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Rentenmarks, Mortgaging A Country's Future: 1 Rentenmark (Deutsche Reich, 1937)-Article

Updated: Nov 17, 2021

This Deutsches Reich-era banknote represents the 1st denomination, of the 1937 issued Rentenmark. The Rentenmark was first issued on the 15th November 1923. Replacing the previous Papiermark and loan-based Darlehenskassenscheine special currency. It was backed by private mortgages on industrial, agricultural, and business properties.

The Rentenmark served as legal tender, alongside the Reichsmark (introduced in 1924). Until shortly after the creation of East and West Germany, in 1948. The East and West German Mark were introduced on 24 July 1948 and 20 June 1948, respectively. (Note: This Rentenmark was issued during the National Socialist era. Although its design remains similar to notes issued during the Weimar era.)


The observe's header translates to "Mortgage Banknote", referencing its issue by the German Mortgage Bank. The observe's center text lists the the note's "One Mark" value, with additional sub-text below. This subtext lists this as being issued on the 30 Jan 1937, in Berlin. Under the ordinance of 15 October 1923. Unfortunately the signatures below, currently can't be interpreted.

The observe's underprint is off-set to the left and is particularly ornate. Featuring elaborate guilloché throughout it's surface, including floral and embroidery inspired patterns. At the center a large stylized number "1" can be faintly recognized. To the underprint's left are two floral guilloché. The larger guilloché is overprinted by the word "Eine" (one), while the smaller features a stylized number "1". To underprint's far right are 2 additional number "1", located on the upper and lower corners.

The note's far right is mostly unprinted, with a single stylized number "1", on the upper corner. At the lower right corner is an indentation stamp. Featuring the "German Mortgage Bank" logo, a tied bundle of harvested wheat. Its text reads, "German Mortgage Bank Note", arranged in a circler pattern.

Notably some Rentenmarks will feature a blue stamp, with the date 1948. These notes are East German Rentenmark. Which served as a stop-gap prior to the introduction of the East German Mark. The stamp is placed between the number "1" and the beforementioned indentation stamp.


"Mortgage Banknote"
One Mortgage Mark
"Issued on the basis of the ordinance of 15 October 1923 (R:BLI5.963)
Berlin, 30 January 1937
German Mortgage Bank
-Primary Text-
German Mortgage Bank
-Stamp Text-


The reverse's header translates to "German Mortgage Bank". The note's footer lists its "One Mortgage Mark" value. To left is vertically orientated subtext, outlining a list of legal warnings. Threating no less than 2 years imprisonment, for either creating, obtaining, and/or distributing falsified/counterfeit versions of this note.

The reverse's underprint is off-set to the right and is particularly ornate. Featuring elaborate guilloché throughout it's surface, including floral and embroidery inspired patterns. At the center are overlapping floral guilloché patterns, which split into 2 open frames. The left frame feature a tied bundle of wheat, representing the German Mortgage Bank. The right frame features a stylized number "1", with the text "Renten Mark".

There are additional number "1"s located on each corner of the reverse's underprint. To the note's lower left is an additional stylized number "1", with the text "Rentenmark" beneath. This number one aligns with the indentation stamp located on the observe.


German Mortgage Bank
One Mortgage Mark
-Primary Text-
“Whoever falsifies or counterfeits banknotes, or procures falsified or counterfeit banknotes, and bring them into circulation, will be imprisoned for no less than two years.”
-Secondary Text-

Size Comparison

A 1 Rentenmark note with US Dollar for scale.
A 1 Rentenmark note with US Dollar for scale.

Additional Notes

  • The note's dimensions are 121 x 64 mm or 4.76 x 2.52 in, smaller than a US Dollar.

  • The note's text is printed in a type of Gothic script, known as Fraktur/Blackletter.

  • Fraktur script can be difficult to read for some people, due to its stylized letters.

  • This article's example note is notably yellowed, this is not due to accidental staining.

  • The note's yellowing is due to the note's ink slowly decaying, over the past 8 decades.

  • This effect seems to be universal to Rentenmarks of this denomination.

  • Stamped (post-war) Rentenmark are harder to find on the collector's market.

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