GERMANY, medal for Kaiser’s fathers birth centennial, 1897


GERMANY, medal, 1897, Obverse: helmeted bust R, WILHELM DER GROSSE DEUTSCHEN KAISER KOENIG VON PREUSSEN, Reverse: imperial regalia, crossed oak and laurel branches, ZUM ANDEKEN AN DEN HUNDERTSTEN GEBURTSTAG DES GROSSEN KAISERS WILHELM I 1797 – 22 MAERZ – 1897, Edge: plain, bronze, 39mm, 32.1g, spots, VF

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The Germans have been fans of round, flat, shiny objects since the 2nd century BC, when they made imitations of Greek coins. Coin manufacture was deeply decentralized until the 19th century, extending to jetons and medals starting in the 16th century. Local tokens began to supplement the normally chaotic coinage situation in the markets from the late 17th century. Production of tokens and medals boomed in the 19th century, and was going strong into the 1990s.