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Coins Of The Great War: 5 Pfennig (Imperial Germany, 1918)-Article

Updated: Jan 2, 2022

This Great War-era (1914-1918) coin represents the 1st 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 1915-1922, spanning the late war and the early Weimar era. The coin is a reeded-edged design made of iron and weighs 2.5 g. Its dimensions are 21 mm (0.748 in) wide and 1.5 mm (0.059 in) thick. Making it slightly smaller 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 "5" at its center. This number 5 simply represents the coin's 5 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.

Notably the 5 Pfennig reverse is very similar the 10 Pfennig (1917-1922). Although differs slightly, due to the later lacking mint marks. This coin features a pair of "A"s located below the eagle's tail. The letter "A" identifies the coin as a Berlin-minted coin.


Additional Notes

  • The 5 Pfennig was produced by the Berlin (A), Munich (D), Muldenhütten (E), Stuttgart (F), Karlsruhe (G), and Hamburg (J) mints.

  • The Zinc-clad variant of the 10 Pfennig (1916-1922) features mint marks, although with a modified reverse.

  • Some Notmünze (notgeld coins) used exotic materials, such as porcelain and compressed coal.

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