| unofficial_users = Montenegro (1999-2001)
Kosovo (1999-2001) | ERM_since = 13 March 1979 | ERM_fixed_rate_since = 31 December 1998 | euro_replace_non_cash = 1 January 1999 | euro_replace_cash = 1 January 2002 | ERM_fixed_rate = 1.95583 DM | pegged_by = Bosnia and Herzegovina convertible mark, Bulgarian lev at par | subunit_ratio_1 = 1/100 | subunit_name_1 = Pfennig | symbol = DM | symbol_subunit_1 = Pf. | plural = Mark | plural_subunit_1 = Pfennig | used_coins = 1, 2, 5, 10, 50 Pfennig, 1, 2, 5 DM | frequently_used_banknotes = 10 DM, 20 DM, 50 DM, 100 DM, 200 DM | rarely_used_banknotes = 5 DM, 500 DM, 1000 DM | issuing_authority = Deutsche Bundesbank | issuing_authority_website = www.bundesbank.de | obsolete_notice = Y }}
The Deutsche Mark (DEM, DM) or German mark was the official currency of West Germany and, from 1990 until the adoption of the euro, all of unified Germany. It was first issued under Allied occupation in 1948 replacing the Reichsmark, and served as the Federal Republic of Germany's official currency from its founding the following year until 1999, when the 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 in early 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. However, DM coins and banknotes continued to be accepted as valid forms of payment in Germany until 28 February 2002.
The Deutsche Bundesbank has guaranteed that all DM in cash form may be changed into euros indefinitely, and one may do so at any branch of the Bundesbank and banks worldwide. From time to time, some merchants hold promotions where Deutsche Marks are accepted as payment.
One Deutsche Mark was divided into 100 Pfennig.
The introduction of the new currency was intended to protect western Germany from a second wave of hyperinflation and to stop the rampant barter and black market trade (where American cigarettes acted as currency). The move angered the Soviet authorities, who regarded it as a threat. When the Deutsche Mark was introduced in West Berlin, the Soviets promptly cut off all road, rail and canal links between the three western zones and West Berlin. This led to the Berlin Blockade.
|1 Pfennig||1948–2001||1948–1949: Bronze plated steel|
1950–2001: Copper plated steel
|Oak sprig||Denomination between rye stalks|
|2 Pfennig||1950–2001||1950–1968: Bronze|
1968–2001: Bronze plated steel
|Oak sprig||Denomination between rye stalks|
|5 Pfennig||1949–2001||Brass plated steel||Oak sprig||Denomination between rye stalks|
|10 Pfennig||1949–2001||Brass plated steel||Oak sprig||Denomination between rye stalks|
|50 Pfennig||1949–2001||Cupro-nickel||Woman planting an oak seedling||Denomination|
|1 DM||1950–2001||Cupro-nickel||German eagle||Denomination between oak leaves|
|2 DM||1951, 1957–2001||Cupro-nickel||German eagle||1951: Denomination between rye stalks and grapes|
1957–1971: Max Planck
1969–1987: Konrad Adenauer
1970–1987: Theodor Heuss
1979–2001: Kurt Schumacher
1988–2001: Ludwig Erhard
1990–1994: Franz Josef Strauß
1994–2001: Willy Brandt
|5 DM||1951–2001||1951–1974: Silver|
On 27 December 2000, the German government enacted a law authorizing the Bundesbank to issue, in 2001, a special .999 pure gold 1 DM coin commemorating the end of the DM. The coin had the exact design and dimensions of the circulating cupro-nickel 1 DM coin, with the exception of the inscription on the reverse, which read "Deutsche Bundesbank" (instead of "Bundesrepublik Deutschland"), as the Bundesbank was the issuing authority in this case. A total of one million gold DM coins were minted (200,000 at each of the five mints) and were sold beginning in mid-2001 through German coin dealers on behalf of the Bundesbank. The issue price varied by dealer but averaged approximately $165 in U.S. dollars.
German coins bear a mint mark, indicating where the coin was minted. D indicates Munich, F Stuttgart, G Karlsruhe and J Hamburg. Coins minted during WW2 include the mint marks A (Berlin) and B (Vienna). The mint mark A was also used for DM coins minted in Berlin beginning in 1990 following the reunification of Germany. These mint marks have been continued on the German Euro coins.
In the latter two series, the 5 DM denomination was rarely seen, as were the ones with a value greater than 100 DM.
