KAYSERSBERG 1914 5 Mark Early WWI German Notgeld Alsace today France Oberelsass

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As of 2016, Kaysersberg is now Kaysersberg-Vignoble, France.

The Notgeld era began almost as soon as World War I started. That's because Germany went off of the gold standard at the very same time, and overnight silver and gold coinage disappeared from circulation. Immediately the need arose for "emergency money" to take the place of the missing coins - in other words, Notgeld. 1914 saw the birth of the original, classic Notgeld, which really was emergency money in the original sense of the word. Cities and companies didn't have time to wait for a solution; they had to respond just as quickly. And so Notgeld began to spring up overnight, independently in every local area, and the simple, utilitarian design is a testament to the haste with which it was ushered into existence. By 1921, when the series note craze was in full swing, the original 1914 Notgeld was already highly sought-after and commanding very high prices for the rarest pieces.

Tags: 1914 France Kaysersberg