Author Topic: Pre-euro Coinage of the Federal Republic of Germany  (Read 766 times)

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Offline <k>

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Re: Pre-euro Coinage of the Federal Republic of Germany
« Reply #45 on: April 14, 2019, 10:27:47 PM »
And now a pause for comments. This leaves only the remaining 2 DM coins, I believe. Then there is the ERM, and reunification and the march towards the euro. Or is there more?

Offline chrisild

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Re: Pre-euro Coinage of the Federal Republic of Germany
« Reply #46 on: April 14, 2019, 10:29:18 PM »
the German coins were held virtually constant basically from 1948 to  the introduction of the euro

Let's put it this way: This country does not have crowned heads of state, so there has been no need to modify the designs accordingly. (In monarchies a new king/queen will often also mean entirely new coin designs.) Also, the economic situation has been fairly stable. Sure, in the early 1950s a 5 DM coin was something that most people could not simply put aside for a collection, but there was no rampant inflation either.

The Federal Republic of Germany kept making 1 Pfennig coins (worth half a cent) until 1996, and they stayed in circulation until early 2002. Silly? In a way, yes - the neighboring Netherlands showed that you can easily exist without such low value pieces. And yet it was some kind of statement: That Pfennig, introduced when this country came into existence, is still around now, more than 50 years later, unchanged as far as the look and the material are concerned.

Christian

Offline chrisild

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Re: Pre-euro Coinage of the Federal Republic of Germany
« Reply #47 on: April 14, 2019, 10:48:40 PM »




There were a few more 2 DM coins in that "statesmen" series; this is the complete list. The eagle side is the same for all pieces; it was designed by Reinhart Heinsdorff. The portrait sides were designed by various artists, see below.

Konrad Adenauer 1969-1987 (20 Years Fed.Rep.) - Design: Reinhart Heinsdorff
Theodor Heuss 1970-1987 (20 Years Fed.Rep.) - Design: Karl Ulrich Nuss
Kurt Schumacher 1979-1993 (30 Years Fed.Rep.) - Design: Hans-Joachim Dobler
Ludwig Erhard 1988-1996* (40 Years Deutsche Mark) - Design: Franz Müller
Franz Josef Strauß 1990-1996* (40 Years Fed.Rep.) - Design: Erich Ott
Willy Brandt 1994-1996* (45 Years Fed.Rep.) - Design: Hubert Klinkel

* These coins were also minted 1997-2001 but for sets only.

Now this 5 DM coin in Cu-Ni (or rather Magnimat), well, the designer made a fine piece in my opinion that the government then dumbed down. :) Wolfgang Doehm designed a piece where the raised rim follows the text around the big digit 5 - see the attached image. The rim around the eagle had a similarly "varying" width.

But at some point somebody decided that this rim would cause problems especially with vending machines. So it had to go, and Doehm was not happy with that decision.

Christian
« Last Edit: April 15, 2019, 02:31:48 AM by <k> »

Offline chrisild

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Re: Pre-euro Coinage of the Federal Republic of Germany
« Reply #48 on: April 14, 2019, 11:06:55 PM »
Curiously, the 5 DM coins co-circulated with the 5 DM banknote for many years.

Co-circulated ... hmm, the 5 DM banknote was not popular. But yes, it existed, and you could use it without any issues. :)  In the early 1980s the Bundesbank decided to issue a new banknote series, and the idea was to drop the 5 DM note and introduce a 200 DM note instead. After all, the volume of 5 DM notes was about 5 percent of the 5 DM coin volume only.

Well, some time in the late 80s the Bundesbank changed its mind, so that both the paper fiver and the 200er would be issued. The positive side effect: Only shortly afterwards "new money" for the five new states became necessary anyway ...

Christian

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Pre-euro Coinage of the Federal Republic of Germany
« Reply #49 on: April 15, 2019, 12:01:11 AM »
Otherwise, the 1970s were a time of unusually high inflation in the West, partly caused by the 1973 oil crisis. Yet amazingly Germany suffered very little inflation during this period, and the economic miracle continued.

It has everything to do with the Wirtschaftswunder era. Ludwig Erhard created a policy of solid economic growth. One of the major pillars it was built on was low inflation. This became a religion for the Bundesbank, the German Central Bank. It paid off at the time of the oil crisis, as Germany quickly went into a period of adjustment. This is what explains the constant shape of the post-war coins: low inflation and a political will to maintain it.

The problem with low inflation is that in interesting times, it creates high unemployment. Renewed growth will eventually solve that problem, but meanwhile, it is painful. Favourable circumstances and political will are necessary to remain on a low inflation path when the going gets tough. This is what set Germany apart from most other European countries. Some, like France had no choice but to inflate in order to head off the communist threat - the political will may not have been there either. Others, like the UK could not muster the political will.

It took courage to act against Erhard's intellectual inheritance when the time came to adopt the euro. Angela Merkel broke through Bundesbank resistance and accepted the necessary compromises. The issue re-surfaced when Greece became a problem of the EUR area. Once again, Ms. Merkel overruled the Bundesbank's insistence on a harsh low inflation policy, this time for Greece.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline <k>

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Re: Pre-euro Coinage of the Federal Republic of Germany
« Reply #50 on: April 15, 2019, 01:37:35 AM »
Co-circulated ... hmm, the 5 DM banknote was not popular.

In every other country, when coins and banknotes co-circulate, banknotes are more popular. Why was Germany different?

Offline <k>

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Re: Pre-euro Coinage of the Federal Republic of Germany
« Reply #51 on: April 15, 2019, 01:48:41 AM »
The issue re-surfaced when Greece became a problem of the EUR area. Once again, Ms. Merkel overruled the Bundesbank's insistence on a harsh low inflation policy, this time for Greece.

