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Poppy to remember World War I   WORLD WAR I REMEMBERED   Poppy to remember World War I

2014 to 2018 marks the 100th Anniversary of World War I, also known as "The Great War" or the "The War to End All Wars".   The war and its aftermath created numerous coin and currency issues.  Old empires were swept away and new nations created. The lands of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire went to the form the nations of Austria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and with parts going to create Poland and Yugoslavia. The collapse of the Czarist government of Russia brought on by the Bolshevik Revolution allowed Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland to gain independence.  Other portions of the Russian Empire also gained temporary independence before coming back under Russian control.  From the lands of the Ottoman Empire: Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine (now Israel, Jordan and maybe someday an independent Palestine), Kingdom of Hejaz and the Sultanate of Nejd (today Saudi Arabia), the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen, and the Arab States of the Persian Gulf were created.    The financial and political instability that followed the war helped instigate World War II. This page includes a number of historic banknotes and coins associated with World War I and its aftermath.  

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THE BEGINNINGS

GERMAN EMPIRE COIN SET INCLUDES SILVER

German Empire 6 coin set: 1 Pfennig - 1 Mark 1874-1919In 1871 Otto Von Bismark united the German States under Prussian King Wilhelm I, forming the Second Reich, also known as the German Empire. The Empire disintegrated as a result of World War I.  This six-coin set includes the silver 1 Mark, which was minted from 1873 until 1916; the silver 1/2 Mark, minted from 1905 to 1919; the copper-nickel 5 and 10 Pfennig and the copper 1 and 2 Pfennig, which were minted from 1874 to 1916.  All six coins feature the Imperial German Eagle on the reverse and the denomination on the obverse.  The coins grade Fine or Extra Fine. 
Item DE-EMP-SET6 GERMANY EMPIRE 6 COIN SET 1 PFENNIG - 1 MARK 1874-1919 F-XF $24.00



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THE WAR YEARS  1914-1918

GERMAN WORLD WAR I ERA COIN SET 

Germany World War I era coin setBecause of the difficulty in obtaining nickel and copper needed for coins due to World War I, Germany made a number of changes in their coinage.  In 1917 the copper 1 Pfennig was switched to aluminum and shrunk in size.  It was discontinued shortly after that.  The copper 2 Pfennig was discontinued due to the war.  The copper-nickel 5 Pfennig was changed to iron in 1915 and continued to be produced until 1922.   The copper-nickel 10 Pfennig was produced in two metals: iron, starting in 1916, and zinc starting in 1917.  Both continued to be struck until 1922.  All the coins had the denomination on one side and the imperial German Eagle on the other.   This World War I era four coin set includes the aluminum 1 Pfennig, iron 5 Pfennig and both the iron and zinc 10 Pfennig in Very Fine of better condition.
Item DE-WWISET GERMANY WWI 4 COIN SET, 1915-1922 VF $6.00


WORLD WAR I GERMAN MILITARY LEADERS ON BANKNOTE  

Bad Kruznach 50 Pfennig note 1917-1918The German town of Bad Kreuznach is noted for its radon inhalation and radon spas. For many years radon was used for reducing pain of rheumatism and treatment of many other ailments. Today it is known for being a major cause of cancer.  During the winter of 1917-1918 Kaiser Wilhelm moved the German High Command to Bad Kreuznach in order to take advantage of the spas.  One side of this crudely printed Bad Kreuznach 50 Pfennig note depicts the three leaders of the German High Command: Kaiser Wilhelm II, Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg and General Erich Ludendorff.  The note bears the dates "1917 1918" and the city’s coat-of-arms.  The other side has a picture of a bridge and a spa. The Uncirculated note measures approximately 100mm x 75mm (4” x 3”).
Item PM-KREUZNACH BAD KREUZNACH 50 PFENNIG NOTE, 1917-1918 UNC. $6.00



