I have a German 1.50 gold mark that looks to be made of leather. It is about 3/16 of an inch thick. and dyed black. It has many symbols. Please if anyone can tell me about this. It looks to be dated 1923. I can not find another like it anywhere online. Thank you enter image description here

1 Answer 1


A real "Gold mark" it is not. Real leather it is, originally intended for shoe soles.

This is Notgeld or Ersatz-money, issued after the Great War during the period known as hyperinflation and was one of the last tries to combat the consequences of inflation on a local level. Although most of these were printed on fancy papers, intended for local circulation, especially in Thuringia other substrates, like leather went public. One of these was on auction here or here:


Pößnecker Sohlengeld. 2 Tauschwertscheine aus Rindsleder, Pößneck/Thüringen 27. September 1923. 17 x 10 u. 7,5 x 6 cm.
Kuriose Notgeld-Werte aus Sohlenleder. Es erschienen drei Werte (25 u. 50 Goldpfennig sowie 1,50 Goldmark) in einer Auflage von jeweils nur 987 Stück. Vorhanden: 50 Pf. u. 1,50 Mark. - Sehr selten, da wahrscheinlich die meisten Ex. nach Eintritt stabiler Währungsverhältnisse ihrer natürlichen Bestimmung (25 u. 50 Pf. als Absatz, 1,50 Mark als Sohle) zugeführt wurden. Alleinige Fabrikanten waren die beiden Firmen Diesel & Weise (Pößneck) und Potthoff & Kayser in Blankenburg. (Nach: Arno Fickert, Kriegs- u. historische Sammlungen/Seltenheiten-Bilddienst Nr. 7/1938). - Verblasst. "7

From the translation: Very rare specimen, since only 987 of this kind were ever made and most of these were (probably) indeed made into shoe soles after the inflation was brought under control.

In its original condition it probably looked a bit more like this:

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It is only alluding to the Goldmark which was in circulation before the war to inspire confidence. This notgeld was issued on September 27th, 1923, very shortly before the reforms that switched away from the inflated Papiermark and made the Rentenmark legal tender everywhere.

The Text on this specimen is somewhat hard to decipher.

Pößnecker Tausch-Wert-Schein
Wert 1,50 Goldmark
Der ..... (Gemeindevorsteher?) ____ Der Gemeinderat

Der Geldschein ist nur Scheingeld
Das nicht mehr seinen Wert erhält
Doch Pößnecks Leder ihr achten sollt
Wie altes Geld von echtem Gold

Vorm Kriege eine Mark ich galt
Doch schätzte hoch mich jung und alt
Mir wuchs danach ein Nullenschweif(?)
Fürs Irrenhaus die Welt ist reif

Die deutsche Mark kam auf den Hund
Doch deutscher Mann ist noch gesund!
Was der an Werken täglich schafft
Der Börsenschwindel an sich rafft.

Kaufst du 'ne Serie Sohlengeld,
Der Wucher nichts von dir erhält
Geschützt bist du ein ganzes Jahr
Vor Schnupfen und vor Reißen gar,
Denn diese Sohlen, zäh und dicht,
Die dulden kalte Füße nicht.

Neptunia. Das beste Sohlenleder der Welt. Lederfabrik Diesel & Weise, Pößneck. Potthoff & Kayser, Blankenburg-Mark.

Rough translation:

Paper money is just illusory, and cannot keep its value any longer, but leather from Pößneck you should accept, just like the money of old when it was backed by gold.

Before the war I was worth one mark, and was in high regard by young and old, but then I grew a tail of nulls, now the world is ready for the madhouse.

The Deutschmark has gone to the dogs, but the German man is still in good health! What he creates by hard days work, gets eaten by the swindle that is stock exchange.

If you buy a series of Sohlengeld (the leather money), the usury gets nothing from you, you are protected for a full year, even from sniffling or ripping (~illness), because these soles, tough and tight, they do not tolerate cold feet.

Note the distinction between creative capital and snatching (raffling, speculative) capital, a potentially antisemitic criticism of capitalism, exemplified in the 25-Points programme of the NSDAP, and making this little ensuring poem worthy of repetition in a nazi newspaper, years later: Litzmannstadter Zeitung 1941 kw IV Nr 311, p8.. This newspaper article also confirms that there was only a little run of 987 pieces.

  • 2
    @StarSapphire please don't forget to accept the answer by clicking the tickmark next to it, if it solved your question.
    – Ruslan
    Mar 7, 2018 at 17:12

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