Country and Pick Number: Germany ; Pick P- 48b
First year of issue: 1914
Denomination and currency: 20 Mark
Issue type: circulated
Signature(s): see the scan
Description of paper money: Banknote 05.08.1914. Dark brown on brown and lilac underprint. Series S Nr 2080211.
Back –Brown. Minerva at left, Mercury at right. National motives.
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A mark had been the currency of Germany since its original unification in 1871. Before that time, the different German states issued a variety of different currencies, though most were linked to the Vereinsthaler, a silver coin containing 16 2⁄3 grams of pure silver. Although the mark was based on gold rather than silver, a fixed exchange rate between the Vereinsthaler and the mark of 3 marks = 1 Vereinsthaler was used for the conversion.
The first mark, known as the Goldmark, was introduced in 1873. With the outbreak of World War I, the mark was taken off the gold standard. The currency thus became known as the Papiermark, especially as high inflation, then hyperinflation occurred and the currency became exclusively made up of paper money. The Papiermark was replaced by the Rentenmark (RM) from November 15, 1923, and the Reichsmark (RM) in 1924.
The Deutsche Mark (German mark), abbreviated "DM, was the official currency of West Germany from 1948 until 1990 and later the unified Germany from 1990 until 2002.
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