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Coins Of The Great War: 10 Pfennig (Imperial Germany, 1918)-Article

Updated: Apr 9

This Great War-era (1914-1918) coin represents the 2nd denomination coin of the late war Papiermark. Notably due wartime demand Imperial German coinage post-1916 was debased. Replacing once abundant nickel and copper with less valuable base metals. Which was still somewhat of a luxury, when compared to the notmünze (notgeld coins) of the era.

Coins of this type were minted from 1917-1922, spanning the late war and the early Weimar era. The coin is a smooth-edged design made of zinc and weighs 3.23 g. Its dimensions are 21 mm (0.837 in) wide and 1.5 mm (0.059 in) thick. Making it slightly larger than a modern US Penny (19.05 mm/0.750 in), in size.


The observe is practical in it's design, featuring a large number "10" at its center. This number 10 simply represents the coin's 10 Pfennig value, as listed by the coin's surrounding text. The upper section reads "DEUTSCHES REICH" (German Empire). While the lower lists the currency type, as a "PFENNIG", issued in "1918". A pair of dimples separates the upper and lower text.


The reverse features a large Reichsadler (Imperial Eagle), the symbol of the German Empire. Notably the coin uses a small shield design, this style is known as a Type II. It should be known an alternative variant of this coin was issued.

This alternate variant was minted from zinc-clad iron. It featured a Reichsadler, surrounded by a wreath of 31 beads. Additionally, there were twin mint marks located near the Reichsadler's tail. As opposed to the variant depicted here, which entirely lacks mint marks.


Additional Notes

  • By 1918, war-time demand had reached a point, that even base metals were becoming rare.

  • Notmünze (notgeld coins) were used to address the wartime coin shortage.

  • Notmünze functioned as tokens, which were meant to be exchangeable at the war's end.

  • Some Notmünze used exotic materials, such as porcelain and compressed coal.


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