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What condition is this German 5 Mark [solved]

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Moneytane
Joined: 28-Jan-2014
Posts: 111
I bought this gorgeous 5 mark last month in a lot of coins and for what I paid, I got it for well under Bullion value.

As you can see its is well worn.


I want to say this coin is full VG, as the rim is defined and some detail on the eagle is clear and even the wreath, but the crown is flat and so is Kaiser Willy.

Am I being greedy by calling this coin VG8 or is it more a G4 or G6. Just a seesaw of opinions would help and since most of my Imperial German coins are usually 10 and 5 Pfennig, its a joy to get this one. I figure in this condition its only worth about $20 USD.
I love change coins and old coins, but my main focus is stamp collecting and the Muscial God - Prince
CassTaylor
Joined: 30-May-2014
Posts: 7384
Hello,

If I had that coin I would register it as a VG (maybe VG+ even) in my collection too; for me G is for those coins where wear is so bad that entire sections of the coin's design have literally disappeared, and that part of the coin looks like a blank planchet (basically the next closest thing to basal state).
une Franglaise; ♪ je brosse ma chevelure ♫
Status changed to Solved (Moneytane, 12-Jan-2019, 06:30AM)
Status changed to Opened (Moneytane, 12-Jan-2019, 06:30AM)
Moneytane
Joined: 28-Jan-2014
Posts: 111
Si vous plait beaucorp!

Thanks, I appreciate that. I am a hard grader myself and know that coins with high silver or copper content wear quicker than more durable alloy and base metal pieces.

I was going to close it, but want more opinions. Generally here, we are strict coin graders and just want to see if Europeans (As I know this site is global but based in France) are more liberal in grading than the Anglo American systems we use in New Zealand.
I love change coins and old coins, but my main focus is stamp collecting and the Muscial God - Prince
CassTaylor
Joined: 30-May-2014
Posts: 7384
Quote: "Moneytane"Generally here, we are strict coin graders and just want to see if Europeans (As I know this site is global but based in France) are more liberal in grading than the Anglo American systems we use in New Zealand.
​Avec plaisir. :)

I honestly thought so as well (about Europeans being more lenient in grading); but then again I have mostly only seen British and American graders grade UK and US coin series/types "strictly", so perhaps it's like trying to compare apples with oranges. European companies like CGB, Comptoir des Monnaies, Maison Palombo and Moruzzi are also pretty consistently strict in grading world coins, so it's probably just a matter of perspective.

A lot of collectors and dealers I've met/dealt with in various countries (quite a few on Numista) just spend something like twenty seconds assessing the coin before jotting down a grade on the flip- some might see it as lack of professionalism, but as long as you have eyes, you don't need to research a coin design's intricacies and high wear points for hours just to get a general idea of a grade for it.
une Franglaise; ♪ je brosse ma chevelure ♫
ArnoV
Joined: 23-Nov-2011
Posts: 763
I think I'd go for F grade.

In my opinion, VG is when some parts of the coin are worn down to the planchet, while G is when most of the coin is worn down to the planchet. AG is when there is hardly or no detail left to identify the coin.
Napoleon1
Joined: 18-Jul-2018
Posts: 61
I also would say it is a Fine.
Moneytane
Joined: 28-Jan-2014
Posts: 111
Wow you guys are both very kind.
I love change coins and old coins, but my main focus is stamp collecting and the Muscial God - Prince
Choucas
Joined: 21-Jun-2017
Posts: 1474
For me it's F- but not VG.
Oklahoman
Joined: 20-Dec-2015
Posts: 1620
I am with Cass on this. VG+
Leitwolf
Joined: 1-Oct-2013
Posts: 113
My first thought was: fine (F). I was a little bit surprised that eagle and profile are so worn whereas the legend is still complete and clear. Nevertheless it is a bad condition for a german silver coin 1871-1918. I would call it "silver junk". 0:)
Status changed to Solved (Moneytane, 14-Jan-2019, 01:23AM)
Moneytane
Joined: 28-Jan-2014
Posts: 111
Quote: "Leitwolf"​My first thought was: fine (F). I was a little bit surprised that eagle and profile are so worn whereas the legend is still complete and clear. Nevertheless it is a bad condition for a german silver coin 1871-1918. I would call it "silver junk". 0:)
​I asked for your opinion, not for you to insult it. If you read my post at top, It says I paid well under face for it. Also where I live we don't generally see German coins beyond modern post 1945 stuff.

I am so sorry that my coin does not meet with your august and most noble approval. Not all of us can afford XF 16th century Thalers. I also find it rich that you insult the coin, when looking at your collection, its nearly all base metal modern change type coins. Whereas I actually have a lot of silver and quite a few very nice pieces.

Basically people in glass houses should not throw stones.
I love change coins and old coins, but my main focus is stamp collecting and the Muscial God - Prince
Moneytane
Joined: 28-Jan-2014
Posts: 111
Basically I think I know why it is so worn... I could be wrong but its a good theory.

