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Periods: Germany

Coinage of Germany

One cannot deny the fact that many upheavals happened in Europe which affected its coinage too. The genesis of German coinage can be traced back from Treaty of Verdun that ceded Charlemagne's lands east of the Rhine to German Prince Louis, it was for centuries little more than a geographic expression, consisting of hundreds of effectively autonomous big and little states. At the time of Holy Roman Empire disintegration, actual powers devolved to the lords of the individual states. It’s interesting to know that German contained almost 1,800 states, some even with a population of as little as 300. Traditionally, minting was done with the help of rolling machine driven by water wheels which got replaced in the 1500s by hammer struck coins.

German coinage can be divided into four categories: those minted prior to unification; unification era; coins circulated between World wars and another set of monetary system circulated during when Germany was divided into eastern and western nations. Since 2002, unified Germany is using Euro. Notable and Early Modern Period coins were minted between wars to cope inflation which was made out of aluminium, zinc and iron. German thaler coins were minted first at Brunswick.

Otto Von Bismarck united 4 independent kingdoms under Kaiser William II. After First World War, the kingdom fell apart. During this period, coins such as 1 Mark and Half Mark of silver, 1 German Pfenning and 2 Pfenning of copper, 5 Pfenning and 10 Pfenning of Copper- Nickel and 200 Mark and 500 Mark of Aluminium were minted. Adolf Hitler grew into power and formed third Reich. Antique German coins of this period contain the phrase “Gemeinnutz geht vor Eigennutz” which mean “The community comes before the individual”.