Category: History

Nazi Coins Info

The Third Reich started issuing clearly identifiable “Nazi” coins (ie with swastika) from 1936. Although the Nazi’s were in power from 1933, with Adolf Hitler as the party leader.

The Third Reich minted a range of coins of different designs through their 7 mint factories. As a general rule, the less coins minted by a particular mint factory, then the harder it would be to find these coins and thus the greater their potential value on today’s market. 1936 was a particularly good year for most denomination coins, particular the smaller Reichspfennig coins. In May 1945, the Nazi regime came to a grinding halt along with its captured or destroyed mint factories. Hitler either escaped or was killed, his fake sucide and skull, held by the russians has since been proven to be that of a woman.

Above 1 Reichspfennig in copper, 2 Reichspfennig in copper, 5 Reichspfennig in copper/Alum. Alloy
10 Reichspfennig in copper/Alum. Alloy, 50 Reichspfennig in aluminum, 2 Reichsmark in 62.5% silver,5 Reichsmark in 90 % silver

Adolf Hitler did not feature on any official Third Reich coins. Instead, it was the Reich president Von Hindenburg who was commemorated on Nazi Germany’s coins both before his death and after. One might well question however why the 1935-1936 Nazi 5 Mark silver coin featuring  the bust of Hindenburg, did not incorporate two small swastikas on either side of  the Reichsadler. After all, the earlier 1934-1935 Nazi 5 Mark silver coin featuring the  Potsdam Church (Postdam Kirche) incorporated the use of the swastika.

The 3rd Reich had a number of mints (coin factories). Each mint location had its own identifiable letter. It  is therefore possible to identify exactly which mint produced what coin by noting the mint mark on the coin. Not all mints were authorized to produce coins every year. The mints were also only authorized to produce a set number of coins with some mints allocated a greater production than others. Some of the coins with particular mint marks are therefore scarcer than others. With the silver 2 and 5 Reichsmark coins, the mint mark is found under the date on the left side of the coin. On the smaller denomination Reichspfennig coins, the mint mark is found on the bottom center of the coin.

A = Berlin
B = Wien (Vienna)
D = München (Munich)
E = Muldenhütten (Dresden)
F = Stuttgart
G = Karlsruhe
J = Hamburg

10 Reichspfennig 1945 A

These are rarer varieties from the Third Reich. Military issues are tough to find especially ones minted outside Berlin. Most of general issued zinc coins are quite common except for the ones dated 1945. This one posted is minted in Berlin.

The Change to Decimal Coinage

Prior to ‘D-Day’ on 15th February 1971 the English coinage system was based on the following relationships:

  • 2 Farthings = 1 Halfpenny
  • 2 Halfpence = 1 Penny (1d)
  • 6 Pence = Sixpence (often referred to as a tanner) (6d)
  • 12 Pence = 1 Shilling (often referred to as bob, e.g. six bob) (1/-)
  • 2 shillings = 1 Florin (or two bob bit) (2/-)
  • 2 Shillings and 6 Pence = 1 Half Crown (rarely referred to as half a dollar) (2/6)
  • 5 shillings = 1 Crown (5/-)
  • 20 Shillings = 1 Pound (often referred to as a quid) (£1)

Other terms much more rarely used include

  • 4 Pence = 1 Groat (4d)
  • 13 Shillings and 4 Pence (160 pence) = 1 Mark (13/4)
  • 21 Shillings = 1 Guinea (£1/1/-)

Note the way sums of money were written: 6/8 means 6 shillings and eightpence, while £2/19/11 was two pounds nineteen shillings and eleven pence. The use of d for penny may seem odd until you realise it is short for the Latin denarius.

The term guinea was (and is) used for 21 shillings (£1.05), especially in horse racing and by auction houses, although no coin of that value has been issued since 1813.

The Mark was traditionally used as a standard fine by the University of Cambridge during my own time there in the early 1960’s.