Being In New Zealand, we had a lot of British Migration between 1870 and 1914, however very little German Migration and the few Germans that came, often took a ship from Cuxhaven to Gravesend England, and then usually changed their Marks and Thalers for Sterling coins, so colonial German currency here is quite rare.

My guess is that this coin circulated in German Samoa between 1903 and 1914. Samoa unlike many German currencies did not have its own coins (Germany issued some coins for Neu Guinea and Deutsch Ost Afrika) and therefore German currency circulated along with Sterling and even US Dollars before 1914. My guess is they would have had near constant shortages and most money brought in would have been low value pfennig coins and maybe up to 1 mark. Most 2 to 20 mark coins would have been bought in by travellers and diplomats and thus would have been heavily used.

German Samoa was taken by New Zealand in September 1914 and most likely this 5 Mark coin would have come back here as a souvenir by a soldier. The coin would have probably been worn as it is now and was declared invalid when the Pound Sterling became Samoa's new currency. The coin survived as a hand me down and was in a large collection of coins that were in a 1960s plastic box when I bought them off some Pacific Islanders (Samoans with a Germanic name).

Many of these coins survive from WW1 and WW2, Many Egyptian silver coins of the 1910s are found here, usually worn as Kiwi soldiers were in Egyptian training camps and also worn silver francs of France and even worn Belgian coins from about 1905 are encountered,
I love change coins and old coins, but my main focus is stamp collecting and the Muscial God - Prince
Oklahoman
Joined: 20-Dec-2015
Posts: 1620
Leitwolf wasnt being rude. Junk silver is a common category of coins that worn world silver falls into. Many coin dealers keep boxes of worn silver coins that are sold for very near silver. The label on the container says junk silver.
Moneytane
Joined: 28-Jan-2014
Posts: 111
Quote: "Oklahoman"​Leitwolf wasnt being rude. Junk silver is a common category of coins that worn world silver falls into. Many coin dealers keep boxes of worn silver coins that are sold for very near silver. The label on the container says junk silver.
​Maybe, but I don't consider this junk silver, its a high denomination coin and not that common. It is the first German coin above 1 mark that is before 1915 I have seen here.

To me Junk Silver is stuff like .500 Fine worn 3ds and 6ds of the British commonwealth, low grade US silver issued between 1941 and 1964, and any silver coin worn blank.

I mean would you also consider my avatar coin - also junk?
I love change coins and old coins, but my main focus is stamp collecting and the Muscial God - Prince
Oklahoman
Joined: 20-Dec-2015
Posts: 1620
No. But your avatar isn't a worn German coin.
CassTaylor
Joined: 30-May-2014
Posts: 7384
Quote: "Moneytane"​My guess is that this coin circulated in German Samoa between 1903 and 1914. Samoa unlike many German currencies did not have its own coins (Germany issued some coins for Neu Guinea and Deutsch Ost Afrika) and therefore German currency circulated along with Sterling and even US Dollars before 1914. My guess is they would have had near constant shortages and most money brought in would have been low value pfennig coins and maybe up to 1 mark. Most 2 to 20 mark coins would have been bought in by travellers and diplomats and thus would have been heavily used.


Very interesting theory, but don't forget Kiau Chau (Tsingtao), Germany's treaty port in China! They had two coins issued in 1909 as well.

I should clarify, this Prussian 5 Mark coin is actually pretty common (at least in Europe); in fact it's one of the most common German Empire silver coins to be found. A collector living in say, Hungary would probably not consider worn 3 or 6d coins from British colonies in the South Pacific to be junk silver, since they don't see them as often (the same reason why you wouldn't consider your coin junk silver, like how European collectors who tend to come across them more often, would).
une Franglaise; ♪ je brosse ma chevelure ♫
Oklahoman
Joined: 20-Dec-2015
Posts: 1620
I was so happy to find a Kia Chau coin in a dealers 25cent box! Love it.
Moneytane
Joined: 28-Jan-2014
Posts: 111
I realise its not in the best condition and was ignorant they were so common, in my socio economic class, any silver coin is considered good.

I also checked and noticed it was the most common date in the series with 3 million made.
I love change coins and old coins, but my main focus is stamp collecting and the Muscial God - Prince
Napoleon1
Joined: 18-Jul-2018
Posts: 61
Wondering if at some point in its life it was in a bezel, and someone either wore it on a watch fob, or in a necklace. This would account for the more noticeable wear to central portions.
Still even though common, not a bad coin. Be sure to keep on the lookout for the other mintmarks, as these are almost always in lower mintages than coins from Berlin mint 8)
sarikanair
Joined: 30-Nov-2017
Posts: 88
I am not an expert at grading coins, but looking at the wear on this example, it could come under the VG+ category.. just a guess...Nevertheless, the coin looks really beautiful.. cheers!
pnightingale
Joined: 27-Jul-2011
Posts: 5163
It's a perfect example of why the +/- modifiers are so important in arriving at an accurate grade. It's not quite Fine but surely better than VG. I would be content with -F or VG+.

