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The beginning of the Hall mint

Tyrol had a mint of its own since the 13th century, located in Meran. For the time being, the counts of Görz-Tyrol or Tyrol-Görz minted there by extending the prerogative of coinage of Lienz to Meran. Not before 1274 Tyrol got its own definite prerogative of coinage.

The foundation of the Hall mint took place in 1477 and for the moment was meant to serve as a second coining site beside Meran.Nevertheless, in the end, decisions were taken for the Meran mint to be shut down. Since 1477 Hall has been the only mint in Tyrol.

There were several economic and political reasons leading to the transfer of the coinage to Hall. Large amounts of the salt mined there were exported, which caused a flow of many gold- and and silver coins to Hall, where they were melted and served as a raw material for the coinage. Additionally the lucrative silver veins in Schwaz were discovered around the middle of the 15th century. Either way the transport of the silver to Meran had been a complicated and sometimes dangerous procedure that could be avoided by the establishment of a mint in Hall.

The political reasons were just as diverse. The expansion of the Ottoman Empire to the west gradually became a threat to Tyrol, since Turkish legions had already moved up the Drautal and further infiltration across the Pustertal to the southern part of Tyrol was to be feared. But also the western neighbors, the Swiss confederates, were not to be underestimated, considering that, in the case of war,an invasion across the Vinschgau region could take place at any time and thereby mean a loss of Meran.

Finally, caused by the internal political situation, a general trend of shift of emphasis to the north of the state came up at the beginning of the 15th century. Already around 1420 Innsbruck had become the capital and seat of power of the state. It evolved into the royal seat and administrative center, while Hall, through its commercial markets, its shipping route at the river Inn and the saltworks, had become the economic center of the north. The sovereign’s residence Sparberegg, later to be replaced by a convent, came to be seat of the mint for about 90 years.
Hall had been preferred to Schwaz as the location of the mint, because Schwaz at that time had not been a fortified town yet.