For hundreds of years the country we now know as Germany existed as a large number of states. Before unification, gold coins were issued by about 40 of the many states using different standards German including ducats, gold gulden, carolins, gulden, thalers, krone, maximilians (d’or), fredericks, friederichs, wilhelms, pistoles, pistolens, franks (franken), karolins, with multiples and fractions.
Since 1871, the standard gold coins has been 20 marks, although 10 marks and 5 mark coins were also produced, but in smaller quantities. The most prolific state for issuing coins was Prussia, as the largest, wealthiest and most influential, so that the most commonly encountered German gold coins are the 20 mark pieces of Prussia. These were issued from 1871 to 1915.
Gold coin production ceased in 1915. 5 Mark gold coins were minted only in 1877 and 1878. The coins were produced in 900.0 fineness of gold.
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