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German Empire One Pfennig Coins 1873-1916 
By Tom Becker

1 Pfennig 1916 of German Empire

1 Pfennig 1916 of German Empire

Most valuable German - Pfennig coins

German Empire One Pfennig Coins 1873-1916 

By Tom Becker

As a collector I've always enjoyed being different. It is such fun to encounter a scarce and interesting coin that few other collectors are seeking or would recognize. What adds to the enjoyment is being able to buy the coin at what is often a very fair price.

One of my favorite collections is the series of German Empire 1 Pfennig coins struck from 1873 through 1916 at various mints. 
By any standard this is a huge collection made up of two slightly different types. The complete collection includes some scarce and rare issues, but is not dominated by them. With hundreds of possible coins to collect you can have lots of fun for a long time before having to purchase the rarities.
Some General Comments About Setting Standards.

What adds enormously to the fun of building this collection is being discriminating and selective about every coin you add to the set. 
The same standards used for the rarities should apply to the commonest coins. My choice would be to collect coins in the Extremely Fine grade. For me, this grade offers the best combination of quality and price. I would strive to build an evenly matched set based on color. Medium brown with attractive and glossy surfaces would be my choice. Even if the price were very tempting, I would not purchase coins with corrosion spots, heavy nicks, or scratches. The goal is to have only attractive coins in the collection even if they are supposedly common issues.

Considering the Challenge.

When collecting many coins of the world availability is often a greater concern than price. The first time I attempted to assemble this set of
pfennigs I was amazed at how difficult some of the supposedly common coins are to find. One reason for this surprising scarcity is most dealers do not actively stock many of the coins. The value of the coins is too low to attract much attention. This situation works to the advantage of the
diligent collector who is willing to sort through junk boxes and other assortments looking for special coins. With the German Empire Pfennig series
it is often much easier to locate the scarce and rare issues than many of the commoner pieces.

Based on my experience, there are a great many underrated coins in this series. The collector who decides to work on this collection can spend many enjoyable hours researching values and determining true availability. Because this series is not terribly popular with modern collectors, I'm of
the opinion that many of the values listed in the various pricing guides are less than accurate indications of worth. It is only my opinion, but I think
some of the supposedly rare and scarce issues may be overpriced with commoner issues being undervalued. A collector could spend several years researching this series and not run out of things to do.

Collecting Tips.

Because many of these coins will not generally be featured in dealer's stocks, often the best approach is to contact a dealer or dealers who specialize in minor coins of the world or German Empire coinage. Explain what you hope to accomplish and the standards you have set. Often it will be best for the dealer to set aside coins for you until they have enough to justify producing an invoice and sending a package. If you actively attend coin shows the same type of arrangements can be made with these dealers. Dealers who are willingly to work with you in this way are providing a valuable service so plan on being patient.

I generally encourage collectors to buy the scarce and rare coins in any series first. In this instance I would do the opposite. Acquire some of the
commoner coins first and then determine if you wish to continue. As mentioned previously, the cost of the coins, when you find them, may be very
reasonable. Don't be fooled. This is a challenging collection to build and one that can bring much satisfaction to the collector who understands that
the monetary value of a coin may have little to do with its numismatic significance.

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By Tom Becker © 2001 All rights reserved



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