Token: Poland (Litzmannstadt Ghetto) 5, 10, 20 and 50 Mark  1943
Token: Poland (Litzmannstadt Ghetto) 5, 10, 20 and 50 Mark 1943

I doubt you could find another token with darker, more chilling inscriptions and symbolism. The large Star of David, and the legend of 'AELTESTE DER JUDEN IN LITZMANNSTADT' (Elder of the Jews in Litzmannstadt) sure sends a chill down my spine. These base-metal tokens were struck in Poland during the German occupation of World War II to circulate in the Jewish ghetto in Litzmannstadt - the second largest of such ghettos.

The 5, 10, 20 and 50 marks all look alike, except for the large numeral denoting their denomination. The 5 and 10 mark tokens were struck in both aluminum and an aluminum-magnesium alloy. Additionally, the aluminum 10 mark tokens were struck on either thin or thick blanks. See the table below for weight and size differences, along with values:

5 MARK, ALUMINUM: 1.57g, 22.5 mm diameter
worn: $5 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $25
well preserved: $80

5 MARK, ALUMINUM-MAGNESIUM: 1.03g, 22.7 mm diameter
worn: $20
average circulated: $75
well preserved: $175

10 MARK, ALUMINUM, THICK FLAN: 3.4g, 28.3 mm diameter
worn: $5
average circulated: $25
well preserved: $85

10 MARK, ALUMINUM, THIN FLAN: 2.3g, 28.3 mm diameter
Same as 'thick flan' above.

10 MARK, ALUMINUM-MAGNESIUM: 1.75g, 28.4 mm diameter
worn: $25
average circulated: $85
well preserved: $180

20 MARK (Aluminum)
worn: $175
average circulated: $650
well preserved: $1250
Please see notes below

50 MARK (Aluminum-bronze)
worn: $1
average circulated: $2
well preserved: $25
fully uncirculated: $45
Please see notes below

Most 20 mark tokens are counterfeit. Only 600 genuine tokens were struck, so they are both valuable and rare. If you believe you have a genuine 20 mark token, it would be a good idea to seek out a knowledgeable dealer or collector for advise. Another option is to send it in for certification and grading at one of the professional services PCGS, NGC, ANACS or ICG. Do not use other services.

The 50 mark tokens were not struck in 1943 but much later. They are modern fantasy creations. No 50 mark tokens were struck for circulation in the Polish ghettos. They are still sought by some collectors to complete the set, even if it's not a real denomination, and they are slightly scarce. As such, they still hold value, though much less than the actual historical tokens.

Any damaged token will be worth a few dollars at most. If severely mutilated it's worth zero. Please see our Important Terminology page at the top left in order to properly interpret the catalog values listed on this page.

Coin: 17552 , Genre: Tokens
Requested by: Ioan, Fri, 08-Aug-2014 19:14:37 GMT
Answered by: Paul, Sat, 09-Aug-2014 10:46:11 GMT
Reviewed by CoinQuest. Appraisal ok., Mon, 22-Aug-2016 03:08:36 GMT
Requester description: 1943 20 mark 20 mark
Getto 1943
Tags: token poland litzmannstadt ghetto 5 10 20 50 mark jetton jets jeton ietton tokens exonumia jet jetons polushka polska polskie ilika iioay polski liika poltina polskich polish noay iiika getto deutschemark reicshmark dreimark sammel marke dutchemark kohlenmarke reichmark sammelmarke deuchmark markas marks marc satzmarke reichsmark marck circle ring star starburst circled encircle circlet circles loops circal encircled circuit ringed circumscibed incircled circel circumference encircles encircling rings circling loop circular circumscribed starrs stars burst


In my collection I have
1)5Mark coin, Al. flan, Thick=1.31mm, Dia. 22.5mm W=1.05gr. The weight value doesn't match your data - 1.57gr.
2)10Mark coin, Al. flan, Thick=1.89mm, Dia. 28.3mm W=2.45gr. Also here the weight doesn't match your data - 3.4gr.
3)10Mark coin, Mg-Al. flan, Thick=1.71mm, Dia. 27.9mm W=6.7gr. Also here the weight doesn't match your data - 1.7gr.

Please check data and advise

Adam - Adam
Hi Adam: Your first coin matches the weight of the Mg-Al flans within the expected margin of error. Your second coin is only a bit heavier than the 'thin flan' 10 marks we mention at 2.3 grams. Likely the thickness and weight varied a bit. Your third coin cannot be Mg-Al since such a coin would be lighter than a pure aluminum coin, not heavier. Magnesium is less dense than aluminum. As we mention at the bottom of our page, there are both counterfeit 20 marks and fantasy 50 marks. With the extremely high weight of your 10 mark, it seems likely to be counterfeit. I cannot find any other coins struck in Poland at that time weighing the same, so 'struck on wrong flan'-error doesn't seem like a possibility. - CoinQuest (Chris)






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