|Obverse of a coin from 1904|
|Measurements and composition|
Reichsadler, state title, value, year
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The 2 mark coin is a circulation and commemorative coin that was issued intermittently from 1876 to 1904 by the Duchy of Anhalt, one of the 27 states of the German Empire. The first issue was a general circulation issue struck in 1876, during the early reign of Duke Frederick I of Anhalt (1831–1904). A second coin of the denomination was introduced in 1896 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Frederick's reign. When Frederick II (1856–1918), Frederick I's successor and second son, ascended the throne in 1904 a final issue of the 2 mark coin of Anhalt was issued.
Coins[edit | edit source]
As was standard with all 2 mark coins of the states of the German Empire, those of Anhalt are composed of .900 fine silver. They weigh approximately 11.1111 grams, and measure 28 millimeters in diameter and 2 millimeters thick. They all use medallic alignment, and like most coins, they are round in shape.
Coins of Frederick I (1876–1896)[edit | edit source]
Frederick I became the Duke of Anhalt in 1871, shortly after the death of his father, Leopold IV (1794–1871). During his early reign the German Empire was at its infancy, and eventually the former thaler currency of Anhalt was replaced by the empire's gold mark. The Duchy of Anhalt introduced its first 2 mark coin in 1876, during the fifth year of the duke's reign. A right-facing image of Frederick I is featured in the center of the coin's obverse. Starting at the left side of the coin and extending upward along the rim to end at the opposite side of the obverse is the German legend "FRIEDRICH HERZOG V. ANHALT", an abbreviated form of Friedrich Herzog von Anhalt, which translates to English as "Frederick, Duke of Anhalt". This text is interrupted between "FRIEDRICH" and "HERZOG" at the top of the coin by the duke's likeness. At the very bottom of the obverse is an "A" mint mark, which signifies production at the mint in Berlin, Prussia. Depicted in the middle of the reverse is the Reichsadler ("Imperial Eagle") of the German Empire — at the time consisting of a small single-headed eagle surmounted by a crown, with a large Prussian coat of arms on its breast. Arched around the upper periphery of the coin is the "DEUTSCHES REICH" (English: "German Empire") state title of the Second Reich followed by the date. The word "DEUTSCHES" is separated from "REICH" by the crown in the coat of arms. The value "ZWEI MARK" (English: "two mark") is shown at the very bottom of the coin, separated from the title and year of minting by two asterisks (*). The edge is reeded. The Standard Catalog of World Coins records a mintage of approximately 200,000 examples.
A second 2 mark coin of Anhalt was minted in 1896 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Frederick I's reign as duke. The obverse features an older right-facing portrait of the then 64- or 65-year-old monarch. The accompanying legend reads "FRIEDRICH HERZOG VON ANHALT" and is not separated at any place on the coin. An "A" mint mark is present below the likeness of Frederick I. The reverse of the 1896 coin is virtually identical to that of its 1876 counterpart, with the exception of the German Reichsadler, which was changed in 1889 when William II (Wilhelm II; 1859–1941) became Emperor (or Kaiser) of Germany. His Reichsadler consisted of a large single-headed eagle surmounted by the German State Crown, with a small Prussian coat of arms surrounded by the chain of the Order of the Black Eagle on the eagle's breast. Only about 50,000 examples of the 2 mark coin were produced.
Coin of Frederick II (1904)[edit | edit source]
Frederick II, the second son of Frederick I, became Duke of Anhalt after the latter died of an apoplectic stroke in 1904.[note 1] Two-mark coins bearing his image and name were produced as early as 1904, though the Standard Catalog of World Coins suggests pieces were also coined in 1901. A left-facing likeness of the duke is present in the center of the obverse, partially encircled by the German legend "FRIEDRICH II HERZOG VON ANHALT" (English: "Frederick II, Duke of Anhalt"). Below the likeness is the "A" mint mark of Berlin. The reverse of the coin is nearly identical to that of the 1896 piece, the exception being the date, which reads either "1901" or "1904". The coin's edge is reeded. A total of 50,150 examples were produced in 1904, including 150 proofs. The Standard Catalog of World Coins does not provide any mintages for its reported 1901 date, and only includes for it prices that match those of the 1904 date.
Notes[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Numismatic Guaranty Corporation – GERMAN STATES ANHALT-DESSAU 2 Mark KM# 22 1876
- Numismatic Guaranty Corporation – GERMAN STATES ANHALT-DESSAU 2 Mark KM# 23 1896
- Numismatic Guaranty Corporation – GERMAN STATES ANHALT-DESSAU 2 Mark KM# Pn1 1901
- Numismatic Guaranty Corporation – GERMAN STATES ANHALT-DESSAU 2 Mark KM# 27 1901-1904
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