WWI AUSTRIAN POW CAMP NOTE

Austria Aschach Prisoner of War Camp 20 Heller note (circa 1916)This 20 Heller note was issued for the Aschach A.D. Prisoner of War camp during World War I.   The camp was located near the small town of Aschach an der Donau, which is in Upper Austria on the Danube River. The POW Camp primarily held Officers and Non-commissioned officers from Serbia and Montenegro. The Serbian government estimated some 6000 of its citizens died at the camp due poor living conditions, lack of hygiene and inadequate medical care.  Today Aschach is a town of about 2000 people, which is not much larger than it was during the Great War. The undated note has the same design on the front and back, featuring a "modern" Austrian eagle. The light blue note was issued from about 1916 to 1918.  It measures 110 x 70mm.
Item PM-AU-POW AUSTRIA, ASCHACH POW CAMP 20 HELLER AU-UNC. $15.00

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NEWCOLLECTION OF WORLD WAR I POW CAMP COINS

During World War I some Prisoner of War camps issued special coins for use within the camp.  This allowed some semblance of a monetary economy to carry on within the camp, yet the coins would be useless if a prisoner escaped.  Most were issued in limited quantities and are now quite scarce.  The collection includes 10 Austrian, 54 German, 3 British pieces, for a total of 67 different pieces from 42 different camps.  Many pieces grade AU to Unc.  Only a few are less than Very Fine. It is an historic collection that would be very difficult and costly to assemble today.
Item POW-SET WORLD WAR I PRISONER OF WAR CAMP COINS COLLECTION $1200.00




UNCIRCULATED COIN FROM FINLAND’S CIVIL WAR

Finland 1 Penni 1917 of Kerenski government. KM16Finland was a Russian possession from 1809 until 1917.  The collapse of the Czarist government in March of 1917 created the opportunity for Finland to demand independence.  Fighting broke out between various pro-Russian and anti-Russian factions.  The Provisional Russian Government of Alexander Kerenski, often called the "White Government"  issued these coins for the pro-Russian forces fighting in Finland.  The design is similar to the previous Czarist issues, featuring the denomination on one side and the Russian eagle with the Finnish lion on its breast on the other,  however the Czarist crown was removed from the eagle.  In November 1917 the Bolsheviks took over Russia, and on December 6, 1917 Finland gained independence, thus ending this short-lived series. We have an Uncirculated copper 1 Penni from this series.  The 15mm coin still displays its original mint luster, however may have a few minor spots or dark areas.   The price is remarkably low for an historic, 100 year old coin in Uncirculated condition.
Item FI-1P FINLAND-CIVIL WAR 1 PENNI 1917 KM16 UNC. $5.00





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THE AFTERMATH

HISTORIC AUSTRIAN NOTGELD NOTES

Austrian local emergency money, circa 1920Reduced size image
With the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire following World War I, hundreds of local communities briefly issued their own emergency currency, known as notgeld, for use within the town.  These notes are denominated in Heller and usually depict scenes of the issuing community.  They are an inexpensive, interesting and historic collectable. Most of the notes are dated 1920 and grade AU to Unc.  Every lot is different, with few duplicates between lots.
Item PM-AU-NOTx10 10 DIFFERENT AUSTRIAN NOTGELD NOTES $8.00
Item PM-AU-NOTx100 100 DIFFERENT AUSTRIAN NOTGELD NOTES $75.00



OLD BANKNOTE FROM VIENNA

Vienna 50 Heller 1920 banknoteWith the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the end of World War I the economy of Austria went into a tail-spin.  In order to combat a serious coin shortage, the capital city of Vienna issued their own currency.  This 50 Heller note is dated December 3, 1920.  It was good only until December 31, 1921. The small (75mm x 48mm) note has a view of the city and the city’s arms.
Item PM-VIENNA VIENNA 50 HELLER NOTE, 1920 Fine $3.00




