Paper Money

German Reich draws attention: Paper Money News

This May 4, 1937, Nazi 4.5 percent debenture bond in a denomination of 100,000-reichsmark was part of a group lot that sold for a price of about 8 cents per item in the lot.

Original images courtesy of Spink's

The sale by Spink & Son of the loans of the German Reich on Nov. 20 was but a small part of a 550-lot auction of world bond and share certificates, but it earned a disproportionate share of attention, particularly in Germany. 

At a time when the German Ministry of Culture is trying to push a set of draconian restrictions on the ability of German dealers and collectors to export legitimate cultural property from their homeland, the fact that the German Ministry of Finance exported part of its own heritage for sale in England instead of Germany, was met with bemusement by some and outrage by others, notwithstanding the commercial logic of the choice.

Although more lots went unsold than would be expected at a paper money auction, the majority sold within Spink’s estimates, most of which were in the range of £100 to £300. All but a few were multiple-piece lots. 

The bargain of the day, at least on a per piece basis, was a group of 7,826 Nazi 4.5 percent debenture bonds of May 4, 1937, consisting of 100-, 500-, 1,000-, 5,000-, 20,000-, 50,000-, and 100,000-reichsmark bonds, mostly graded Extremely Fine. It was estimated at £400 to £500 and sold for £420 ($631) including the 20 percent buyer’s fee, or 5.4 pence (8 cents) each. 

The highest price for a single lot was £1,200 ($1,803) for a unique 85-million-reichsmark issue concerning railway special assets in the occupied eastern territories issued a week before the end of the war that sold for £1,200 ($1,800) on a £200 to £300 estimate.

Community Comments