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Muldenhütten Mint

Münzstätte Muldenhütten mit den 1891 dort Beschäftigten
The mint and its workers in 1891

Geographical information


Historical information
Date established

c. 1887



Political information

Flag of German Democratic Republic East Germany
Flag of the German Empire German Empire
Flag of German Reich (1935–1945) Nazi Germany
Flag of Germany (3-2 aspect ratio) Weimar Republic

The Muldenhütten Mint was a German mint located in Muldenhütten, a town situated near the Freiberger Mulde, to the west of Bobritzsch-Hilbersdorf. It operated as the mint of Saxony from 1887 to 1953, replacing the previous Dresden facility. Coins produced at Muldenhütten, like those of its predecessor, bear an E mint mark.


Transfer from Dresden to Muldenhütten[]

Muldenhütten Mint mark

The "E" mint mark used by the Saxon mints

After the German introduction of the gold standard in 1873, coin production at the mint in Dresden reached its climax in 1876. However, from there production waned and from 1882 to 1884 no coins were minted at the facility. In March 1884, the Parliament of Saxony decided to move the state mint of Saxony to Freiberg and use the site of the previous mint to erect a new Academy of Fine Arts. In May 1884, the goal was to move the mint to Halsbrücke, and thereafter to Muldenhütten.

The last coins produced at the facility in Dresden were 1 pfennig pieces minted on February 5, 1887. Such coins typically bear the word "PFENNIG" at the bottom of the reverse flanked to the left and right by a small point. Gustav Julius Buschick (1815–1897), the Münzmeister at Dresden at the time of its closure, had 25 coins bear a larger point to the right of the word "PFENNIG" as a memorial to the last pfennigs produced at the mint. After the transfer from Dresden to Muldenhütten was complete, Buschick retired from his position, and the office of Münzmeister was discontinued. Max Barduleck (1846–1923), the Chief Engraver at Dresden, continued his work at Muldenhütten after the transfer. The "E" mint mark used by the previous Saxon mint began to be used on pieces struck in Muldenhütten in 1887.

Operations until 1953[]

20 Pfennig 1887 E, mit Stern, mcsearch

An 1887 20 pfennig coin from Muldenhütten bearing an asterisk

The first coins produced at the mint in Muldenhütten were 20 pfennig pieces from 1887. Of which, the first fifty examples have been marked with an asterisk (*) below the "20" in the center of the reverse. Such a symbol was also used by the Andreas Alnpeck (1489–1563), the last Münzmeister of the Freiberg Mint, which was closed and replaced by the Dresden Mint in 1556. The use of this symbol indicates the transfer of the Saxon state mint back to the Freiberg area after over 300 years.

Max Barduleck served as the Chief Engraver and medalist at the Dresden and later Muldenhütten Mints from 1865 until his retirement in 1911. The last coin he designed was the 1909 5 mark coin of Saxony commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Leipzig University. By this time, artist Friedrich Wilhelm Hörnlein (1873–1945) had already displayed his artistic merit through medals and plaques he had designed for the Bavarian Mint in Munich, Carl Poellath in Schrobenhausen, and Glaser & Sohn in Dresden. In 1911 he applied for the office of the elderly Barduleck, and on July 1 of that year Hörnlein was appointed. Since 1919, the coinage was mostly designed at Berlin, but some of Hörnlein's designs from Muldenhütten also came to be used.

Near the end of World War II, Hörnlein and his family were found dead after the bombing of Dresden by Allied forces on February 13, 1945. This marked the decline of the Muldenhütten Mint, and a number of years later, in 1953, the facility finally closed its doors. The mint building still remains standing, but has fallen into a state of abandonment and disrepair.


DDR, Pfennig 1953 E (2)

An East German pfennig produced in 1953 at Muldenhütten

The first coins struck at the mint in Muldenhütten were circulation pieces of the gold mark that were initially authorized for production under the German Coinage Act, passed on July 9, 1873, and the 1871 Act concerning the expression of imperial gold coins. A law passed by the Federal Council on July 1, 1900, allowed for the mints of the empire to coin commemorative coins. For the Kingdom of Saxony, the Muldenhütten Mint struck 2 and 5 mark pieces in 1909 celebrating the University of Leipzig, a 3 mark coin in 1913 honoring the 1813 Battle of Leipzig in the War of the Sixth Coalition (1812–1814), and another 3 mark piece in 1917 commemorating the Reformation. Medallic 2 mark coins were also produced in Muldenhütten during the mint visits of Saxon Kings Albert (1828–1902) in 1892, George (German: Georg; 1832–1904) in 1903, and Frederick Augustus III (German: Friedrich August III; 1865–1932) in 1905. In World War I (1914–1918) and the period of subsequent inflation, the mint in Muldenhütten produced subsidiary coins composed of iron, zinc, and aluminum. Under the Weimar Republic, the facility in Muldenhütten produced both circulation and commemorative coins of the Papiermark, Rentenmark, and Reichsmark.

The mint continued its operations after the defeat and subsequent Allied occupation of Germany during World War II (1939–1945). The first pieces produced in Muldenhütten during this time period were 1947 10 and 1948 5 Reichspfennig pieces intended for circulation in the Soviet occupation zone. Muldenhütten produced its final coins from 1949 to 1953, the early years of the German Democratic Republic; these coins consisted solely of low-denomination 1, 5, and 10 pfennig pieces composed of aluminum.

The Muldenhütten Mint was also authorized by Iceland in 1930 to coin pieces celebrating the 1000th anniversary of the Icelandic Commonwealth. The dies of the coins of 2, 5, and 10 krónur were cut by Friedrich Wilhelm Hörnlein in accordance with the templates sent in by artists Baldvin Björnsson (1879–1945), Guðmundur Einarsson (1895–1963), Einar Jónsson (1874–1954), and Tryggvi Magnusson (1900–1960).


Muldenhütten with mint marked

The location of the mint in Muldenhütten. (click to enlarge)

The mint was originally built in 1883. It is located by a river, which likely served as a source to power the mint machinery. This river is recorded to have flooded at some point, which caused some damage to the mint. Metal doors were built into the building, probably for security purposes. The building currently remains standing because its historical importance protects it from being torn down. However, lacking proper funding, the facility has fallen into abandonment and disrepair and has come into the ownership of a local aluminum parts company.


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