Pfennig: coin from Free City of Danzig; 1/100 gulden


5 pfennig, 1932: Free City of Danzig

5 pfennig, 1932: Free City of Danzig

Free City of Danzig (German "Freie Stadt Danzig") — historical (1920-1939) city-state under the protection of the League of Nations consisting of the Baltic Sea port of Danzig (now Gdańsk, Poland) and nearly 200 other small localities in the surrounding areas. Before the separation from Germany as a result of WWI in 1919, 95% of these lands were inhabited by the German-speaking population. After WWII, these territories became part of Poland.

Freie Stadt Danzig: Free City of Danzig.

Turbot fish at the bottom of the Baltic Sea (fishing played a significant role in the economy of Danzig).

Coin design by engraver Erich Volmar.

Berlin Mint (Germany).

Mintage: 4.000.000.

  • Aluminium-bronze: 18 mm - 2 g
  • Reference price: 6.5$

COIN PFENNIG — WHERE & WHEN (coins catalog: by names & emitents)
  1. FREE CITY OF DANZIG (1923-1937): pfennig = 1/100 gulden
  2. GERMANY (10th-21th centuries): pfennig = 1/100 mark [on the territory of modern Germany, pfennigs were issued by a wide variety of German state entities for more than 1.000 years in a row; hundreds of pfennig types were produced during this time]
  3. GERMAN NEW GUINEA (1894): pfennig = 1/100 mark
  4. SWITZERLAND (10th-19th centuries): pfennig
  5. AUSTRIA — Austrian states + Austrian Empire (11th-19th centuries): pfennig
  6. BOHEMIA + SILESIA (13th-18th centuries): pfennig
  7. PRINCIPALITY OF TRANSYLVANIA (18th century): pfennig
  8. LIVONIA (15th-16th centuries): pfennig = 1/27 ferding

PFENNIG as coin name: it is one of the most famous coin denominations in human history (next to denarius, cent, centavo, franc...) with one of the longest histories of use — 10th-21st centuries.
The etymology and history of the term pfennig is not entirely clear: there are several versions.
The following version looks quite likely. — After the collapse of the Roman Empire, the pfennig appeared on the lands of the Germanic tribes as a descendant of the denarius, which was widely used throughout Europe for centuries. The Germans began to replace the denarius with silver bracteates — their one-sided coins, which, due to their concave shape, resembled small frying pans ("panna" in colloquial Latin). At first, out of habit, each such coin continued to be called a denarius (denar). However, gradually, due to the cardinal external difference from the Roman coins of previous centuries, other local coins began to appear — penny (England), penning (Scandinavia, Belgium, Netherlands...), pfennig (Germany).
Later varieties of pfennig are also known: pfenning, friesacher pfennig, rentenpfennig, reichspfennig, guter pfennig...