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Is this a novelty, or other? Funfhundert Mark

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I wouldn't call it a novelty or fantasy. It appears to be a Notgeld "emergency money" note from the german state of Pforzheim. They also issued notgeld coinage as well, I have a complete set of that. After the end of the first world war Germany was in a terrible economic state and many of the local states and municipailities issued emergency money between 1916 and 1922. I have some 1800+ pieces of notgeld municipal coinage from around 600 communities. I have never gotten into the notgeld paper money due to a lack of references and the huge number of varieties. The largest collection I have heard of contained over two hundred thousand different varieties. Estimates are that there are over three hundred thousand varieties known.

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Wow, thanks. I thought it looked like a "State" issued bill, which I thought was unusual or unheard of. I'm guessing this is the type of Mark that Germans used to wallpaper their houses with, because it had virtually no value...if this is even real.


I literally found this in the lawn in our complex. Any reason to keep it?

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No the notes they walpapered their houses with were the offical government issues from the 1922 to 24 era. Some of these notgeld issues were used as currency, but some communities found that they coul make a profit from them by printing various varieties, sets, series, and then selling them to collectors.


The official government issues on the other hand suffered from a period of runaway hyperinflation. And as the value of the mark fell the denominations of the note kept getting bigger and bigger and it took more an more of them to buy anything. There are stories such as the one where a woman was taking a wheelbarrow load of money to the store to buy food, suddenly there was a crash and the woman turned around to see what was going on. When she turned back around ....the money was on a pile on the ground, and the wheelbarrow was gone.


It got to the point where the workers at a factory would arrive at work in the morning and there would be a truck there with a load of papermoney on board. This was the pay for the day. The workers would collect their pay, and rather than go to work they would go to town to spend their pay. Because if they waited til lunchtime the money would have lost HALF its value.


A older man sold his printing factory for a million marks, put it in the bank and settled back to enjoy his retirement. Then the inflation hit. Several months later he gets a letter from the bank informing him that they are closing his account because it is too smal to deal with. Enclosed is a 500 million mark note because it's the smallerst thing they have. The stamp on the envelope is for five million marks.


As you can see when things like that are happening you quickly wind up with bushels of printed paper that aren't worth anything. They were worth more as paper than they were as money. The inflation notes were used for wallpaper, wrapping paper, even toilet paper.


A reason to keep it? It's a nice historical souvenir.

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Excellent explanation Conder.


A couple of interesting Notgeld notes from a collection I sold several years ago for a friend...




"A penny in the jar for the orphans of Lahr". Quite sad.


And a Bayer (aspirin) note...



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