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German Gold Coins

Brief German History

Although the word German was used by the Romans relating to a tribe in that area, the area known now as Germany has evolved over a long period of time into its modern form. The Holy Roman Empire was split into three parts by Charlemagne at the Treaty of Verdun in 843 AD, each of his three sons getting one part. Louis the German received the eastern part corresponding roughly to modern Germany, although nominally still subject to his brother Lothair I who received the Low Countries and retained the Imperial title.

German States
For many centuries Germany was in actuality a large number of states, some large, others small, and power rested mainly with the lords of each state. The Hapsburgs attempted to unify Germany ending in the thirty years war 1618 - 1648, which devastated the German economy, and heightened the localisation of power. At this point it is estimated that there were as many as 1,800 separate states some with a population as few as 300 people. Otto von Bismarck was instrumental in unifying most of these states into a modern nation. On April 14th 1871, the king of Prussia, the largest and most powerful state become emperor William I . According to Krause, the new nation consisted of 4 kingdoms, 6 grand duchies and principalities, 3 free cities, and the province of Alsace-Lorraine.

The Mark

Although Bismarck created a central bank, a unified legal system, and a common currency, individual states were still entitled to issue gold and silver coins with denominations over 1 mark, and the smaller currency units were issued by the empire. The mark had long been a unit of account in much of Europe being equivalent to two thirds of a pound. Before unification German states issued gold coins using many different standards including ducats, goldgulden, carolins, gulden, thalers, krone, maximilians (d'or), fredericks, friederichs, wilhelms, pistoles, pistolens, franks (franken), karolins, with multiples and fractions. Even though there is such a variety of denominations, only about 40 of the states ever issued gold coins, many of them using coins of a neighboring state. Since 1871, the standard gold coins has been 20 marks, although 10 marks and 5 mark coins were also produced, but in smaller quantities. The most prolific state for issuing coins was Prussia, as the largest, wealthiest and most influential, so that the most commonly encountered German gold coins are the 20 mark pieces of Prussia. These were issued from 1871 to 1915.

Gold Coins Since 1915

With the exception of patterns, medals and proofs intended primarily for collectors, no gold coins have been issued by Germany since 1915. None at all were issued for the Third Reich (1933 - 1945).

Technical Specifications

DenominationDiameterWeightFinenessGold Content
20 Marks22.57.9650.900.2304
10 Marks19.53.9820.900.1152
5 Marks161.9910.900.0576

Description of 20 Marks

Krause Number 521
Type issued from 1890 to 1913 inclusive.

Obverse

Bare head of King Wilhelm II facing right.
WILLHELM II DEUTSCHER KAISER KÖNIG V PREUSSEN

Reverse

Crowned arms of Germany, a spread eagle.
DEUTSCHES REICH (Date)
20 MARK

Edge

The edge has incuse cinquefoils and leaves with the incuse lettering:-
GOTT MIT UNS

Our Choice 20 Mark - Bullion

Quantity Premium % Surcharge Rate Buy
1 10.00 £0.00 £194.00 Click here to add this item to your cart
10 8.00 £0.00 £191.00 Click here to add this item to your cart
25 7.00 £0.00 £189.00 Click here to add this item to your cart
50 6.00 £0.00 £187.00 Click here to add this item to your cart
100 5.00 £0.00 £186.00 Click here to add this item to your cart
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Our Choice 20 Mark - Selected

Quantity Premium % Surcharge Rate Buy
1 20.00 £0.00 £212.00 Click here to add this item to your cart
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Prussian Gold Coins

Prices & Availability

Please contact us prior to ordering for current prices and availability.
Date   DenominationDenominationGradeMintageAvailabilityPrice £Price $
1872 A20 MarksKM 501. Head of Wilhelm Igood VF7,717,000Ask£250$400
1883 A20 MarksKM 505. Head of Wilhelm Igood VF4,283,000Ask£250$400
1888 A20 MarksKM 505. Head of Wilhelm Ialmost EF5,364,000Ask£270$430
1888 A20 MarksKM 515. Head of Friedrich IIIgood VF5,364,000Ask£250$430
1894 A20 MarksKM 521. Head of Wilhelm IIgood VF Yes£250$400
1895 A20 MarksKM 521. Head of Wilhelm IIgood VF Yes£250$400
1897 A20 MarksKM 521. Head of Wilhelm IIEF Ask£280$445
1898 A20 MarksKM 521. Head of Wilhelm IIgood VF Yes£250$400
1902 A20 MarksKM 521. Head of Wilhelm IIabout EF Yes£270$430
1908 A20 MarksKM 521. Head of Wilhelm IIabout EF Yes£270$430
1910 A20 MarksKM 521. Head of Wilhelm IIabout EF Yes£270$430
1912 A20 MarksKM 521. Head of Wilhelm IIabout EF Yes£270$430
1913 A20 MarksKM 521. Head of Wilhelm IIabout EF Ask£270$430
1913 A20 MarksKM 537. Bust of Wilhelm IIabout EF Yes£270$430
1914 A20 MarksKM 537. Bust of Wilhelm IIabout EF Ask£270$430
1915 A20 MarksKM 537. Bust of Wilhelm IIabout EF Ask£270$430

German Mints

This list is for the modern Federal Republic of Germany. For older mint letters, please refer to our German States page.
MintmarkCityState
ABerlinBerlin
DMunichBavaria
FStuttgartBaden-Württemberg
GKarlsruheBaden-Württemberg
JHamburgHamburg

Postage & Packing

UK Registered Post (Special Delivery) £9 per order
EU Insured Post £10 per order
USA Airmail $10 per order
USA Insured Shipping $20 per order

German States - Bavaria
German States - Hamburg

Last Deutsche Mark - 2001
First Gold Euros of Germany 2002

2003 €100 Gold Proof Quedlinberg Abbey
2004 €100 Gold Proof City of Bamberg

Coins Wanted
We make an active market in almost all world coins, gold or otherwise, including German gold coins. If you have any of these coins to sell, please contact us, or post them to us for appraisal and offer.

Head of Wilhelm I on Obverse of 1872 German 20 Marks

Head of Wilhelm I on Obverse of 1872 German 20 Marks

Countries Index

Reverse of 1872 German 20 Marks

Reverse of 1872 German 20 Marks

Bust of Wilhelm II on Obverse of 1913 German 20 Marks

Bust of Wilhelm II on Obverse of 1913 German 20 Marks

Bamberg Reverse of 2004 German 100 Euros

Bamberg Reverse of 2004 German 100 Euros

 


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