Please be careful.......
This article is predominantly aimed at the notgeld issues,..... but I include a couple of Reichsbanknote.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.
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 emals 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 their 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 (9on the whole) and therefore most can still be found in excellent and unused condition.
I was recently 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' .....and he doesn't accept returns on any condition. PLEASE DO NOT BUY FROM HIM!!
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..............
Don't forget though, these FAKE pieces shown above, are ony 5 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 it 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).