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20 mark
Baden Friedrich II 20 Mark
Coin of Frederick II
General information

Flag of the German Empire German Empire
Flagge Großherzogtum Baden (1891-1918) Grand Duchy of Baden





Measurements and composition

7.965 g


22.5 mm








Reichsadler, state title, value, year

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The 20 mark coin is a circulation piece that was issued intermittently by the Grand Duchy of Baden from 1872 to 1914, during the grand duchy's time as a state of the German Empire. The first type was produced from 1872 to 1873, during the reign of Grand Duke Frederick I (German: Friedrich I; 1826–1907). A second type of Frederick I was made in 1874, and a third was subsequently minted from 1894 to 1895. His son and successor, Frederick II (Friedrich II; 1857–1928), issued the final type from 1911 to 1914. All examples were produced at the Karlsruhe Mint, which can be identified from the "G" mark that appears on the obverses. Each type had a face value equivalent to 20.00 gold mark prior to eventual demonetization.


Coins of Frederick I (1872–1895)[]

Baden Friedrich I 20 Mark

Coin of Frederick I

The 1871 Act concerning the expression of imperial gold coins gave the states of the German Empire the authority to issue gold 10 and 20 mark coins, so long as certain stipulations were followed. However, production of the first 20 mark coins of the Grand Duchy of Baden did not commence until 1872 at Karlsruhe, during the reign of Grand Duke Frederick I. Minting of the pieces extended into 1873 and then into 1874 with a new type. Twenty mark coins would not be produced again a third type was introduced in 1894 and made until 1895. In accordance with the guidelines for all 20 mark coins in the Empire, each 20 mark coin of Baden under Frederick I is composed of .900 fine gold and has a mass of 7.965 grams and a diameter of 22.5 millimeters. The pieces have medallic alignment and are round in shape. The edges bear the German text "GOTT MIT UNS", which translates to English as "God with us".

Featured in the center of the obverse is a left-facing, bearded bust of Grand Duke Frederick I. His likeness is partially encircled by the German caption "FRIEDRICH GROSHERZOG VON BADEN" (English: "Frederick, Grand Duke of Baden") around the rim, which commences in an upward direction at the coin's bottom left boundary, curves downward at the top of the piece, and concludes at the lower right periphery of the obverse. The "G" mint mark of Karlsruhe is included below the bust of the Grand Duke in small print. Initial 1872 and 1873 pieces bear in the middle of the reverse the Reichsadler of the German Empire under Kaiser William I (German: Wilhelm I; 1797–1888) – consisting of a small eagle with its head facing left and its wings outspread. On its breast is a large escutcheon bearing the coat of arms of Prussia, surrounded by the chain of the Order of the Black Eagle, an order of chivalry that has been awarded by Prussian monarchs since 1701. Surmounting the eagle is the German State Crown. The state title of the German Empire in the country's main native language – "DEUTSCHES REICH" – is written along the rim of the coin, the first word located to the left of the Reichsadler and the second to the right. Underneath "REICH" is an oak (Quercus) branch, which represents the country of Germany. The value is written as "20 M.", an abbreviation for 20 Mark, below portions of the Reichsadler, the numeral and word separated by the bottom of the heraldic eagle in the center of the piece. Underneath that, at the very bottom of the coin, is the year of minting. The reverse of an 1874 piece features the same Reichsadler, but it is much smaller. Printed along the rim, starting at the coin's left boundary and concluding at its upper right periphery, is the state title. Such a legend, separated between the words by the crown in the Reichsadler, is followed by the date. The value "20 MARK" is inscribed at the bottom of the piece, separated from the state title by two five-pointed stars. Coins made from 1894 to 1895 feature the Reichsadler of Kaiser William II (Wilhelm II; 1859–1941), which is similar in appearance to that of William I, although the eagle itself is larger and the shield on its breast is smaller. The remaining features on the reverse – the state title, year, and value – are in the same positions as they are on the 1874 piece.

