World Coins

‘Rarest silver coin of German Empire’ offered in Künker sale

The rarest silver coin of the German states, a Proof 1917 silver 3-mark piece of Saxony, highlights Fritz Rudolph Künker’s auction No. 264, scheduled for June 24 and 25 in Germany.

Images courtesy of Fritz Rudolph Künker.

When Martin Luther drew the ire of the Catholic Church in 1517, it was the elector of Saxony, Friedrich the Wise, who stepped in and protected him.

In 1917, the German State of Saxony issued a Proof silver 3-mark coin celebrating the 400th anniversary of the Reformation. With a mintage of 100 pieces, the coin is the rarest silver coin of the German states, according to the firm. An example of the coin leads Fritz Rudolf Künker’ auction No. 264, which is scheduled to be held in Osnabrück on June 24 and 25. 

The coin was issued during the reign of Frederick August III, late during World War I and about one year before the German states stopped issuing their own coins. 

The design is based on a special taler issued in 1522, which features an image of Friedrich the Wise based on a painting by Lucas Cranach the elder. 

The scarcity of the mintage is exacerbated by the fact that many (perhaps half) were lost to war, either in World War I or World War II, according to the auction firm. Because of its design and status as the rarest silver coin from that era of German coinage, the coin remains popular today.

The coin has an estimate of €75,000 ($81,989 in U.S. funds).

To learn more about the auction, visit the auction house website.

More from

Collector discovers new variety for 1896 Indian Head cents

Stack’s Bowers Galleries announces coins to be offered in Pogue II sale in September

 Rolling Stones concert surprise source of half dollars in change

‘Most important’ Georgia national bank note, others draw auction attention

U.S. Mint explains depletion of inventory of 2014-W Eleanor Roosevelt First Spouse gold

Keep up with all of's news and insights by signing up for our free eNewslettersliking us on Facebook, and following us on Twitter. We're also on Instagram!

Community Comments