Germany 1881-E mark
This specimen was lot 32963 in Heritage sale 3064 (Chicago, April 2018), where it sold for $780. The catalog description noted, "Wilhelm I Mark 1881-E MS67 ★ NGC, Dresden mint. An absolutely gorgeous piece, not only retaining a commendable level of preservation, but also exhibiting an appearance that can best be compared to that of many 'Monster Toned' Morgan Dollars, which are in exceptionally high demand amongst collectors. The obverse displays fuchsia center toning, progressing toward turquoise and sea green near the peripheries. The reverse exhibits an even more entrancing array of color, evolving from gold in the center toward amber, lilac, rose pink and blues near the edges." This coin is a silver mark from a type issued 1873-87 from the Berlin (mintmark "A"), Hannover (mintmark "B"), Frankfurt (mintmark "C"), Munich (mintmark "D"), Dresden (mintmark "E", shown here), Stuttgart (mintmark "F"), Karlsruhe (mintmark "G") and Hamburg (mintmark "J") mints. Under the German Empire of 1871-1918, the denominations of two mark and up were permitted for the formerly independent principalities while the lower denominations (one pfennig thru one mark) were minted to a unified design. The Dresden mint was closed in 1887 and moved to Muldenhutten, where it still operates.
Recorded mintage: 1,081,000, a better date but not a key.
Specification: 5.55 g, .900 fine silver, .160 troy oz ASW.
Catalog reference: KM 7.
- Michael, Thomas, and Tracy L. Schmidt, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 9th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2019.
- Craig, William D., Germanic Coinages: Charlemagne through Wilhelm II, Mountain View, CA: 1954.
- Cristiano Bierrenbach and Warren Tucker, Heritage World Coin Auction 3064, featuring the Doug Robins Collection of Canadian Tokens, Dallas, TX: Heritage Auction Galleries, 2018.