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» Economics » Historical currency » Topics begins with G » Goldmark

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The Goldmark was the currency of the German empire from 1871 to 1918. Strictly speaking the gold coins were meant and in the broader sense the entire currency. The currency was called officially Mark (Abk.: M or Mk). The expression "Goldmark" developed only after 1914 for distinction opposite the paper Mark cancelled by inflation. The Mark was a gold-covered currency, i.e., the worth-largest coins possessed a worth in precious metal, were thus golden The highest 20 and 10 Marks was coined/shaped accordingly also in gold. Temporarily it also a golden gave.

The gold content oriented itself thereby at around 1871 the existing gold silver value relationship of 1: 15,5. Afterwards the golden piece of 10-Mark corresponded exactly to 3 1/3 silver tariff Vereinstalern in the 30-Taler-Fuss, which it meant that 30 Taler = corresponded a tariff Pound to A 500g fine silver. With the introduction of the new realm currency

1 Mark = 100 Pfennig

the transition from the silver was carried out at the same time to the worth-more stable gold standard.

55,5555g fine silver (= 3 1/3 Taler): 3,5842g Feingold (= 10 Marks) = 15,5: 1

In Finland by the way 1 Markka = for 100 applied it was gold-covered and in its gold coins of 10 and 20 Markka adapted to latin likewise and corresponded thereby to a French franc and/or 1/4 (gold) rouble since already 1864.

Due to the confidence into the "secured" gold reserve of the currencies of the prominent industrialized countries there was to a large extent firm of currency rates of exchange around 1871 to 1914 with the physical exchange of the weight-related adequate gold coins, which were based to each other on the respective legal gold parity. The confidence into the gold reserve was passed also to the notes and current accounts of prominent trading firms and industrial enterprise of the main industrialized countries in the commercial trade with one another. One could speak at that time already nearly of a uniform (gold) world currency; Examples:

1 Franconia, Lira, Drachme, Lew, Leu, peseta, Markka that latin. and associated countries = 0.81 M

1 Pound of Sterling (Sovereign) = 20.43 M

1 Austrian crown = 0.85 M

5 (gold) roubles = 20 Franconias = 16.20 M

1 US Dollar = 4.19 M

1 Danish, Norwegian, Swedish crown = 1.125 M

1 Netherlands gulden = 1.688 M

Ammerkung to the rate of exchange between the different currencies:

With the physical exchange of the fractional coins and notes as solvently estimated countries, as e.g. Spain, Bulgaria, Russia as and late Greece was not there however compared with the gold coins of these countries small to middle course anticipated payments - apart from the additional change fee -; one then e.g. spoke either of the gold rouble or of the course-inferior paper and/or silver rouble. If larger deposits were made by foreign gold coins in Germany with the realm bank, there were different fixed gold buying up prices for each currency for each and additionally the nominal amount was still reweighed if necessary and the nominal course, which was based on the theoretical gold parity, was devalued downward, which was then justified with the wear of the gold coins. Currencies of countries with pure paper or silver standard were subject to that market prices to the gold standard countries.


In the negotiations to the Dresden in July 1838 made the suggestion for Saxonia to make the third part of the Saxonian Talers 10 new groschens = 100 new Pfennig the new association coin. That was rejected however from the other valley he and gulden countries, so that it came only to the resolution that 2 Taler in the Prussian 14-Talerfuss = South German versus-here-end 3 1/2 gulden in to 24 the 1/2 gulden foot as common association coin "states" apply should. This association coin to "2 Taler = 3 1/2 gulden" was valid in each country - independently who the respective emitter of the association coin was. This was passed into consequence in the practical monetary transaction also to the simple valley he and gulden coins, although this specially than "association coin" in the were not marked. It was difficult only with the different Pfennig, cruiser and groschen change in the respective other state-specific conversion, as well as with partial still valid older regional fractional coins. However (rough) of the valley he and gulden coins came in the adjacent customs union countries starting from 1840 to a slow mixing. There was so a strange thing, where in the principality Schwarzburg Rudolstadt rotated and in the duchy Saxonia Coburg Gotha the valley he and gulden association currency under a regent originally at the same time - although in different regions -! After the Viennese of 1857 was coined/shaped officially the Prussian Taler also in the gulden countries (including Austria and Liechtenstein) and the step to the "largeGerman" had then been created already nearly"…, if it had not given the Prussian-Austrian war of 1866"…!

