Main About this site Contact Links PORTUGUÊS Help DISCLAIMER

More about banknotes and its history, value and conservation degrees...

Numismatic catalogs
Find and buy the best catalogs to organize your collection...

Virtual offer
Exchange or buy banknotes for your collection...



Notgeld: Emergency Money

Emergency money can be found everywhere, but in Germany and its zone of influence from the beginning of World War I, a large quantity of notes circulated and became very special because of their historic and cultural content.

Forefront and back side of a 75 Pfennig Notgeld issued in 1921
in the city of Kreuzburg in Upper Silesia (now Poland)

These notes were accepted as legal currency between 1914 and 1923. Society was in conflict during this time of insufficiency of payment means and lack of provision supply. Local governments, companies and other institutions issued their own notes - the Notgeld or emergency money. This category came from a unpleasant matter called Kriegsgeld (war money), which were used together with provisions control coupons.

The Notgeld was issued as a choice to overcome the scarcity of coin. Inicially, its samples were very simple and plain, but as time passed, and different possibilities of uses came to mind they became refined and more tasteful. Uncommon materials were also used, such as textiles (for example silk and linen), leather and wood.

50 pfennig Notgeld of Wittenberge

Notgeld can be classified chronologically for its use. It was used as change, Kleingeld or small change and was so interesting that a lot of collectors soon appeared. Their face value is usually in Pfennig and rarely is higher than that time unity of currency the Mark. Thereafter came Grossgeld or big money, which was issued with Reichsbank, the national money issuer, support due to the impossibility of enough issuing. Germany had at this point great internal conflicts, strikes and revolts and political crisis. Grossgeld was better finished and of higher print qualities, specially because of its higher value. Using a better quality grade made it possible to satisfy a lot of needs, publicity of cities of tourism, companies and credit institutions.

Higher quantities of money issues and confusion, caused by the payment of great amounts on war reparations brought the last kind of Notgeld the Inflationsgeld, or inflations money, thereafter the Mark became insignificant.

Prices increased uncontrollably in Germany - a piece of bread could be bought for five billions Mark. At the factory gates, workers imediatelly gave wages to their wives to prevent the money to lose its whole value until the end of the day. The Mark inflated to the point of being a thousand billions to its original value.

Notgeld's history ceased in 1923, and its quittance was finished in less then one year thereafter.

Left back of a Notgeld of 50 Pfennig from Dingolfing (Bavaria) and above a note of 50 Pfennig from Wittenberge (Brandenburg), both showing architectural designs.
At right Notgeld forefront from Vojens (Schleswig), which was in a territory in conflict with Denmark in the first decade of the 20th century and a part of it remained to Germany, after a plebiscite. was created and organized by Régis Giampersa.
All rights reserved, São Paulo, Brazil, since 1999