GERMANY 500 milliarde mark 26.10.1923 P127a


GERMANY, 500 milliarde mark, 26.10.1923, Face: brown, utility design, Back: blank, green tint & watermark on right, P127a, grafitti, aF

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Milliarde is the equivalent of “billion” in American English.

In the German inflation period the government was actively working to depreciate the currency in 1923. The general idea was to repay the war reparations stipulated by the Versailles Treaty with depreciated money. They printed too much, and things kind of got out of control.

Aside from China, other governments started using circulating “banknotes” starting in the 17th century AD. The practice became general in the 19th century. In the 20th century value of paper money in circulation far surpassed the value of coinage. In the 21st century paper money is fading and credit transactions are growing.

Paper money, meaning the promise of a government to pay a set amount, and the paper promise allowed to circulate at will, was probably first used in China in the 12th century AD. At that time the merchants and governments of Europe were just writing letters to each other about what they owed.