See also customs union.

On the German commercial day a memorandum of Adolf Soetbeer demanded 1869 that "a uniform German, decimaldivided currency in Marks and Pfennig" was to be created as ratio of a "national gold coin" and this should join the "Latin Meters, gram and litres had been already taken over by France in principle. The French-German war of 1870/71 prevented however later.


The Marks in gold as 20 - and piece of 10-Mark was brought to gulden, cruiser, etc. a silver Vereinstaler with the German monetary law from 9 July 1873 in circulation, as replacement for those altogether to eight national currencies with 119 different species of money such as Taler, corresponded, like already called, exactly 3 Mark. With exception to 1907 valid simple Talers, the Mark was in gold starting from 1 January 1876 only legal tender. There were first coinages of gold coins already starting from 1871 with the Prussian expenditure for 20-Mark. In addition gold from the French reparations of the French-German war was used of 1870/1871. The realm notes became only starting from 01.Januar 1910 legal tenders, i.e. "provide" with "unlimited debt-liberating acceptance obligation" like gold coins. Thus theoretically nobody needed before to accept this paper money. A limited acceptance obligation consisted however since 1871 with the silver fractional coins up to the amount of 20 Marks and the Pfennig coins of copper and/or cupro-nickel alloy up to 1 Mark. For the Detailhandel this no practical meaning had and also never in such a way was certainly practiced. Interestingly enough to 1907 circulating silver Vereinstaler after the encyclopedia of Brockhaus from the year 1906 (with unlimited acceptance obligation) were still called, although their internal - compared with 1871 - strongly pleased silver value proved it already long than "fractional coins". The internal silver metal value of the Taler was in the meantime from once 3 Mark in the year 1871 with a gold/silver value relationship around 1905 of approximately 1: 34 to 1,37 Marks more than halved. The official entry into force of the new realm currency (Mark and Pfennig) were specified according to imperial regulation from 22 September 1875 on 1 January 1876. To partly 1878 however still parallel a multiplicity of older national coins circulated to too officially specified courses, e.g. to the new Mark. 1/6 Taler Saxonian 50 Saxonian new Pfennig) = 50 new (realm) Pfennig or the simple (Association) gulden, which applied for 1.71 M and was to 31.12.1875 in the circulation. Successively starting from 1873 in different realm laws was then announced to set all former national coins as well as the French currency into the realm landing "Elsass Lorraine" except course. Starting from in the middle of 1876 the new realm currency had been implemented practically except for few exceptions everywhere in Germany. Only the specified already in the 30-Talerfuss and the older remained remaining in the 14-Talerfuss including in free coinage to back to the year 1750 (!) as silver In the definitions of the realm bank there are over the fact instructions that the different Talersorten is in own in each case coined money roles in windings. Interestingly enough also the Austrian was in the 30-Talerfuss of the years 1857"… 67 to 1900 valid as in Germany. As Bavarian characteristic the old (1/8 cruiser) from the former (association) gulden currency remained valid to the value of 1/2 Pfennig of new realm currency because of the beer-expensively still some time over 1878 in Bavaria!

A fundamental financial goal of the new empire was it from the outset, the gold money inland if possible in the own to hold national cashes and/or realm bank cashes and to thus prevent the discharge into private accumulating capital or abroad. In addition the covering regulations specified a certain gold reserve for the notes. A transition to a pure gold core currency, which would have thus none for everyone more visible gold coin circulation more, would have been harmful for the international Reputation of the Marks at the time at that time.

Articles in category "Goldmark"

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» German Marks
» Goldmark
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» Gulden

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