*What is notgeld?

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At the beginning of the war, 1914, the notgeld issues were drab and bland, with many issues having been signed and counter signed by hand. Some early notes in my collection have 3 hand written signatures on them. In 1921, when the phenomenom was at it's height, thousands upon thousands of 'sets' were being produced.....to meet the demand from the collectors and not to meet the shortage of small change, the original purpose of notgeld issues.



Above scan shows a set of 3 typical 'serienscheine' pieces, issued by the town of Blumenthal - (Lm.117). Below is a much scarcer set of 3 issued in Lage - (Lm.737)



In 1923, notgeld became affected by the 'runaway'or hyper-inflation that had hit the German economy and so inflationary notgeld began to emerge. Notgeld were issued with face values of billions of marks (1 billion was 1,000,000,000,000)!!!

Notgeld was usually only valid in its own town, or local area, ........as stated on the following verkehrsausgaben notgeld issue from Herzberg. It states:

'Nur gultig im Stadtbezirk Herzberg'......'Only valid in the town district of Herzberg'



But......... notes were excepted in other places as well, especially at the time of the high inflation. Sometimes notes travelled through the whole German Reich (empire), more than 600 miles.



If a German banknote has the word Reichsbanknote (or Darlehnskassenschein) on it, then it has been issued by the state. This would be rather like an English banknote having been issued by the Bank of England. If it is a 'Reichsbanknote' or 'Darlehnskassenschein' then it is not a piece of notgeld ('local issues' - notes issued by towns and villages etc.etc.) Most notgeld will have the name of a town on it. Some will say something like this; Gutschein der Stadt.........Gutschein der Gemeinde......... Gutschein translates as 'voucher'.

(Darlehnskassenschein translates as a State Loan Currency Note. They went into circulation right at the start of WWI and were technically not actually banknotes (i.e not issued by the Reichsbank or any other bank....... but by the Reich Debt Adminstration; and not backed by gold or any other standard, but - technically - by the state's industrial and land holdings).  The law which brought them into existence obliged banks and other financial institutions to accept them in payment at face value.  I presume that as they weren't technically currency, their proliferation should theoretically not have affected the value of the mark as a currency.  The fact that they clearly did shows that what's good in theory is not necessarily going to work out well in practice. In some cases though, these Darlehnskassenschein notes were actually issued by specific towns..............but generally see them as similar to Reichsbanknotes, issued by the State...............and therefore NOT notgeld issues).





I am sorry that I am unable to answer any queries relating to any of the following..... 'normal' (not overprinted) Reichsbanknotes/Darlehnskasenschein and/or coins!

The overprinted propaganda Reichsbanknotes have become an off-spin interest for me, so I welcome emails about those!

If you join my GNCC, there are topics for all types of notgeld, which other notgeld collectors will hopefully share in your interests. Me......just interested in paper issues of Germany between 1914-1923, with an original face value of 1000m or below. Every collector will have their own boundaries of what they collect. There are no rules with collecting. Collect what you like and how you like!! ENJOY THE NOTGELD COLLECTING HOBBY!!!