Mark (from a merging of three Teutonic/Germanic languages words, Latinized in 9th century post-classical Latin as marca, marcha, marha, marcus) was a measure of weight (see mark (mass)) mainly for gold and silver, commonly used throughout western Europe and often equivalent to 8 ounces. Considerable variations, however, occurred throughout the Middle Ages (see du Cange, Gloss. med. et infim. Lat., s.v. Marca for a full list).
In England the "mark" never appeared as a coin, but as a money of account only, and apparently came into use in the 10th century through the Danes. According to 19th century sources, it first equalled 100 pence, but after the Norman Conquest equalled 160 pence = 2/3 of the Pound Sterling, or 13 shillings and 4 pence. In Scotland, the Merk Scots comprised a silver coin of this value, issued first in 1570 and afterwards in 1663.
Germany adopted the Mark as its currency following unification in 1871. This first Mark came to be known as the Goldmark, which became Papiermark later and eventually suffered hyperinflation in 1923 (see inflation in the Weimar Republic). A new Mark was introduced, called the Rentenmark (worth Papiermark), swiftly replaced by the Reichsmark in 1924.
The German Mark was introduced by the western allies in their zones of occupation in 1948, with the Soviets issuing their own Deutsche Mark (often referred to as the East German Mark or Ostmark, later officially called the "Mark der DDR") later that same year.