The design of German banknotes remained unchanged during the 1960s, '70s and '80s. During this period, forgery technology made significant advances so, in the late 1980s, the Bundesbank decided to issue a new series of Deutsche Mark banknotes. The colours for each denomination remained unchanged from the previous series but the designs underwent significant changes and a 200 DM denomination was introduced. Famous national artists and scientists were chosen to be portrayed on the new banknotes. Male and female artists were chosen in equal numbers. The buildings in the background of the notes' obverses had a close relationship to the person displayed (e.g., place of birth, place of death, place of work), as well as the second background picture (Lyra and the musician Schumann). The reverses of the notes refer to the work of the person on the obverse.
The new security features were: a windowed security-thread (with the notes denomination in microprinting), watermark, micro-printing, intaglio-printing (viewing-angle dependent visibility as well as a braille representation of the notes denomination), colour-shifting ink (on the 500 and 1000 DM denominations), a see-through register and UV-visible security features.
First to be issued were the 100 and 200 DM denominations on 1 October 1990 (although the banknote shows "Frankfurt am Main, 2. Januar 1989"). The next denomination was 10 DM on 16 April 1991, followed by 50 DM in autumn the same year. Next was the 20 DM note on 20 March 1992 (printed on 2 August 1991). The reason for this gradual introduction was, that public should become familiar with one single denomination, before introducing a new one. The change was finished with the introduction of the 5, 500, and 1000 DM denominations on 27 October 1992. The latter three denominations were rarely seen in circulation and were introduced in one step. With the advance of forgery technology, the Bundesbank decided to introduce additional security features on the most important denominations (50, 100, and 200 DM) as of 1996. These were a hologram foil in the center of the note's obverse, a matted printing on the note's right obverse, showing its denomination (like on the reverse of the new €5, €10, and €20 banknotes), and the EURion constellation on the note's reverse. Furthermore, the colors were changed a bit to pastel to hamper counterfeiting.
|Image||Value||€ equiv.||Dimensions||Main Colour||Description||Date of|
|5 DM||2.56||122 × 62 mm||Yellowish-green||Bettina von Arnim, Wiepersdorf estate and buildings of historic Berlin||Brandenburg Gate||As portrait||1 August 1991||27 October 1992||31 December 2001||Indefinite|
|10 DM||5.11||130 × 65 mm||Blue-violet||Carl Friedrich Gauss, Gaussian distribution, historic buildings of Göttingen||Sextant, a small map showing the triangulation of the Kingdom of Hanover performed by Gauss||2 January 1989||16 April 1991|
|20 DM||10.23||138 × 68 mm||Blueish-green||Annette von Droste-Hülshoff, buildings of the city of Meersburg||A quill pen and a beech-tree, referring to her work Die Judenbuche||1 August 1991||20 March 1992|
|50 DM||25.56||146 × 71 mm||Yellowish-brown||Balthasar Neumann, buildings of Old-Würzburg, an architect's ruler||Partial view of the stairway in the Würzburg Residence, the ground plan of a famous chapel, Kreuzkapelle, in Kitzingen||2 January 1989||30 September 1991|
|100 DM||51.13||154 × 74 mm||Dark blue||Clara Schumann, buildings of historic Leipzig and a lyre||Grand piano, the Hoch Conservatory||1 October 1990|
|200 DM||102.26||162 × 77 mm||Orange||Paul Ehrlich, buildings of historic Frankfurt, the formula of Arsphenamine||Microscope, the Rod of Asclepius surrounded by simplified cell structures|
|500 DM||255.65||170 × 80 mm||Red-violet||Anna Maria Sibylla Merian, an insect, buildings of ancient Nuremberg||Dandelion, inchworm, butterfly||1 August 1991||27 October 1992|
|1000 DM||511.29||178 × 83 mm||Dark-brown||Wilhelm and Jakob Grimm, buildings of historic Kassel||The 'German dictionary' (Deutsches Wörterbuch), the Royal library in Berlin|
|50 DM||25.56||As previous||2 January 1996||2 February 1998||31 December 2001||Indefinite|
|100 DM||51.13||1 August 1997|
The subdivision unit is spelled Pfennig (masc.) ˈpfɛnɪç , which (unlike Mark) does have a commonly used plural form: Pfennige ˈpfɛnɪgə, but the singular could also be used instead with no difference in meaning. (e.g.: ein (one) Pfennig, dreißig (thirty) Pfennige or dreißig (thirty) Pfennig). The official form is singular.