Serial numbers

Serial numbers on German notgeld

There is no difference in value for a note with a lower serial number....unless it is number '1'. All collectors would like that! Serial numbers on notgeld are very varied. There are 2 types of numerators, so in the better catalogues it states Typ I or Typ II....don't get that bogged down in this too much but one way of telling is that the top of the seven is either slightly curved or straight. Some are a length of 3,4,5,6, and some have a leading zero. Again the Lindman serienscheine 'spezialcatalogue' notes the scarcer types. Serial numbers come in lots of different colours depending on the issue, but usually red and black. No general rule for red being scarcer than black, but for a certain set, that might be the case. If I have a piece with a red serial number and another piece comes in with a black serial number, I keep it. I don't go out of my way to look for serial number variants, but I check the pieces that come my way. Sometimes there are asterisks.....tiny, small, medium or large etc.....balancing on the bottom point....or....balancing on the bottom 2 points.

.......serial numbers......they are quite time consuming!

Here is a slight anomaly. All the 6 pieces in this complete set have a serial '7661 *'.......except note number 6, which has '007661 *', with the asterisk being larger and with 2 points on the bottom (rather than one like the other 5 notes). So its a 'true' complete set with matching serials. Why the difference though?? 'Mouseover' to see the reverse sides. Also, the more astute collectors will have noticed that 3 of the pieces have the black lining to the green coloured '75' and 3 of them don't. Very unusual here then this 'true set' catalogues under both Gr/Mehl-1292.2 & 1292.3



(The printing house that produced this Bad Suderode set of 6 notes, was a very small regional one. They didn´t have enough numbering devices / numerator machines of the same type, so they had to use one of another type for the last piece. That happened quite often :  - My thanks go to Kai Lindman for his explanation here!)


Get a note that doesn't have a serial number (where it should) and they average 15 euros a piece. These are 'error' pieces where they skipped the numerator machine when 2 pieces got stuck together momentarily. Some notgeld were issued without serial numbers and some were issued with serial numbers. You really need a good catalogue to tell you if you have found a piece that should have one, but doesn't. If a piece should have a serial number, but it is missing one, it DOES NOT make the piece a SPECIMEN / MUSTERSCHEINE!! is just missing a serial number!!

Noerenberg was an issuing place, that springs to mind regarding serial numbers........... with many, many variants in serial number styles. Some numbers are small font, some are larger font, some are on the front, some are on the reverse, some are with asterisk, some are without asterisk, some with 'No.' in front of the serial and some without the 'No.'., some with a series and some without............etc. etc.



The following 2 pieces, issed in Oebisfelde-Kaltendorf are amongst my lowest numbered pieces. Sets with either the same or consecutive numbers, I know as 'true' sets. Almost 99% of my notgeld sets DO NOT have the matching serial numbers - that seems to be the norm.


Oebisfelde Kaltendorf2



Here is something peculiar, a set of 4 pieces from Prien - but the scan shows 5 pieces - why do I have 2 similar 25pf pieces, each of which has a serial number '27345'!!.....when I also have a 25pf note with a different number?? All my 1m and 50pf pieces have different serial numbers and font colour for those is black rather than yellow.

I also have 2 10pf pieces each with the serial number '8598'


Prien strangenumber


In the catalogues, position of the serial numbers (if there are known differences/variants) are also noted, with most being in position right (rechts) or left (links), as in the examples below, issued in Treuenbreitzen. The pieces catalogue under Gr/Mehl-1339.1a (serial number on the right) or Gr/Mehl-1339.1b, if number is on the left. Only note 'D', the 4th piece from the set of 6 is a known variant. (I only show note 'E' & 'D' here):


The picture below shows a serial number way out of line............on first glance it looks like the note is 'without serial':