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
Last review by CoinQuest: Mon, 22-Aug-2016 03:08:36 GMT
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