The 50 Pfennigs coin, abbreviated 50 Pf., was a small circulating denomination of the Deutsche Mark (German mark), which was the official currency of West Germany from 1948 until 1990 and later of unified Germany from 1990 until 2002. It was equal to one half of a Mark. The coinage was first issued under Allied occupation after World War II, by the "Bank deutscher Länder" (Bank of the German States) from 1950, then by the Deutsche Bundesbank (German Federal Bank) since 1957.
The coins were struck by five different mints:
- Berlin Mint - mint mark A (from 1990; Berlin was in a different country - the German Democratic Republic - before that)
- Munich Mint - mint mark D
- Stuttgart Mint - mint mark F
- Karlsruhe Mint - mint mark G
- Hamburg Mint - mint mark J
In 1998, the Stuttgart Mint and the Karlsruhe Mint merged to form the Staatliche Münzen Baden-Württemberg (SMBW) - State Mints of Baden-Württemberg, but retained their separate mint marks.
The fifty pfenning coin had a milled (reeded) edge until 1971, then plain edge later. It was made of copper-nickel, with composition Cu (copper) 75%, Ni (nickel) 25%.
In 1999, the Deutsche Mark was replaced by the Euro; its coins and banknotes remained in circulation, defined in terms of euros, until the introduction of euro notes and coins on 1 January 2002. The Deutsche Mark ceased to be legal tender immediately upon the introduction of the euro - in contrast to the other eurozone nations, where the euro and legacy currency circulated side by side for up to two months. Mark coins and banknotes continued to be accepted as valid forms of payment in Germany until 28 February 2002.