During the two world wars there was a shortage of coins and banknotes in Germany and Austria due to the expansion of German territories and there not being enough physical cash to meet the demand of new users. Banknotes were hoarded as well as coins because of the precious metals like nickel and silver used to mint them. The German state in itself withdrew coins, smelted them and used them for the war time production of goods and supplies. As a result of the cash shortage, the state bank allowed individual towns to cities to print their own banknotes. They were called notgelds or “emergency money” which is the literal transaltion from German. As a result of hyperinflation notgelds started being printed more often and denominations kept getting higher and higher. As more notgelds were printed more creative designs were though of and used. Everyday German life, culture, and events were depicted on them. The artwork on them was so beautiful that eventually people started collecting them and holding them as collector pieces. To this day you can find notgelds that are still in fantastic condition because people cherished them and aimed to keep them in mint condition.
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