World Coins

This Day in History: March 21

Germany marked the birth bicentennial of Otto von Bismarck in 2015 with coins. He became chancellor on March 21, 1871.

Coin images courtesy of Royal Scandinavian Mint.

Germany united in 1871 after a series of wars in the 1860s. 

The man behind the machinations, Otto von Bismarck, became German chancellor March 21, 1871.

The conservative Prussian statesman dominated German and European affairs from the 1860s until 1890, uniting the German states and excluding Austria from the German Empire. 

He died on July 30, 1898.

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A 2015 commemorative €10 coin from Germany marked the 200th anniversary of his birth.

The reverse of the coin shows a facing view of the leader that isn’t fully formed, in illustration of the complexity of Bismarck’s personality.

Not a simple man, Bismarck embodied both tradition and modernity, according to the German Federal Ministry of Finance's description of the coin's subject. 

The obverse depicts the German eagle, the date 2015, the name of German in German, the 12 stars of Europe, the denomination and the A Mint mark, indicating the Berlin State Mint that struck the coin.

Michael Otto, of Rodenbach, designed the coin.

Germany issues two versions of its €10 commemorative coins, an Uncirculated copper-nickel version weighing 14 grams and a Proof .625 fine silver version weighing 16 grams. 

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