Thaler, Joachimsthaler, Bohemia, replica. The US dolar is an Anglicised form of "thaler" (pronounced taler, with a long "a"), the name given to coins first minted in 1519 from locally mined silver in Joachimsthal in Bohemia. Today the town of Joachimsthal lies within the borders of the Czech republic and its Czech name is Jáchymov. Thaler is a shortened form of the term by which the coin was originally known - Joachimsthaler. Later on, the English version of the name (dollar) was also applied to similar coins, not only ones minted in central Europe but also the Spanish peso and the Portuguese eight-real piece. Those coins, particularly the Spanish peso or dollar, circulated widely in Britain's North American colonies because of a shortage of official British coins. That is why, after the United States gained its independence, the new nation chose "dollar" as the name of its currency instead of keeping the pound.