1930 Zeppelin commemorative silver coin a popular issue from Weimar Republic era

Affordable issue marks around-the-world airship trip
By , Coin World
Published : 05/02/15
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When the Graf Zeppelin made an around-the-globe trip, the airship made history, notching the first nonstop flight across the Pacific Ocean, from Tokyo to Los Angeles.

The achievement, which was supported by American newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst, was honored in 1930 on a commemorative silver 5-reichmark coin.

The Graf Zeppelin issue of the Weimar Republic is a popular 20th century type coin. An extraordinarily well-preserved example is being offered in auction in May.

Sincona AG’s sale No. 23 on May 20 and 21 includes an example graded by the firm as Almost Uncirculated.

The around-the-globe flight of the German-built and -operated hydrogen-filled airship began in August 1929 at Lakehurst Naval Air Station in New Jersey, where it ended 21 days, five hours and 31 minutes later after covering some 20,651 miles in four legs. 

Costs for the flight were subsidized by the transport of souvenir mail to and from the stops in Lakehurst, Friedrichshafen, Tokyo, and Los Angeles, and these pieces are highly collectible today.

The 1930 coins are also collectible, with a reported mintage of 217,000 pieces total from six different mints then in operation in Germany. This example was struck at Karlsruhe, so it bears the G Mint mark.

The coin type is also fairly affordable, with an estimate of 150 Swiss francs (about $157 in U.S. funds) for the coin in the sale.

To learn more about the auction, visit the firm's website.

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