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Coins Of The Kaiserreich: 10 Pfennig (Imperial Germany, 1900)-Article

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.

Size Comparison

An Imperial German 10 Pfennig with US Penny for scale.
An Imperial German 10 Pfennig with US Penny for scale.

Additional Notes

  • 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.

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