I guess the question of what is "junk silver" depends on where you're standing. The seller clearly thought so as he sold it to you for less than it's scrap metal price. To you as a collector, getting your first large silver coin from the period it's something pretty special.

There's a shop on our main street which sells old furniture, bar fittings, statues, sometimes even coins which is commonly called a junk store. They're not offended by the title, in fact they embrace it. They have a prominent sign out front which reads, "WE BUY JUNK & SELL ANTIQUES".
Non illegitimis carborundum est.  Excellent advice for all coins.
Supreme Ruler and Dictator for Life of the 6th Avenue Coin, Stamp  & Rice Puller Club. President, Boss & Top Dawg for Hutt River.
Leitwolf
Joined: 1-Oct-2013
Posts: 113
Quote: "Moneytane"
Quote: "Leitwolf"​My first thought was: fine (F). I was a little bit surprised that eagle and profile are so worn whereas the legend is still complete and clear. Nevertheless it is a bad condition for a german silver coin 1871-1918. I would call it "silver junk". 0:)
​​I asked for your opinion, not for you to insult it. If you read my post at top, It says I paid well under face for it. Also where I live we don't generally see German coins beyond modern post 1945 stuff.

​I am so sorry that my coin does not meet with your august and most noble approval. Not all of us can afford XF 16th century Thalers. I also find it rich that you insult the coin, when looking at your collection, its nearly all base metal modern change type coins. Whereas I actually have a lot of silver and quite a few very nice pieces.

​Basically people in glass houses should not throw stones.
​???

You asked for opinions, I just wrote my opinion about the condition of the coin you asked for. I wrote silver junk in "". I'm sorry if you understood it in an insulting way. But your post quoted above is really off target. There is no connection between your question/this thread and my collection (you can't know, because it's hidden from public view).
Ryurazu
Joined: 4-Jan-2019
Posts: 10
I would place this in the Fine (but VG+ is still reasonable so if you grade it at VG probably okay) section, however as everyone has said this coin is quite common in Germany. Not so on the other side of the world. Also thing is there are many German states/protectorates that made silver Marks, with only the rarer high grades one being collectible. Still great coin to add to your silver collection.

I think they are meaning to say "low grade silver", but if you ask them if i melt this down from your collection how would you feel and then sold it at silver price? :O (usually "junk" refers to trashy items, stuff you just throw away, silver use to be used in that terminology, but that was when silver was like USD$5 an ounce) do dealer have a hoard of these 5 marks lying around? Wait you paid below face value (ill take as many, if it were) .... umh don't you mean melt value.
i mean i can say junk about gold coins, so many sovereigns and eagles, but no one ever says that about those coins yet they can be class as that, only broken jewelry is?

Love the signature coin Moneytane, i guess that is your favorite/stand out piece in your collection.
Moneytane
Joined: 28-Jan-2014
Posts: 111
I have several coins like my avatar one, it's one of the better ones, but I have many stunning Choice UNC pieces and UNC silver coins. I chose that coin as its from my country (New Zealand) and has a Maori woman on it (Being part Maori myself, I identify with it), and it speaks to me. Plus its a beautiful design and has tremendous eye appeal.

Leitwolf - First of all Ms Thang - I never asked for you to say if it was Junk Silver or not, I asked for its condition - I don't care if you think its junk or not, its one of my coins and I may keep it or sell it if I get bored with it. Having the most expensive and best looking is not a goal of mine, it is a bonus when I get coins like that (And I do have some), but I have never had a precious metal German coin of any description (10 and 5 Pfennig are Cupronickel and modern German circulation coins are all base metal) and to get a 5 mark rather than a ½ or 1 mark is a bonus.

I also saw your collectionj by clicking on the link on your profile, as after your cutting and bitchy remarks - I was expecting gold and medieval silver coins rather than the 5 cents of NZ or 1 Franc coins of France.

Everyone else, thank you and I appreciate the help and advice in answering the question. I know coins from the Anglophone world well, but nowhere else and this all helped.
I love change coins and old coins, but my main focus is stamp collecting and the Muscial God - Prince
Leitwolf
Joined: 1-Oct-2013
Posts: 113
Quote: "Moneytane"[...]

​I also saw your collectionj by clicking on the link on your profile, as after your cutting and bitchy remarks - I was expecting gold and medieval silver coins rather than the 5 cents of NZ or 1 Franc coins of France.

[...]

​I guess you got many different answers to your question. - I only want to add that I'm wondering how you could see my collection as their is no "view-"button. Probably you saw my exchange-list.

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