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0,5 Mark 1920, Hamburg, Germany

Hans-Ludwig Grabowski Katalog. Band 10. Number: HAM8a
Years of issue: 01.06.1920
Edition: --
Signatures: Unknown signature
Serie: Notgeld
Specimen of: 01.06.1920
Material: Unknown material
Size (mm): 85 х 57
Printer: Hamburg Hauptstaatskasse

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** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

0,5 Mark 1920, Hamburg




On banknote is watermark type "Dark crosses" (Dunkle Kreuze).


0,5 Mark 1920, Hamburg


Below are 2 signatures.

Denomination in words and numeral is in the center.


0,5 Mark 1920, Hamburg


Wappen HamburgThe stylized coat of arms of Hamburg.

Shows a castle with three towers. The middle tower shows a cross on top. It is believed that the so-called Marian stars on top of the two side-towers and the cross recalls the fact that Hamburg used to be an archbishopric. It was ( supposedly) founded in 831 by Ansgar. This Benedictine monk was a charismatic personality and possessed enormous talent of persuasion. His success has been impressive: in a few years he turned to the Christian faith the current population of Sweden, Denmark and Schleswig, for which he was awarded the naming of "Apostle of the North" and canonized. However, history of Ansgar is highly questionable, at least, in relation to Hamburg. In 2005, in the Dome Square, were conducted thorough excavation and research using modern technology. To the great dismay of scientists and the general public, no trace of the legendary Hammaburg (leading its history of Charlemagne) from the times of Ansgar was found.

The towers and the walls with their pinnacles and the closed gate symbolized the determination of the town to defend itself.

The oldest coat of arms of Hamburg has been retained on a city seals int the 12th and 13th century. During the centuries the towers, walls, pinnacles and symbols of the coat of arms of Hamburg changed several times, without changing in character. The central castle was shown with opened doors sometimes with closed doors and with a portcullis.

Denominations in numerals are in top corners, in lower corners are in words.


Notgeld (German for "emergency money" or "necessity money") refers to money issued by an institution in a time of economic or political crisis. The issuing institution is usually one without official sanction from the central government. This occurs usually when sufficient state-produced money is not available from the central bank. Most notably, notgeld generally refers to money produced in Germany and Austria during World War I and the Interbellum. Issuing institutions could be a town's savings banks, municipality and private or state-owned firms.

Notgeld was mainly issued in the form of (paper) banknotes. Sometimes other forms were used, as well: coins, leather, silk, linen, postage stamps, aluminium foil, coal, and porcelain; there are also reports of elemental sulfur being used, as well as all sorts of re-used paper and carton material (e.g. playing cards). These pieces made from playing cards are extremely rare and are known as Spielkarten, the German word for "playing card".

Notgeld was a mutually-accepted means of payment in a particular region or locality, but notes could travel widely. Notgeld is different from occupation money that is issued by an occupying army during a war.