GERMAN WEIMAR REPUBLIC BANKNOTE

Germany 100 Mark note, 1920 The Weimar Republic was formed after the defeat of the German Empire in World War I.  Its early years were a tumultuous period of uprisings, riots and massive inflation.  It is named after the city where the new German constitution was written and adopted in August, 1919, and lasted until the rise of the Nazis in 1933.    The 100 Mark note features two images of the head of the “Bamberg Horseman”.  The horseman is an impressive 13th century sculpture in the Bamberg Cathedral.  The note is dated November 1, 1920 and includes the red Weimar crest. 
Item PM-DE-100M GERMANY-WEIMAR 100 MARK NOTE, 1920 P69 Fine $3.00

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INFLATION COINS OF THE WEIMAR REPUBLIC

Germany - Weimar Republic aluminum 50 Pfennig       Germany aluminum 200 Mark 1923 KM35Germany aluminum 500 Mark 1923 KM36
Germany's inflation is clearly demonstrated in these coins of the Weimar Republic.  The aluminum 50 Pfennig was introduced in 1919 to replace the silver 1/2 Mark that had disappeared from circulation due to hoarding.  When introduced one could buy about 2 loaves of bread with a 50 Pfennig coin. The 23mm coin was produced until 1922, though by the end 1922 it had lost almost all of its purchasing power. The design featured the denomination on the obverse and a bundle of grain on the reverse. During 1923 Germany suffered from some of the worst inflation the world had ever seen.  In order to keep up with rapidly increasing prices, two new high denomination coins were introduced at the beginning of the year, the 200 Mark and 500 Mark. Both coins were struck in aluminum and had similar designs.  One side featured the denomination. The other featured the German Eagle.  At the beginning of the year the two coins (700 Mark) would buy a loaf of bread.  By the end mid November bread cost 80 Billion Mark!   All three coins are Uncirculated.
Item DE-50PF GERMANY 50 PFENNIG 1919-1922 KM27 UNC. $5.00
Item DE-200M GERMANY 200 MARK 1923 KM35 UNC. $5.00
Restocked Item DE-500M GERMANY 500 MARK 1923 KM36 BU $15.00





GERMAN NOTGELD 

Notgeld means "emergency money" in German, and generally refers to an extensive series of locally issued coins and currency produced during and following World War I.  Notgeld was issued in paper, metal and even porcelain and other materials.  Below is a selection of this fascinating but little known collectible.

METAL GERMAN NOTGELD COINS

Germany World War I era notgeld coinsNotgeld coins were struck for over 600 communities and companies in Germany between 1916 and 1922, though many are not dated.  Most are in denominated from 5 to 50 Pfennig. Typically the city arms or landmark is on one side and the denomination is on the other.  They were usually struck zinc or iron, both of which corrode easily, so the coins often are spotted or rusted.
Item DE-METNOTx1 1 GERMAN METAL NOTGELD COIN, F-VF-spots$3.00


BANKNOTE FROM THE CITY OF GOTHA

Gotha 100 Mark banknote 1922 Because of the severe inflation that followed World War I, prices were rising faster than the German government could print money.  Many towns and companies resorted to printing their own currency.  This 100 Mark note was issued by the City of Gotha, Germany.  It is dated September 30, 1922.  It is a simple, uniface note that pictures a bishop from the town’s arms. 
Item PM-GOTHA GOTHA, GERMANY 100 MARK NOTE, 1922 VF $3.00




1923 GERMAN INFLATION CURRENCY SETS

German Reichsbank Inflation notes, August and September 1923                        
NOTES DISPLAYED AT 50% OF ACTUAL SIZE

In 1923, Germany experienced some of the world’s worst inflation. Prices increased hourly and people needed a suitcase of full of money just to make modest purchases.  Some companies printed their own currency to meet payroll and pay for supplies. We are pleased to offer you the following two sets of notes from the 1923 German Hyperinflation: From the German Reichsbank (German government bank) we offer a set of eight inflation notes with denominations from 1 Million Mark to 500 Million Mark.  The notes are dated between August 9, 1923 and September 1, 1923. Included are the 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 500 Million Mark notes.  In order to produce the notes quickly in order to keep up with inflation, the notes had simple designs and were printed only on one side. The notes are in original Uncirculated condition, however some notes may have received minor damage in storage over the years, so we will call the set AU-UNC.

