Rene writes: I have a 1934 German coin. It is 5 Reichsmark with the eagle on it. Plus 2 swatiskas below the wing. On the other site is a picture of the Potsdam Military Church. Below the church is the letter E and that’s all on this side. On the side of the coin it says Gemeinnutz geht vor eigennutz. It is in pretty good condition and I was wondering how much it was worth. And could you please recommend a good price guide on German coins and paper money.
Best regards,Â Rene
The 5 mark series beginning in 1925 was a expression of renewed German pride after the terrible experience of WW I and the destructive inflation of 1922-23. The series was suppose to highlight the positive side of German history. 5 mark commemoratives celebrated anything from the 450th Year of The University of Tubingen to the Graf Zeppelin.
When the Nazi’s took over, the series took on a much darker tone. The Potsdam Church commemorative celebrated the first anniversary of Nazi Rule. It comes two ways, with the date 21 MARZ 1933 and without.
The “E” represents the mint mark of the Muldenhutte Mint. The inscription and the swastikas were engraved on that (or other examples) privately and was not done at the mint. The inscription is kind of a pun and is a derogatory expression saying something like “vile or base individuals go before self-interest (of the country?). Sorry, my German is a bit rusty.
This kind of coin is called a re-engraved coin because someone altered the coin after it left the Mint. Coins like these were used for political purposes and therefore alter the main purpose of the coin as money. Know that you can’t price these coins the same way you would price unaltered examples. There are collectors for counter stamped and re-engraved coins. I think that your piece might bring $40-60 at an appropriate auction but this is only a guess.
The market values of these coins depends on which Mint produced it, the type, and the condition. There are also proof examples. The regular issues can bring as little as $6 on up to several hundred dollars.
There are many good references on German coins such as the books written by John S. Davenport and a new general reference published by Krause Publications in Iola Wisconsin: Standard Catalog of German Coins.