Five Marks, Coin Type from Germany - detailed information

Five Marks, Coin Type from Germany (issued 1951 - 2001)
Coin TypeFive Marks

The Five Marks coin, abbreviated 5 DM and known in English as 5 German Marks, was the largest 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. The denomination was also served by a banknote from 1992.

The coins were struck by five different mints in parallel:
- Berlin Mint - mint mark A (from 1991; 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 coins were initially made of silver (1951 - 1974) but this was later changed to three-layered coins, with CuproNickel outer layers and a Nickel core and with a new design; the silver coins were demonetised in 1975. There was also an extensive series of commemorative 5 Marks coins (listed separately).

The edge inscription was the same throughout the history of the denomination: Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit, meaning "Unity and Justice and Freedom" (same as on the 2 DM coins).

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.

Germany / Five Marks - obverse photo

There were two different obverse designs:

Between 1951 and 1974, the silver 5 Mark coins depicted, within a beaded circle, the Federal Eagle of Germany, being a one headed eagle, its head turned to the right (i.e. facing left on the coin), its wings open and with open feathering. There was no inscription.

Between 1975 and 2001, the nickel 5 Mark coins had a different rendition of the Federal Eagle of Germany[year] underneath, and the mint mark (a letter representing the mint which struck the coin).

Obverse Inscription [year]
Germany / Five Marks - reverse photo

There were two different reverse designs:

Between 1951 and 1974, the silver 5 Mark coins had, within a beaded circle, a design featuring text only. At centre, the numeral of the value: 5; around, the denomination DEUTSCHE MARK (German Mark) separated by four-pointed stars from the date: + [year] +. All around that, the legend · BUNDESREPUBLIK DEUTSCHLAND ·, meaning Federal Republic of Germany, and the mint mark (below the date).

Between 1975 and 2001, the nickel 5 Mark coins had, at centre, the numeral of the value 5 incuse within a rounded square which is in relief; this resembles a TV screen, thus the nickname "the TV fiver" for the coin.

Around above, the legend · BUNDESREPUBLIK DEUTSCHLAND ·. Around below, the denomination DEUTSCHE MARK (German Mark).

EdgeInscribed (incuse lettering)Edge InscriptionEINIGKEIT UND RECHT UND FREIHEIT
Coin Type: Five Marks - (46) Coins
Coin NameReverseObverseIn my collection(s)
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Five Marks: Details
CurrencyDeutsche Mark
Sub-types Five Marks, Silver
Five Marks, Nickel
Face Value5 (x Mark)
CurrentNo (demonetised 2002)
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
OrientationMedal Alignment (Axis 0)