All the notes are roughly 5.5” x 3.5” (140 x 90mm). According to their inscriptions they were valid only for a short period of time, ranging from about 3 weeks to about 3 months from the notes issue date.  This may have been done in an attempt to control inflation by trying to "extinguish" part of the money supply, however I suspect it only encouraged people to spend their money faster, thus increasing the velocity of money and furthering inflationary pressures.

These fascinating currency sets that serve as a warning of what happens when a nations monetary policy gets out of control.

Item PM-DE-INFLAT8 GERMANY SET OF 8 INFLATION BANKNOTES, 1 MILLION - 500 MILLION MARK, 1923 P102-110, AU-UNC. $45.00


Click Here CLICK HERE to see our exhibit on the coins and notes of the German Hyperinflation

GERMAN INFLATION POSTAGE STAMPS

Germany inflation era postage stamps: 10 Pfennig - 5 Million Mark
Germany’s post World War I inflation is reflected in their postage stamps.  This set includes 27 different German postage stamps issued between 1918 to 1923, with values ranging from 10 Pfennig (cost of a domestic letter in 1918) to 5 Million Mark (a domestic letter cost 4 Million Mark on Oct. 20, 1923).    In order to try to keep up with the soaring rates some stamps were overprinted with new values.  The stamps in this collection are all original unused stamps however some may be slightly torn or damaged.
Item STMP-DE-INFL27 27 DIFFERENT UNUSED GERMAN POSTAGE STAMPS 1918-1923 $12.00



ESTONIA PRE-WORLD WAR II 8 COIN SET

Estonia pre-World War II 8 coin set: 1 Senti - 2 Krooni, 1929-1936
This 8-coin set from Estonia  includes the bronze 1, 2, 5, the nickel-bronze 10, 20, 50 Senti, the aluminum-bronze (brass) 1 Kroon and the silver 2 Krooni dating from 1929 to 1936. The lower six denominations show the denominations on one side. The 1 Kroon features a Viking ship, recalling the countries Viking heritage.  The 2 Krooni shows the Toompea Fortress that overlooks the capital city of Tallinn.  All eight coins show the nations arms which feature three stylized lions.  For those that like ships, we also offer the 1934 1 Kroon depicting the Viking ship separately. 
Item EE-OLDSET8 ESTONIA 8 COIN SET 1 SENTI - 2 KROONI 1929-36 VF $70.00
Item EE-SET3 ESTONIA 3 COIN SET: 1, 2 & 5 SENT 1929-34, VF from above set $12.00
Item EE-1KR ESTONIA 1 KROON 1934 VIKING SHIP KM34 VF from above set $15.00

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REMEMBERING THE WAR

NEWAUSTRALIA REMEMBERS WORLD WAR I

Australia 2 Dollars 2015 & 2016 World War I commemorativesAustralia issued two $2 Dollar circulating colored commemorative coins in 2015 and 2016 in to commemorating the 100th anniversary of World War I.  Both coins were inspired by John McCrae’s famous poem In Flanders Fields and incorporate a colored circle in the design.  The 2015 coin features a circle of crosses around a red circle, representing the red poppy.  The design was inspired by the first two lines of the poem “In Flanders fields the poppies blow. Between the crosses, row on row”  In the center are the words “Lest We Forget”.  The 2016 issue depicts flying larks, surrounding orange colored rings, which represent the sunset glow, which are from the first and second stanzas of the poem. The aluminum-bronze coins are 20.5mm and have Queen Elizabeth is on the obverse
Item AU-2D15 AUSTRALIA TWO DOLLAR COIN, 2015 WORLD WAR I UNC. out
Item AU-2D16 AUSTRALIA TWO DOLLAR COIN, 2016 WORLD WAR I UNC. $9.00



