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» Economics » Currency » Topics begins with G » German currency history

Page modified: Wednesday, July 13, 2011 03:55:01

German currency history since the establishment of realm (1871) was coined/shaped by a set of currency reforms. The highlights were the introduction of the Marks of 1873, the hyperinflation 1923, the following currency reform on pension Mark (late realm Mark), the separation in west and ostmark after the Second World War, the monetary union 1990 and the introduction of the euro 1999/2002.

Mark (1873-1923)

Major item: Goldmark

On 9 July 1873 the Mark replaced the currencies of the individual countries as the first all-German currency. That happened in the course of the standardization in again-created German realm. Another name for this currency is Goldmark, Mark was however the official designation. One finds it also on coins and notes of this time. The system in Germany was uniform for the small coins under the course coins (thus for 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 25 and 50 Pfennig as well as 1/2 and 1 Mark). They showed the nominal (nominal value) on a side and on the other side the realm eagle. With the large nominal ones (2, 5, 10 and 20 Marks) the system functioned as that of the Euros: Uniform front (realm eagle + nominal) and nationaltypical back. To 1918 all partial states of Germany had the right of coining money. For the circulation the following states coined/shaped: Prussia (mintmark A, B and C), Bavaria (D), Saxonia (E), (F), bathing (G), Hessen darmstadt (H) and Hamburg (J). Other small states gave only intending coins for specific occasions out (e.g. birthday or government anniversary of the ruler). Starting from 1916 slowly inflation began. Coins were coined/shaped now made of unedlen metals (iron, zinc, aluminum). The inflation increased until 1923 inexorably, so that the old Mark was completely cancelled. One had to replace it by a new currency. The Mark was set on 15 November 1923 except course.

Pension Mark (1923-1924)

Major item: Pension Mark

The pension Mark replaced the Marks in the relationship 1:1 Billon after the hyperinflation of 1923. It was meant only as temporary solution. It was called pension Mark, because it was covered with the pensions. Later it was slowly again also covered gold - as at that time usual. The pension Mark was replaced on 30 August 1924 by the realm Marks.

Realm Mark (1924-1948)

Major item: Realm Mark

When the gold reserves were enough 1924 again, in order to cover thereby a currency, the temporary solution "pension Mark" was replaced by the realm Marks. That happened on 30 August 1924. Conversion was 1:1, it concerned actually only a change of name. The realm Mark had remained quite stable up to the world economic crisis 1929. To finance during the Nazi period much uncovered money spent around the costs of war and other Nazi projects. Thus it came to inflation, which the citizens did not get to feel however due to the national price adjustment. The realm Mark had become worthless however already 1943 on the international foreign exchange market. It was replaced in the west zones and the three west sectors of Berlin starting from 20 June 1948 by the German Marks. (As issuing bank the "bank of German countries" functioned, of the later "German Federal Bank".) Different rates of exchange applied to different money. Each citizen was allowed to 1000 RM in the course 10:1 conversions. On 23 June 1948 there was a currency reform also in the east zone. Exchange relationship was 10:1 here likewise.

German Mark (1948-2001)

Major item: German Marks

The west zones accomplished a currency reform on 20 June 1948. The realm Mark was replaced in the relationship 10:1 of the German Mark. It was always quite stable and up to beginning of the 70's-years in gold covered. 1975 disappeared then the "silver eagles" from the purses, since the rate of silver had strongly risen. They were coined/shaped from now on in nickel. 1975 ended thus in Germany the phase of the silver money. There were not gold coins already since 1918 no more.

Currencies of the GDR (1948-1990)

Major item: Mark of the GDR

On 23 June 1948 in the Soviet zone of occupation a currency reform was accomplished. The realm Mark in the relationship 10:1 was replaced by the German Marks of the German issuing bank. 1964 took place then a renaming of the currency in Marks of the German issuing bank (MDN). On 14 September 1974 the MDN in Marks of the GDR was renamed. The abbreviation read M. the coins of the GDR in aluminum was coined/shaped, only the of the yearly 1950 and the piece of 20-Pfennig starting from 1969 in brass coined/shaped. There were coins to 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 Pfennig as well as to 1 and 2 Mark. In addition 5, 10 was spent - and 20-Mark intending coins. It published in tombac, german silver and in small editions also in silver, sample coinages also in Gold.Am 1 July 1990 was replaced the Marks of the GDR by the German Marks.

Euro (since 1999)

Major item: Euro

The euro was introduced into Germany on 1 January 1999 and was starting from 1 January 2002 in the circulation. It was exchanged in the relationship 1:1,95583 DM.

Issuing banks

until 1945

  • 1. January 1876 establishment of the German realm Reich
  • 1924 independence of the German realm Reich from political decisions
  • 1939 nationalization of the German realm Reich

1945-1990 in West Germany

  • 1. March 1948 establishment of the bank of German countries in Frankfurt/Main as successors of the German realm Reich
  • 1951 independence of the bank of German countries from the instructions of the allied ones
  • 26. July 1957 establishment of the German Federal Bank as successors of the bank of German countries, the before independent national central banks and the citizen of Berlin central bank

1945-1990 in East Germany

  • February 1947 establishment of ever an emission and a clearing bank in the five countries of the Soviet zone of occupation as successors of the German realm Reich
  • May 1948 establishment of the German emission and clearing bank as center of the five emission and clearing banks of the countries
  • 20 July 1948 renaming the German emission and clearing bank into German issuing bank
  • March 1950 integration of the five emission and clearing banks of the countries into the German issuing bank
  • 1. January 1968 renaming the German issuing bank in state bank 9 of the GDR

starting from 1990 in all-German country

  • 1. July 1990 the German Federal Bank becomes by the currency, economic and social union between the Federal Republic of Germany and the GDR responsible issuing bank for the GDR. The state bank 9 of the GDR is dissolved.
  • 1. June 1998 establishment of the European central bank (EZB) in Frankfurt/Main as successors of the European institute for currency (EWI)

See also

  • German money
  • German coins
  • Pfennig
  • German inflation 1914 to 1923

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