BIEBRICH 1923 XX-RARE Hectograph! 1 Trillion Mark German Notgeld Wiesbaden

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This note is a hectograph, a method which has almost never been used to print banknotes. Obviously it is a copy of a hand-written master, but what isn't obvious at first glance is that this early gelatin screen mimeograph known as the hectograph can only make between 20 and 80 copies before it is rendered unusable! The master copy is handwritten directly onto the screen, and once it's been used up, the next master will inevitably have some variation. 

The hectograph - also known as the "jellygraph" - was a very sticky, messy process, but appears to have been executed fairly cleanly here, although it's possible the faint yellowish area is original to the printing process. But I'm listing the grade as AUNC+, just to be on the safe side.

There are two known variations of this note, which means that if only 20-80 each were made of the two variants, that would mean a total issued population of only 40-160 notes altogether! And with the history of Germany between 1923 and today, the fact that these notes lost 100% of their value within weeks of being issued, the destruction of the Reichsbank's money museum and the destruction within the country itself in World War II, it's safe to assume that many if not most of these very few copies were destroyed or damaged.

Trillion notes, or Billionenscheine in German, are the highest denomination notes issued during the very peak of inflation during 1923. They are some of the rarest and most valuable of all German banknotes, and some of the most sought-after as well due to their astronomical denominations.

This note is from an area of Germany - Biebrich is now basically a section of the city of Wiesbaden, near Frankfurt, very familiar to many Americans. Wiesbaden is a beautiful old city with a hot spring (the Kochbrunnen) steaming and bubbling in a downtown park. It is home to a large number of American servicemembers, whom I always see in the pubs when I visit, particularly in the Irish pubs (the real Guinness available in Europe is truly much better).

  • "Eine Million" = 1 Million
  • "Eine Milliarde" = 1 Billion
  • "Eine Billion" = 1 Trillion!!


Tags: 1923 Biebrich hectograph Wiesbaden