A total of approximately 915,758 examples of the 20 mark coin were made from 1872 to 1873. These were followed by about 154,903 specimens in 1874 and 180,054 from 1894 to 1895. Proofs exist for all of the years of production. In addition, two varieties of the 1894 piece are observable: one with a large "4" in the date and another with a smaller "4".

Year Mintage
First type
1872 397,988
1873 517,770
Total 915,758
Second type
1874 154,903
Third type
1894¹ 800,000
1895 101,054
Total 180,054
All types
Total 1,250,715
¹ Varieties with large and small "4" numerals exist.
Note: Proofs were made for all years.

Coin of Frederick II (1911–1914)[]

After about 51 years of reign, Grand Duke Frederick I died on September 28, 1907, leaving the throne to his eldest son, Frederick II. In 1911, four years into the new Grand Duke's reign, production of a 20 mark coin bearing his likeness began at Karlsruhe. Such a piece would then continue to be struck annually until 1914. The 20 mark piece of Frederick II has the same composition and measurements as those of his father, being made of .900 fine gold and having a mass of 7.965 grams and a diameter of 22.5 millimeters. The coin has medallic alignment and an edge reading "GOTT MIT UNS". It is round in shape.

Displayed in the center of the coin's obverse is a left-facing, mustached bust of Grand Duke Frederick II. Inscribed along the rim of the piece is the German caption "FRIEDRICH II GROSSHERZOG VON BADEN" (English: "Frederick II, Grand Duke of Baden"), which commences in an upward direction at the lower left periphery, arches downward at the top of the obverse, and concludes at the coin's bottom right boundary. The "G" mint mark of Karlsruhe is present below the likeness of the Grand Duke, written in a small font. The reverse of the coin of Frederick II is identical to the pieces of Frederick I produced from 1894 to 1895, featuring the Reichsadler of Kaiser William II in the middle and the state title "DEUTSCHES REICH", the year of minting, and the value "ZWEI MARK" along the periphery.

Over four years of production, approximately 867,793 examples of the 20 mark coin of Frederick II were made. A small number of proof specimens were manufactured each year.

1911 190,836
1912 311,063
1913 85,374
1914 280,520
Total 867,793
Note: Proofs were made for all years.


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State coin issues
2 mark Anhalt (Anhalt-Dessau) • BadenBavariaBremenHamburgHesseLippeLübeckMecklenburg-SchwerinMecklenburg-StrelitzOldenburgPrussiaReuss Elder Line (Reuss-Obergreiz) • Reuss Younger Line (Reuss-Schleiz) • Saxe-AltenburgSaxe-Coburg-GothaSaxe-MeiningenSaxe-Weimar-EisenachSaxony (Saxony-Albertine) • Schaumburg-LippeSchwarzburg-RudolstadtSchwarzburg-SondershausenWürttemberg
3 mark AnhaltBadenBavariaBrunswickHamburgHesseLippeLübeckMecklenburg-SchwerinMecklenburg-StrelitzPrussiaReuss Elder LineSaxe-MeiningenSaxe-Weimar-EisenachSaxonySchaumburg-LippeSchwarzburg-SondershausenWürttemberg
5 mark AnhaltBadenBavariaBremenBrunswickHamburgHesseLübeckMecklenburg-SchwerinOldenburgPrussiaSaxe-AltenburgSaxe-Coburg-GothaSaxe-MeiningenSaxe-Weimar-EisenachSaxonySchaumburg-LippeWaldeck-PyrmontWürttemberg
10 mark AnhaltBadenBavariaBremenHamburgHesseLübeckMecklenburg-SchwerinMecklenburg-StrelitzOldenburgPrussiaReuss Younger LineSaxe-Coburg-GothaSaxe-MeiningenSaxonySchwarzburg-RudolstadtWürttemberg
20 mark AnhaltBadenBavariaBremenBrunswickHamburgHesseMecklenburg-SchwerinMecklenburg-StrelitzPrussiaReuss Elder LineReuss Younger LineSaxe-AltenburgSaxe-Coburg-GothaSaxe-MeiningenSaxe-Weimar-EisenachSaxonySchaumburg-LippeSchwarzburg-SondershausenWaldeck-PyrmontWürttemberg