In advance of D-day the halfpenny and half-crown were withdrawn, and 5 new pence and 10 new pence coins were issued from 1968 to circulate alongside the existing shilling and florin coins. A 50p coin appeared in 1969 to replace the old 10 shilling banknote. The farthing had gone long before, in 1961.

After D-day the penny and threepence coins rapidly disappeared from use. The sixpence continued in use as 2½ pence for about nine years. The new halfpenny went not long afterwards. However, the old shillings and florins continued alongside the 5p and 10p coins until a reduction in size in the early 1990’s resulted in their disappearance from circulation. The 50p coin was also reduced in size in 1997.

Three new coins have been introduced since decimalisation – the 20p appeared in 1982 followed by the pound coin in 1983 and the two pound coin in 1998 (although 1997 versions are frequently found in change). Commemorative two pound coins were issued irregularly from 1986, but these early coins differ from the circulating version first issued in 1998 in that the latter is much thinner and is also bimetallic.

Source Coins Of the UK website, URL:

The main difference between coin collecting before and after the Renaissance is the development of an active market. With the new wave of interest, demand for antique coins greatly exceeded the available supply. During the 15th and 16th centuries, ancient-coin collecting became the “hobby of kings,” and the list of collectors is a list of European nobility. At the same time, famous artists were employed by these patrons to create replicas of ancient coins and portrait or commemorative medals, which became collectible in their own right. The appetite of collectors fueled a cottage industry of agents and prompted a search of source lands for salable artifacts. As might be expected, the insatiable market created such demand that it also fostered the introduction of forgeries.

By the 17th century, the nature of collecting had shifted slowly toward serious research. As a result, very broad collections were formed, studied, and cataloged. Numismatics became an academic pursuit, and many important treatises were published during that period. The involvement of institutions and the rise of public collections in the 18th century led to sponsorship of academic study, which elevated numismatics to the stature of a science. Most important, the exchange of information and new discoveries was formalized through detailed and widely published treatises on the topic of coins and collecting. Many of the large private collections of noble families came under state control during this period, and the subsequent cataloging of these holdings added volumes to existing knowledge. This information was readily available to the general public, and coin collecting became a pursuit of middle-class merchants and members of the various professions who were growing in numbers as well as cultural sophistication. Collecting ancient coins is one of the few ways that the average person can own actual objects from antiquity, and this point was not lost on the growing collector base. Coins are remarkably accessible pieces of history


History of Euro Coins

In April 1996, The Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) met in Verona, Italy to decide on a standard of design specification for the future Euro coins. Unlike the Euro banknotes, which have only one design throughout the EMU, the Euro coins would have different national designs on one side and a common design on the other.

The national designs would be decided on a national level under the auspices of the country’s National Central Bank. Though the national sides were to be designed individually, they had to incorporate the following design elements:

  • A ring of the twelve EU stars
  • Presence of a clear sign of state

Along with these design elements, a set of standards were implemented to ensure an overall familiarity and common thread between the designs:

  • National designs of the Euro coins could not change before 1 January 2009 unless a change in depicted Head of State occurs
  • The common currency’s name can not be repeated unless the native language uses a separate alphabet
  • The denomination can not be repeated

The common design would be decided by ECOFIN through a series of design competitions. Each of the National Central Banks would contribute designs that met one of three design themes:

  • Architecture and decorative style
  • The aims and ideals of the European Union
  • European identity

Along with these design themes, a single standardisation was implemented:

  • Presence of the common currency’s name and denomination

By 13 March 1997, 36 designs were submitted. A group of independent experts in areas of art, coin minting and production, numismatics and design, chaired by the Secretary-General of the European Commission. After consulting with the directors of mints on the feasibility of manufacturing each of the submitted designs, 9 were selected to a short list by vote.

In April and May 1997, a public opinion poll was conducted in all EU countries. The survey would determine the new common face of the Euro coins.

Receiving 64% of the votes was the design submitted by Luc Luycx of the Royal Belgian Mint.