I can't believe your fairy stories about Greece and the nice EU, I'm afraid. That episode has badly tarnished the EU's reputation.

Bailouts from the IMF and other European creditors were conditional on Greek budget reforms, namely cuts to spending and increasing tax revenues. These austerity measures created a vicious cycle of recession, with unemployment reaching 25.4% in August 2012. Not only did this weaken tax revenues which made Greece’s fiscal position worse, but it created a humanitarian crisis; homelessness increased, suicides hit record highs, and public health significantly deteriorated. Such severe austerity measures amidst the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, proved to be one of the largest factors attributing their economic implosion.

Offline <k>

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Re: Pre-euro Coinage of the Federal Republic of Germany
« Reply #52 on: April 15, 2019, 01:53:44 AM »
Germany took another step towards its current situation at the end of the 1970s.

From Wikipedia:

The European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) was a system introduced by the European Economic Community on 13 March 1979, as part of the European Monetary System (EMS), to reduce exchange rate variability and achieve monetary stability in Europe, in preparation for Economic and Monetary Union and the introduction of a single currency, the euro, which took place on 1 January 1999.



The 1980s saw the rise of Reaganism and Thatcherism. Gorbachev in the Soviet Union brought international peace, but his attempts to liberalise and reform the unreformable Soviet Union eventually caused the collapse of communism in Europe in 1989. Ultimately this also led to the reunification of Germany.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2019, 02:04:07 AM by <k> »

Offline <k>

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Re: Pre-euro Coinage of the Federal Republic of Germany
« Reply #53 on: April 15, 2019, 01:59:04 AM »
Another pause here. Maybe chrisild could offer his insights, as a German who lived through the reunification.

Offline chrisild

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Re: Pre-euro Coinage of the Federal Republic of Germany
« Reply #54 on: April 15, 2019, 09:02:19 AM »
You will have noticed that I try focusing on the coins here. What is true of course is that for many years the DM was something people in the country were proud of - as in, others have their flag and anthem, we have our solid currency. And the Eastern states (ex-GDR) got the DM even before they joined the Federal Republic, see reply #28. One motto back in the GDR then was "if the DM does not come to us, we will come to the DM". Move to the West ...

As for why the 5 DM coin was so much more popular than the 5 DM note, I don't know - the coin was a silver piece first, and maybe (mere speculation though :) ) that gave people the impression of being something valuable. Then again, even after 1974 the coin (now Cu-Ni) was definitely preferred.

Christian

Offline <k>

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Re: Pre-euro Coinage of the Federal Republic of Germany
« Reply #55 on: April 15, 2019, 11:37:56 AM »
You will have noticed that I try focusing on the coins here.

But coins do not exist in a void. They are human inventions with a historical background.

Offline <k>

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Re: Pre-euro Coinage of the Federal Republic of Germany
« Reply #56 on: April 15, 2019, 12:06:34 PM »




Here is an example of the last pre-euro design series of Germany. The 1, 2, 5 and 10 Pfennig coins show the country name on the obverse and the denomination on the reverse. This changes when we reach the 50 Pfennig coin, which shows both the country name and the denomination on the obverse, while the reverse carries a pictorial design. I suspect this was done because the 50 Pfennig is a small coin, and perhaps a smaller pictorial design would not have looked satisfactory. However, it spoils the uniformity of the set, since the 1 Mark coin falls back into line, with the country name and denomination once more on opposite sides.

Each individual coin is competently designed, but it is unfortunate that the 50 Pfennig disturbs the unity of the set. Furthermore, it looks out of place to have only one pictorial design amongst all the symbolic oak leaves and heraldic eagles.

My solution would have been to place the design of the kneeling woman on the 1 Mark piece, where there would then be room to display the country name around the design. The 50 Pfennig would then have carried the same oak leaves as the rest of the lower denominations, or better still, an additional and different pictorial design, since the lone pictorial design (the kneeling woman) looks out of place, sandwiched between the oak leaves and the eagles.

Even better still would have been to have a different design on each reverse. I'm sure Germany could have afforded it. In this era of retrospective justice, it's surely not too late to have Germany and the Bundesbank expelled from the euro zone and EU for these errors.  >:(



See: Circulation sets with poorly unified design.

Offline <k>

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Re: Pre-euro Coinage of the Federal Republic of Germany
« Reply #57 on: April 15, 2019, 12:28:43 PM »
Here are the different mint sets with different mint marks. Just see how the Bundesbank made collectors covet and buy four different sets, when one would have been enough.  :o

Offline eurocoin

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Re: Pre-euro Coinage of the Federal Republic of Germany
« Reply #58 on: April 15, 2019, 02:30:20 PM »
There are 5 mints in Germany. Why weren't there 5 sets, or were there?

It is an interesting topic. Although I have a significant collection of German coins and am some 10% German myself, I have come to the conclusion that I actually know very little about them.

Offline <k>

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Re: Pre-euro Coinage of the Federal Republic of Germany
« Reply #59 on: April 15, 2019, 02:57:35 PM »
There are 5 mints in Germany. Why weren't there 5 sets, or were there?

Berlin is excluded. This was clearly before reunification, and only three of the eventual six 2 DM coins are included.

How many countries had a policy of issuing commemorative circulation coins, of more than one type, then repeating them across several years, I wonder?

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It is an interesting topic.

Praise, if somewhat mild.  :-\

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Although I have a significant collection of German coins and am some 10% German myself, I have come to the conclusion that I actually know very little about them.

10% German? So you do have a nice side, after all.  >:D  Anyway, now you know a lot more, which was my aim. Your fee is now due.  8)