Updated: Apr 4, 2022
This Imperial German coin represents the 4th denomination coin of the pre-WWI Goldmark (1871-1914). Notably prior to WWI (1914-1918) Imperial Germany issued gold-backed currency. Coins of this type were minted from 1890-1916. They were replaced by a similar zinc variant, issued during the mid-war (1916-1918) debasement.
The coin is a smooth-edged design made of a copper-nickel alloy and weighs 4 g. Its dimensions are 21 mm (0.83 in) wide and 1.35 mm (0.053) in thick. Making it slightly larger in size than a US Penny (19.05/0.75 in), in that respect.
The reverse depicts the Reichsadler, the symbol of Imperial Germany. Notably the coin uses a small shield design, this style is known as a Type II. This design was copied by the later zinc variants issued, after the mid-war debasement.
Unlike some later coins issued during WWI, this coin utilizing mintmarks. These mint marks are represented by a pair of letter "A"s, located below the eagle's tail. This letter "A" identifies the coin as a Berlin-minted coin.
The inner rim features a decorative "corded" pattern.
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 supported by the lower portion of the coin's wrap-around text. The upper section reads "DEUTSCHES REICH 1900" (German Empire). Listing the coin's issuing nation and mint year.
A pair of dimples separates the upper and lower portions of the wrap-around text.
The 10 Pfennig was produced by the Berlin (A), Munich (D), Muldenhütten (E), Stuttgart (F), Karlsruhe (G), and Hamburg (J) mints.
The "Small Shield" 10 Pfennig was precede by the "Large Shield" variant, minted from 1873-1989.
During the outbreak of WWI, there was mass hording of gold and silver, this lead to precious metal coins becoming discontinued.
The second (mid-war) debasement eliminated copper and nickel coinage, to conserve strategic metals for the war effort.