In the former British, German, French, Portuguese and Italian territories of Africa, coins of the colonial powers circulated, supplemented by the Austrian Maria Theresa thaler, or dollar. The thaler, which was 83 percent silver, was first struck in Austria in 1780 at the death of the empress Maria Theresa and went out of use there in 1854. But Austria and other nations continued its issue for export long after they had stopped using the thaler on the Continent. The thaler was so popular that the supply could not meet the demand. The British Royal Mint was authorized to make the dollars for overseas trade in Africa in 1937. The Italian government also struck them for Ethiopia in 1936, where they were used as legal tender until 1948.