Gold German Coins

Gold German coins vary widely in their marking, size, and shape. The markings and stamps bear witness to cultural and historical differences to the time periods that they display. The German coins are small pieces of history that tell the story of time and history of Germany itself.

How are German coins organized and selected?

A German gold coin can be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Time Period/Date - Select a German coin based on the desired time period. If a collector wants a Pfennig, the German word for a penny, then it would be important to know that from 1933-1948 there were no Pfennigs minted.
  • Circulation - There are two main types: circulated and uncirculated. A circulated coin means that it has been used as currency in the marketplace. An uncirculated coin has not been used and was kept outside of the market after it was minted.
  • Grade - This is closely aligned with whether a coin has been circulated or not. Official Coin grading agencies can signify the grade of a coin based on specific grading standards.
  • Certification - Coins can either be uncertified or certified by NGC or PCGS. The PCGS is notable in the grading standard that focuses on circulation. AU-58 and AU-53 are both grades that stand for "almost uncirculated" and given a grade based on quality and appearance.
What are the main types of German gold coins?
  • German Empire Coins (1871 to 1918) - These German coins were specific to Imperial Germany and were minted up to the end of WWI in 1918. The main coins worth noting were the Wilhelm I and Wilhelm II. The coins were stamped with either a small shield or a large shield.
  • Weimar Coins (1919 to 1933) - This includes coins from the end of WWI up to the beginning of the Third Reich. This time period also had mostly Wilhelm I and II Pfennigs in circulation. The additional feature was a beaded border added around the German coins from the end of WWI to 1922.
  • Third Reich Coins (1933 to 1945) - These were specifically German-minted coins during the time of the Nazi party in Germany. A notable coin was the Reichsmark, which entered circulation once the Nazi party seized control of Germany.
  • East Germany Coins (1949 to 1990) - After WWII, The mark used by the Third Reich and the German Pfennig, in general, were taken out of circulation. The German Mark was the centralized currency under the code DDM in all of the German states.
  • West and Unified Germany Coins (1949 to Present) - The Deutsche Mark was first issued in 1949 and became obsolete in 2002 with the Euro becoming the main currency. The coins were marked with Bundesrepublik Deutschland, which replaced the German Third Reichsmark. These coins were used in all 16 unified states in Germany.
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