Notgeld Categories, Vol. 4: Series Notes / Serienscheine, 1918 - 1922

This is the fourth in a series of seven posts where we will describe each primary category of notgeld, provide some historical context, share some examples, and provide some tips on how to identify and differentiate one category from another.

Series Notes / Serienscheine, 1918 - 1922

These Serienscheine, or Series Notes, are distinctly different from the other categories of notgeld that came before them.

The primary difference is the reason why these notes were made. The notgeld that came before were created to circulate and serve as a stand-in for the official currency to be used in commerce and other everyday economic scenarios for a limited period of time. These new Serienscheine began to be issued after the period of necessity had already ended, and were created specifically to appeal to the growing number of notgeld collectors in the early 1920’s.

Another key difference is the quality of design, illustration and professional printing techniques used to create many of these notes. Serienscheine are some of the most colorful and creative examples of paper money ever made. Many of their designs were well ahead of their time, featuring complex typography, expressive character design, distinctive layouts and shapes, and experimental materials and printing techniques that are as appealing and distinctive today as they were 100 years ago.

Series Notes were primarily issued, and are usually collected, in sets. These sets generally consist of multiple notes that were all issued together at the same time, but some single note sets were issued as well. The largest number of notes in a single set of Serienscheine is a set of 150 notes issued by the Tägliche Rundschau newspaper in Berlin in 1922.

My book, Notgeld: German Series Notes, 1918 - 1922, is the most recent book to be published that covers this category of notgeld. You can find more information about it here. I would also encourage you to check out the popular German language publications on this category of notgeld, which are Deutsche Serienscheine 1918 - 1922 by Hans-Ludwig Grabowski and Manfred Mehl, and Das Deutsche Notgeld: Serienscheine, Band 2: Spezialkatalog by Kai Lindman.

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