Please be careful…….

This article is predominantly aimed at the notgeld issues,….. but I also include a couple of Reichsbanknotes  (State issues), in the bottom section, as well for reference.

The notgeld collectors’ and collecting sphere and arena, is on the whole, NOT awash with forgeries, so I do not want to alarm people here – rather inform them of the situation. Generally one doesn’t come across many forgeries at all – I would say in my experience of collecting over 46 years, 99% of notes are correct and true. Forgeries don’t seem to affect notgeld issues that much at all – the situation may get worse in the future though so if a note appears to be a new rare ‘find’, it probably isn’t!

Having said that, there are some known forgery pieces out there being sold on the open market and people need to be aware of that. Forgers and swindlers will, very unfortunately, always try and find a way to cut into the market. Hopefully more and more collectors are aware now of the modern made Bielefeld very shiny 100m piece….?? (I have written an article on that already, to enlighten people about that 1 specific moden/fake piece…..and I show it again, below). Don’t get this piece muddled up with the genuine pieces though! If you have any queries about your pieces, you can always contact me ,……. if you are one of my GNCC members of course.

I receive numerous emails from people saying that they are not convinced the notgeld pieces they have are genuine, ……..but that is usually…..and quite nievely in my opinion, based on the excellent condition of some of the notes. Collectors will know that the serienscheine pieces, for example, were designed to meet the demand from the collectors of the early 1920’s and not to actually go into circulation to ease the problem of not enough small change/money being available to use. They weren’t used (on the whole) and therefore most can still be found in excellent and unused condition.

In the past, I was sent these pieces, which on the whole, look quite convincing. Made from playing cards from the 1920’s era, they are purporting to be very rare spielkarton notgeld. (Collectors will be aware of some of these issues and the high market values they bring.) However, these pieces are FAKE!

The seller was ‘joheinz56’ (Mr. Thomas Zysik)…..but the problem he was causing has stopped as I believe he has now died.

It is horrible when it actually happens to you. There is of course the financial hurt it all causes but on top of that, you feel ripped off, cheated and stupid for doing it. Gain as much knowledge about notgeld that you can and have your people or reference points that you can chat to and check with. The more knowledge that is available out there, the better the collecting experience will be for all of us.

Here is another example of a note trying to be something that it isn’t :

Someone has applied the hole-punched ‘MUSTER’ stampmark onto the note, to get collectors to believe it is a specimen piece. I would trust it to be genuine if the serial was missing, but it isn’t…………..

This piece is a bit weird to say the least, but I only ever saw it once. In Tieste’s verkehrsausgaben catalogue(s) he states against this note (Gaansager 2100) : ‘Fraud issue, produced and offered by W. Steinberg in Hamburg in 1924’. I think this piece is a ‘Schwindelausgabe’ issue. It is already a known forgery type so why would someone make a new copy of it?? Weird!! The paper and printing are ‘horrible’.

Don’t forget though, these FAKE pieces shown above, are only 6 actual pieces….out of around 163,000 different notgeld issues!!! Other forgeries will and do exist though. Forgeries will be more likely based on scarcer and rare pieces for 2 reasons:

1- the collectors will probably not have seen the genuine rare piece so therefore can’t make any comparisons and will possibly be willing to pay a high price.

2 – the forger is in this to make money. For a piece that has a catalogue value of 1 euro, which is ‘common’ in notgeld terms, most collectors will already have the piece in their collection so the forger will be unable to sell his faked piece on a regular basis.

State issues I am aware of:

(a forgery / fake, but at least the actual banknote it is printed on is dating from the early 1920’s!)


(a modern fake – look at the awful running of the ink……………..and the removed swaztika)


(a modern inkjet forgery/fake. Look at the ‘dots’ that the overprint is made up of).


*Translations & specific info.

*Ruhrtaler pieces

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