Every member of the European Union prior to its joining had its own currency. However after joining and following referendums in their own countries they chose to replace it with the Euro. Up until 2002 the Austrian Schilling was still circulating even though the Euro had now been introduced.
In this article we go on to explain some more about this particular currency.
The Austrian Schilling was in circulation between 1925 and 1938 and then between 1945 and 1999.
The first schilling came into being on 20 December 1924 and was established after the passing of the Schilling Act. At this time 1 schilling was worth 10,000 Austro Hungarian Kronen. Although this particular currency was formed in 1924 the actually issuing of it did not take place until 1st March 1925.
Following the end of the Second World War however the Schilling was then reintroduced. The Allied Military did this in 1945 that had issued paper money that was available in denominations starting from 50 Groschen up to 100 Schilling. The actual exchange rate used for replacing the Reichsmark with the Austrian schilling was 1:1. However each person was only entitled to receive 150 Schilling.
But it wasn’t only the Allied Military who were issuing this currency it was also the Country’s National Bank. They begun first issuing notes in 1945 and then also begun to issue coins in 1946.
Although schilling notes and coins were in circulation a new law wasn’t put into place until November 1947. When this was new banknotes were introduced and the notes that had been originally introduced could be exchanged for them. The exchange rate for replacing old with new was 1:1 when exchanging the first 150 schillings. However after this the rate changed and if you wished to exchange more then for every 1 new Austrian schilling you would have to hand over 3 of the old ones. However the coins that had been issued in 1946 were not affected by this law and so they remained in circulation.
It would be a further 3 years before the currency began to stabilise and this was due to the fact that the schilling had been tied to the US dollar. The exchange rate at the time was $1 was the equivalent of 26 Schilling.
Then problems arose again in 1971 following the breakdown of the Bretton Woods System. When this problem arose the Austrian Schilling was in fact tied a number of different currencies however in July 1976 it was then coupled with the German Mark.
As already mentioned above the Euro did in fact become the official currency of Austria in 1999. Yet it wasn’t until 2002 that the introduction of the Euro notes and coins actually took place. When this did occur so the old Austrian Schilling notes and coins were then phased out and removed from circulation. In fact by the 28th February 2002 the Schilling was no longer in use. However if people do still have such currency it is perfectly acceptable for them to take it to any branch of the Austrian National Bank where it can be exchanged for Euros.
The first types of coins to be issued when the Austrian Schilling came into being in 1925 were the 1 and 2 Groschen along with the coin that was worth 10 Groschen. Then in 1931 it was decided to issue a 5 Groschen coin and this was then followed in 1934 with the issuing of a 50 Groschen coin, a 1 Schilling coin and a 5 Schilling coin.
However after the end of the Second World War new coins needed to be issued and this was initially done by the Allied Military. At this time the issuing of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 Groschen coins occurred along with the issuing of 1, 2 and 5 Schilling coins.
But along with the issuing of coins various bank notes also begun to get issued between 1925 and 1938 and from 1945 onwards. The first notes to be issued were the 1, 5, 10, 20, 100 and 1,000 Schilling notes. However the name was actually changed to Schillinge to help identify them more easily.
Of course the original imagery on these notes was quite simple and it wasn’t until the 1960’s that images of famous Austrians were included on to them. It was the inclusion of such images that helped to make identifying each type of note much easier.
The notes to be issued in 1980 are some of those that were the last to be issued. However in 1997 the issuing of new 500 and 1,000 Schilling notes took place.
The notes that were issued between 1983 and 1989 were the 20, 50, 100, 500, 1,000 and 5,000 Schilling notes.
On the 20 Schilling note on the front was a picture of Moritz Daffinger a renowned miniature painter and sculptor. Whilst on the reverse was shown the Albertina in Vienna.
As for the 50 Schilling note on the front was an image of Sigmund Freud who of course gained notoriety for being the founding father of psychoanalysis. Whilst on the reverse the Josephinum (Alsegrund) in Vienna was shown.
As for the 100 Schilling note that was printed in 1984 and issued in 1985 on the front was a picture of Eugen von Bohm-Bawerk (Austrian Economist) who made such a huge contribution towards the development of the School of Economics in Austria, and on the other side was a picture of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften).
The 500 Schilling notes which of course were issued in 1986 shows a picture of Otto Wagner (Austrian Architect) who in fact is believed to have made a huge impact with regards to the way Vienna looks today. In fact he was very much involved in the creation of some of this city’s most famous landmarks. Whilst on the reverse side is a picture of the Post Office Savings Bank in Vienna.
This remained in circulation until 1997 when a new 500 Schilling note was issued this type the image on both sides was of Rosa Mayreder (women’s rights campaigner).
The 1,000 Austrian Schilling note issued in 1983 has an image of Erwin Schrodinger a renowned physicist who helped to discover quantum mechanics along with on the reverse a picture of the University of Vienna.
This was then replaced in 1997 with a new 1,000 Schilling notes, which on both sides included images of Karl Landsteiner a renowned biologist, and physician who helps to develop the modern system of classifying blood groups.
Finally we come to the 5,000 Schilling note that was issued in 1989 and is the one whose front (obverse side) shows an image of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, whilst on the back (reverse side) a picture of the Wiener Staatsoper (Vienna State Opera House) is shown.
As for the coins the designs on these were very simple most on the front (obverse side) would either show a coat of arms, a shield, the state title or the nine provinces that make up Austria. However one coin that was issued between 1969 and 1988 showed not only the State Title but also a picture of a person riding a horse. As for the reverse (back) side of the coins these tend to include the coins value along with images that are closely linked to Austria such as Edelweiss Flowers or Gentian Flowers on them.
The inclusion of such images on the Austrian Schilling currency were there to help remind the Austrian people of who they were and how they had managed to survive such difficult times.