1888g 20-pfennig
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Autor:  villa66 [ 13. Apr 2015, 06:17 ]
Betreff des Beitrags:  1888g 20-pfennig

Imperial Germany’s 1888g 20-pfennig, struck in Karlsruhe of copper-nickel. This coin is a second-year example of the new, larger 20-pfennig piece introduced in 1887. (The silver 20-pfennig piece—a tiny coin, somewhat difficult to use—had not been coined in a decade. But that wasn’t in itself unusual; many German minor coins saw significant pauses in production during this period.)

The year 1888 was, as is widely known here on the Forum, the “Year of the three Kaisers,” so absent better information, I suppose this particular coin could be an issue of Wilhelm I, his son Friedrich III, or his grandson Wilhelm II.

Germany’s copper-nickel 20-pfennig pieces are relatively tough to acquire for a German minor coin, and one reason why was their early retirement from circulation on January 1, 1903.

Of particular interest, I think, is the prominent wreath surrounding the eagle. It’s only my own guess, but I strongly suspect that German coin designers—who by this time had seen the confusion between the similarly-sized silver 50-pfennig and copper-nickel 10-pfennig—were doing something special in an attempt to avoid confusion between this new copper-nickel 20-pfennig, and the silver 1-mark.

:) v.

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Autor:  villa66 [ 13. Apr 2015, 06:21 ]
Betreff des Beitrags:  Re: 1888g 20-pfennig

The previous 20-pfennig type (with the old “small eagle”) had been introduced only in 1887, and this new “large eagle” type was produced only through 1892. Both types were retired just a decade later, on 1 January 1903, so it’s difficult to escape the idea that these were unsuccessful coins. (The new 25-pfennig denomination didn’t appear until 1909, so clearly that can’t have been the reason these 20-pfennig pieces—after so short a run—stopped being produced and were withdrawn.)

Were these coins perhaps created for a particular job that then soon went extinct? Or were they perhaps part of the effort to deal with the problems of the confusion surrounding the 50-pfennig coin? Or perhaps, simply, some idea of creating a “bridge” between the 10-pfennig and 50-pfennig had taken hold?

Whatever the reason, it seems clear that something didn’t go as planned.

:) v.

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