parts of Italy (Lombardy-Venetia), and the region of whatwould today be considered West Austria. The enlarged Austrian Empire became thesecond largest geographical nation in Europe, over which the Habsburgs would rulefor the next century.

The ducat facilitated trade in the Austrian Empire

The first Austrian ducat was issued sometime in the early 16th century. Its prominence as a trade coin would become apparent with the enlargement of the Austrian Empire in 1816. Comprised of twelve different countries, the Austrian Empire was a multinational realm that contained Europe’s third largest population. It was a dynamic economy thatheavily depended on trade, a function that the Austrian gold ducat helped tofacilitate. However, the ducat was not the sole gold coin used in the AustrianEmpire at that time. Decimal coinage that contained a lower gold fineness, whichmade it more suitable for handling, was preferred for day-to-day affairs. Thesecoins circulated side by side with the ducat and included the Austrian goldgulden and crown, and the Hungarian gold forint. Nevertheless, Austrian ducatswere still the favoured gold coins for settling commerce transactionsthroughout the Austrian Empire and beyond.

The Franz Joseph ducat is the most treasured gold coin in Central Europe

Ducats carrying the design of Franz Joseph are themost famous version of the Austrian gold ducats. Its popularity stems from thefact that Franz Joseph was looked upon as a patriarchal authority that held the Empire together, drawing respect from his subjects. Franz Joseph ascended tothe throne in 1848, but his first two decades of reign would prove to be tumultuous,contradicting his reputation of being able to reign over the region with a firmgrip. At the Battle of Solferino in Italy in 1859, inexperienced in militarism,Franz Joseph allowed himself to command the troops and he lost the battleagainst the French and Italian armies, forcing him as a result to give upLombardy (the Milan region) to the allies. In 1866, he lost the Austro-Prussianwar, which meant he had to cede Austrian control of the Venetian region toPrussia’s ally, the Italian King Vittorio Emanuele. One short year later,nationalist sentiment in Hungary forced Franz Joseph to grant the countrygreater autonomy, creating the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the process. In spiteof these missteps, beginning with 1867 and onwards, he would rule peacefully andsuccessfully until his death in 1916.

During this period of concord, the Austro-Hungarian Empire prospered. Industry expanded, artistic and scientific segments ofsociety were thriving, especially in Austria, the infrastructure was beingmodernised, railroad networks, river channels and ports were being constructedthroughout the dual monarchy, Hungary became a leading source of food for the restof Europe, and the Empire as a whole became the world’s fourth largest machinemanufacturer. With incomes rising and trade flourishing, Franz Joseph’s reignbecame naturally associated with a time of “plenty”, boosting his popularity asa consequence. He was particularly popular among the more conservative layers of Austrian society, and he likewise drew a strong loyal following in Slovenia,Croatia, Hungary and in the Czech Republic. The act of handing out Franz Joseph ducats to the parents of a newborn child, to newlyweds, or as a memorable gift in general became a tradition which is still being practised in the former countries of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.    


The Austrian Mint, a subsidiary of Austria’s Central Bank, is a world renowned mint which dates back to the 12th century. The story of the Austrian Mint begins in 1194, when Richard the Lionheart paid 12 tonnes of silver to secure his freedom from imprisonment by the Austrian Duke Leopold V. The Duke would later use the silver to strike silver coins, thus laying the foundation for the Austrian Mint. In its rich and long history, the Austrian Mint has produced many of Europe’s most famous and widely used coins, including gold crowns, guilders, ducats and silver coins such as the Maria Theresa thaler. Many of the gold coins issued by the Austrian Mint were extensively used in trade during the Austro-Hungarian Empire, while the silver thaler proved to be one of the most minted and widely used silver coins in global commerce between 1750 and the 1950s.  Today, the  mint  is  best recognised  for producing  Europe’s  most  desired  investment bullion coins, the Gold and Silver Philharmonic bullion coins.

Product weight in grams
Gold weight in grams
Gold weight in troy ounces
Face value description
1 ducat
Austrian Mint, Austria


The obverse portrays the effigy of Emperor Franz Joseph crowned with a laurel. The title “FRANC IOS I D G AUSTRIAE IMPERATOR”, which translates as “Franz Joseph 1, by the grace of God, Emperor of Austria”, surrounds his portrait.


The reverse displays the coat of arms of the House of Habsburg, surrounded by the text “HVNGAR BOHEM GAL LOD ILL REX AA 1915”, which translates as “Hungary, Bohemia, Galicia, Lodomeria, Illyria, King and Archduke of Austria 1915”.


 Each coin is individually packaged in a hard plastic capsule if desired.

Pickup in Tavex store

You can choose to pick up your order in our store in Copenhagen. As soon as we receive your payment, we will contact you via email and phone, and you can then collect your order.

Delivery via UPS

After receiving your payment, your order will be shipped as soon as possible (normal within 24 hours) and you will receive a tracking number from UPS. UPS’ delivery time is approx. 1-3 working days.

To ensure that our customers personally receive and sign for the shipped goods, orders are sent as a value package via UPS with delivery, where a signature is required. UPS attempts delivery three times. If you have not been home to receive the package after the 3 attempts, the package is returned to Tavex. You can track your package via your tracking number here.

In some cases, it is possible to order collection of your package at a UPS delivery point, this requires a special agreement with Tavex. Please note that the delivery location may ask for ID when collecting packages.

Please note that all orders (unless otherwise agreed with Tavex) are sent by home delivery, and that you must therefore be at home and sign for receipt – Contact us if you wish to have your package sent to a UPS pick-up point.


Your package is sent as an insured value package with UPS and should your package unexpectedly disappear or be damaged during transport, Tavex will resend your order or refund your payment. The insurance is valid until you have acknowledged and received the package.


Your order is packed in protected packaging and sent in a discreet unmarked envelope/package.


As soon as your order is packed, your tracking number will be sent to your email. You can follow the location and status of your package via the UPS website.

Shipping costs

Tavex offers free shipping on purchases over DKK 8,500 (excl. VAT)

0 – 8.500 DKK excl. VAT 123,75 DKK
8.501 – 1.000.000 DKK excl. VAT Free delivery
1.000.000+ DKK excl. VAT Contact us

The above prices are valid for deliveries in Denmark (not including Greenland or the Faroe Islands). If you want delivery abroad, please contact us on +45 3311 1510 or

Delays/goods not in stock

If your package is sent later than expected, a given product is not in stock or temporarily sold out, you will be contacted by phone or email and you will be informed of the expected delivery time of your order.

NOTE: When delivering with UPS and picking up in our store, you must present a valid photo ID (passport or driver’s license).

  • Free delivery over DKK 8,500
  • Large stock
  • Fast delivery
  • 100% insured delivery

Vast Stock Availability

The majority of Tavex’s products are always in stock and therefore Tavex can offer you quick delivery and same day pick-up with market leading prices. Tavex is an official partner of all the biggest mints in the world, such as the Perth Mint Australia, the Austrian Mint (Münze Österreich), China Great Wall Coins Investments Ltd., the gold bar market leader PAMP Suisse and Valcambi and other gold factories and dealers.

Same day pick-up

Feel free to visit our office during opening hours to have a free consultation or learn more about a specific product. If you purchase, online you can pick up the products on the same day we receive the payment.

Low prices

Over 25 years on the market and large volumes have enabled us to offer you the best prices on the market. With Tavex, you can maximise return on your investment because of low margins and spreads.

Item in Stock

This item is in stock and ships right after payment is made and is ready for self-pickup.

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