WORLD WAR I REMEMBRANCE COINS FROM CANADA

Canada 2 Dollars 2015 John McCreaCanada 25 Cents 2015 Colored PoppyCanada 25 Cents 2015 poppy regular (uncolored) strikeObverse of Canada 25 Cents 2015
In 1915 Canadian physician Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae wrote the immortal poem "In Flanders Fields".   The poem refers to the fields of red poppies that grew between the graves of the soldiers that died in the Battles of Ypres.  The poem first published anonymously in Great Britain, quickly grew in popularity throughout the English speaking world.  It was used in propaganda efforts and appeals to sell war bonds and recruit solders.  The red poppy became a widely recognized symbol to remember soldiers that died in conflicts.  In 2015 Canada marked the 100th anniversary of John McCrea’s famous poem with circulating commemorative 2 Dollar and 25 Cent coins.  The center section of the bi-metallic 2 Dollar coin depicts McCrea penning the poem.  In the background is a lark and crosses marking the soldiers’ graves.  The outer rim features poppies and Canadian Maple Leafs.  Two versions of the copper-nickel 25 cent coin were issued, one with a realistic color depiction of a red poppy.  The other features an uncolored poppy.  All three coin depict Queen Elizabeth on the obverse and are Uncirculated.
Item CA-2D15-MCCREA CANADA 2 DOLLARS 2015 JOHN McCREA UNC. out
Item CA-25c15-COLOR CANADA 25 CENTS 2015 COLOR POPPY, UNC. out
Item CA-25c15-REG CANADA 25 CENTS 2015 REGULAR (uncolored) UNC. $2.50




TRISTAN DA CUNHA WAR POSTER COINS  Restocked

Trisdan da Cunha set of 6 1 Crown coins, 2014 World at War recruiting and motivational poster coinsTristan da Cunha rectangular 1 Crown, 2014This set of six rectangular 1 Crown coins from Tristan da Cunha features famous Allied propaganda posters of World War I and World War II.  Included is the James Montgomery Flagg’s “I WANT YOU FOR THE UNITED STATES ARMY” featuring Uncle Sam.   The poster was developed in World War I and versions of it continued to be used in World War II and later.  It was based on Great Britain’s 1914 “YOUR COUNTRY NEEDS YOU” poster featuring Secretary of State for War Lord Kitchener.  “THE TRUMPET CALLS” was created by Australian artist Norman Lindsey.  It features an Australian soldier blowing a trumpet with other soldiers with guns at his feet.  In the background are grey images of various Australian men.  “WE CAN DO IT” is an American motivational poster produced by J. Howard Miller in 1943 for Westinghouse Electric.  It was issued at the time when large numbers of women were entering the workforce for the first time.  The original poster was used only within Westinghouse for about a month during the war.  Since its rediscovery in the 1980’s versions of it have been used to promote a wide variety of causes.  “KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON” was produced by the British Government in the summer 1939 as part of a series of motivational posters intended to be distributed in event of a wartime disaster.  The program cancelled in October 1939 following criticism of its cost and impact and the poster was never publicly displayed.  It was rediscovered in 2000 and has been widely commercialized since then.   “WERE YOU THERE THEN” was an Australian recruiting poster by Harry Weston published in 1916.  It features a woman pointing to a damaged Australia flag.  “There” probably refers to the Battle of Gallipoli.  The poster is intended to appeal to the guilt of the viewer and their feelings of patriotism.  The gold-plated base metal coins are 45mm by 26mm.  The 2014 dated coins feature Queen Elizabeth on the obverse. The coins are Brilliant Uncirculated and come in individual capsules.It is an attractive set with historical significance.  Item TDC-POSTERS TRISTAN DA CUNHA SET OF 6 WAR POSTER COINS, BU $75.00

Also see:
Click HereWORLD WAR II COINS & CURRENCY

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