Danzig gulden

The Gulden was the currency of the Free City of Danzig between 1923 and 1939. It was divided into 100 Pfennige.

Danzig gulden
20 gulden (1937)10 pfennig coin
Unit
PluralGulden
Denominations
Subunit
1100Pfennig
Plural
PfennigPfennige
Banknotes10, 20, 25, 50, 100, 500, 1000 gulden
Coins1, 2, 5, 10 pfennige
12, 1, 2, 5, 10, 25 gulden
Demographics
User(s)Free City of Danzig
Issuance
Central bankBank of Danzig
This infobox shows the latest status before this currency was rendered obsolete.

History

Until 1923, Danzig used the German Papiermark and issued several local 'emergency notes'. Inflation during 1922–23 averaged roughly 2,440% per month.[1] In July 1923 it was announced that a new and independent currency (the gulden) was being established with the approval of the League of Nations finance committee to replace the German mark.[2] The gulden was introduced at a value of 25 gulden = 1 pound sterling.[2][3]

Incorporation into Nazi Germany

Danzig, separated from Germany after World War I, was annexed by Nazi Germany on 1 September 1939, the day the invasion of Poland had begun[4] On the same day reichsmark coins and notes were declared legal tender alongside the Danzig gulden, with 1 gulden being equal to 0.70 reichsmark.[5] This was a favourable exchange rate for inhabitants of Danzig, since the actual exchange rate was around 0.47 reichsmark per gulden. To prevent abuse on 7 September the import of gulden coins and notes into the territory of the former free city was prohibited.[6] Bank assets were however converted at the market rate of 0.47 reichsmark per gulden.[7]

With effect on 7 September 1939, coins of 1 and 2 pfennige became legal tender throughout Nazi Germany as 1 and 2 reichspfennige, and would remain in circulation until November 1940. On 30 September the reichsmark became the sole currency on the territory of the former free city. Notes and coins of 5 and 10 gulden were withdrawn that day and could be exchanged for reichsmarks until 15 October. Coins of 5 and 10 pfennig and 12 and 1 gulden remained in circulation until 25 June 1940 and were redeemed until 25 July.

Coins

A first series of coins was issued in 1923, followed by a second in 1932. Coins were issued in denominations of 1, 2, 5 and 10 pfennige and 12, 1, 2, 5, 10 and 25 gulden.

The 25-gulden coins were minted in gold. Produced in very small numbers in 1923 (1,000) and 1930 (4,000), the latter date's issue was only released as a few presentation pieces. As part of the 1923 series are 200 proof coins and, while available to collectors, are very expensive.[8] The 1930 issue was essentially unobtainable until a large number appeared in the 1990s, apparently released from a Russian treasury where they had been stored since their capture at the end of World War II.[9]

First series (1923)[10]
ImageValueTechnical parametersDescriptionDate of
DiameterMassCompositionEdgeObverseReversequantity mintedmintingissuewithdrawallapse
1 pfennig 17 mm 1.67 g 95% Cu,
4% Sn,
1% Zn
Plain Value,
country name "Danzig"
Year,
Danzig coat of arms
11,500,000 1923–1937 18 December 1923[11] 1 November 1940[12] 30 November 1940[12]
2 pfennige 19.5 mm 2.5 g 3,250,000 1923–1937
5 pfennige 17.5 mm 2.0 g 75% Cu,
25% Ni
Plain Value,
country name "Danzig"
Year,
Danzig coat of arms
4,000,000 1923, 1928 18 December 1923[11] 1 October 1932[11] ?
10 pfennige 21.5 mm 4.0 g Value,
country name "Freie Stadt Danzig"
5,000,000 1923
12 gulden 19.5 mm 2.5 g 75% Ag,
25% Cu
 ? Value,
country name "Freie Stadt Danzig",
coat of arms
cog 1,400,000 1923, 1927 1 April 1932[11]
1 gulden 23.5 mm 5.0 g Value,
country name "Freie Stadt Danzig",
cog
Coat of arms held by two lions 3,500,500 1923
2 gulden 26.5 mm 10.0 g 1,250,000
5 gulden 35.0 mm 25.0 g Value,
country name "Freie Stadt Danzig",
St. Mary's Church
860,500 1923, 1927
These images are to scale at 2.5 pixels per millimetre. For table standards, see the coin specification table.

Banknotes

The first Danzig gulden banknotes were issued by the Danzig Central Finance Department and dated 22 October 1923 with a second issue dated 1 November 1923.[13] Denominations for both series included 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, and 50-pfennige notes,[13] as well as 1, 2, and 5 gulden.[13] In addition, the first issue contained 10 and 25-gulden notes,[14] and the second issue contained 50 and 100-gulden notes.[15] The Bank of Danzig was capitalized with £300,000 on 5 February 1924 and officially opened on 17 March 1924.[3] The Bank of Danzig issued four series of gulden (1924, 1928–30, 1931–32, and 1937–38) with an initial issue date of 10 February 1924.[15]

Banknotes of Danzig
Issued by Issue Value Image Comments
Danzig Central Finance Department 1923 first series 1 pfennig
2 pfennige
5 pfennige
10 pfennige
25 pfennige
50 pfennige
1 gulden
2 gulden
5 gulden
10 gulden
25 gulden
1923 second series 1 pfennig
2 pfennige
5 pfennige
10 pfennige
25 pfennige
50 pfennige
1 gulden
2 gulden
5 gulden
50 gulden
100 gulden
Bank of Danzig 1924 10 gulden
25 gulden
100 gulden
500 gulden
Zeughaus (arsenal)
1,000 gulden
City Hall
1928–30 10 gulden
Artus Court
25 gulden
St. Mary's Church
1931–32 20 gulden
Stockturm (local tower) part of Golden Gate (Gdańsk)
Neptune
25 gulden
St. Mary's Church
100 gulden
Motława River dock scene
1937–38 20 gulden
Artus Court
50 gulden
Vorlaubenhaus

References

Notes

  1. McGuire 2013, p. 48.
  2. "Danzig to Establish New Currency System". The New York Times. 20 July 1923. p. 3 via ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851–2010).
  3. Mason 1946, p. 74.
  4. Österreichische Nationalbibliothek. "ÖNB-ALEX – Deutsches Reichsgesetzblatt Teil I 1867–1945". onb.ac.at.
  5. Österreichische Nationalbibliothek. "ÖNB-ALEX – Deutsches Reichsgesetzblatt Teil I 1867–1945". onb.ac.at.
  6. Österreichische Nationalbibliothek. "ÖNB-ALEX – Deutsches Reichsgesetzblatt Teil I 1867–1945". onb.ac.at.
  7. "Danziger Geld im 20. Jahrhundert". ostsee-urlaub-polen.de. Archived from the original on 2014-05-22.
  8. Statue of Neptune basis of design on Danzig gold 25-gulden coins issued between two world wars
  9. A huge portion of Hitler's gold was already taken in 1945
  10. Schön G. and Schön G.: Welt Münzkatalog, 20. & 21. Jahrhundert, 1900–2010, München 2010, Battenberg Verlag. ISBN 978-3-86646-036-2
  11. Kamiński Cz.: Ilustrowany katalog monet polskich 1916–1991, Warsaw 1992, KAW. ISBN 83-03-00041-1
  12. Österreichische Nationalbibliothek. "ÖNB-ALEX – Deutsches Reichsgesetzblatt Teil I 1867–1945". onb.ac.at.
  13. Cuhaj 2010, pp. 430–31.
  14. Cuhaj 2010, p. 430.
  15. Cuhaj 2010, p. 431.

Sources

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