Pfennig


Pfennig

The Pfennig (abbreviation "Pf") is an old German coin or note, which existed from the 9th century until the introduction of the euro in 2002.

While a valuable coin during the Middle Ages, it lost its value through the years and was the minor coin of the Mark in the German Reich, the FRG and the GDR.

A . This ligature is written only by hand and has nearly fallen out of use since the 1950s, with the demise and eventual abolition of the Reichsmark.

Etymology

The British "Penny" is etymologically related to the 'Pfennig', which was also model for the Finnish Penni (1860-2001), the Polish fenig (1917-1918) and the Fening of Bosnia and Herzegovina (1998-today).

The etymology of the Pfennig is not completely clear, but seems to rely on the way coins were minted during the Middle Ages: the base material were thin flat metal discs. The value was embossed from one side, creating a pan (German Pfanne) -like coin.

In some pre-German countries (like Prussia and Bavaria), coins had similar but different names, as Pfenning, Penning, Pending, Pfanding and Penny. This was for better handling due to different currencies (of different states within the Deutscher Bund) used simultaneously.

History

In the 9th century, Charlemagne declared that 240 Pfennigs should be minted from a pound of silver. A single coin thus contained 1.5 to 2 grams of silver. Until the 13th century, the pfennig was made from real silver, and thus of high value. From the 12th century on, the King was no longer able to enforce the regalia to mint coins, so many towns and local lords made their own coins, mostly using less valuable metals and less metal per coin, so different Pfennigs had different values.Some renowned coins are the Häller Pfennig, some centuries later called Heller and minted throughout the country, and the Kreuzer (from 'Kreuz', the cross minted on the coins).In the late 17th century the Pfennigs had lost most of their value. The last Pfennig coins containing traces of silver are rarities minted in 1805.The Goldmark, introduced in 1873 as currency of the newly founded German Reich, was parted as 1 Mark = 100 Pfennigs. This partition was retained through all German currencies until 2001.The last West German one- and two-Pfennig coins were steel with a copper coating, the five- and ten-Pfennig coins were steel with a brass coating. The latter was called Groschen. All four coins had their value imprinted on the obverse and oak on the reverse. The coins of the Mark of the DDR were made of aluminium, except for the 20 Pfennigs coin, which was made of an aluminium copper alloy.

Pfennig since the euro

After the introduction of the euro, some, mainly older, Germans tend to use the term Pfennig instead of cent for the copper-coloured coins (and the term Groschen for the 10-cent-coin).

ee also

*Bracteate
*Penny


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • pfennig — [ pfenig ] n. m. • pfenning 1812; mot all. ♦ Monnaie divisionnaire allemande qui vaut la centième partie du mark. Une pièce de dix pfennigs. ● pfennig, pfennige ou pfennigs nom masculin (allemand Pfennig) Ancienne monnaie divisionnaire de l… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Pfennig — (Pfenning), 1) dieses mit dem englischen Penny ursprünglich gleichbedeutende Wort, ist von ganz ungewisser Abstammung (am wahrscheinlichsten noch von phant = Pfand); es lautet im Althochdeutschen pending, pendig, phending, im Mittelhochdeutschen… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Pfennig — Pfennig: I.Pfennig,der:denP.[dreimal,zehnmal]umdrehen/herumdrehen:⇨geizig(2);aufdenP.sehen,jedenP.umdrehen,mitdem/jedemP.rechnen/sparen:⇨sparsam(3);aufdenP.aussein:⇨geldgierig(2);keinen/nichteinenP.wert:⇨wertlos(1);aufHellerundP.:⇨vollständig(1);d… …   Das Wörterbuch der Synonyme

  • Pfennig — Pfennig: Die Herkunft der westgerm. Münzbezeichnung (mhd. pfenni‹n›c, ahd. pfenning, pfenting, niederl. penning, engl. penny) ist nicht sicher geklärt. Der Name der Münze kann auf einer Bildung zu lat. pannus »Stück Tuch« beruhen, weil in der… …   Das Herkunftswörterbuch

  • Pfennig — Pfen nig, n.; pl. {Pfennigs}, G. {Pfennige}. [G. See {Penny}.] A small copper coin of Germany. It is the hundredth part of a mark, or about a quarter of a cent in United States currency. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Pfennig — (Pfenning, althochd. phantinc, phenninc), ursprünglich gemünztes Geld überhaupt (so noch jetzt in Ausdrücken wie Zehr , Beicht , Notpfennig etc.), dann insbes. diejenige Münze, in der die meisten Zahlungen geschahen, wie während des Mittelalters… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Pfennig — (bezeichnet mit Pf oder Pf.), ursprünglich überhaupt gemünztes Geld, dann jahrhundertelang der Silber P. oder Denarius zu 1/12 Schilling, seit dem 16. Jahrh. zuweilen, seit Anfang des 18. Jahrh. regelmäßig von Kupfer, früher in Preußen zu 1/360,… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Pfennig — Pfennig, die kleinste Scheidemünze, wird jetzt nur aus Kupfer geprägt, während es früher auch Silber oder Weißpfennige gab. Der Werth richtet sich nach der größeren Scheidemünze jedes Landes; in Sachsen, Hannover etc. z. B. hat der Groschen 12,… …   Damen Conversations Lexikon

  • Pfennig — Sm std. (8. Jh.), mhd. pfenni(n)c, ahd. pfending u.a., as. penning Stammwort. Mit dem ing Suffix, das auch in anderen Münzbezeichnungen auftritt (vgl. etwa Schilling); sonst ist die Herkunft unklar. Unerklärt ist vor allem das Nebeneinander von… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • pfennig — ► NOUN ▪ a monetary unit of Germany, equal to one hundredth of a mark. ORIGIN German, related to PENNY(Cf. ↑penny) …   English terms dictionary

  • pfennig — [fen′ig; ] Ger [ pfen′iH] n. pl. pfennigs or Ger pfennige [pfen′i gə] [Ger: see PENNY] a former monetary unit of Germany, equal to 1/ 100 of a deutsche mark …   English World dictionary


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