Germany - Travel/Philately/Numismatics/Memorabilia Profile

Germany, a country in Central Europe bordered by Denmark, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Netherlands, and the Baltic Sea has a total land area of 137,847 square miles and a population close to 82 million. Germany is the world’s fourth largest economy and has a very high standard of living. Many famous scientists, musicians, artists and athletes hailed from this country. Germany is culturally very diverse and is recognized as having the most positive influence in the world. It is highly environment conscious and is a leading producer of wind turbines and solar-power technology. It is the world’s second largest exporter and importer and its chief exports are in engineering, machinery, automobiles, chemical goods and metals.

Travel Resources:

While Germany is an all season charmer. Spring and summer are the most tourist friendly seasons, for then open-air festivals are popular. It being a transportation hub in road, rail and air helps the tourist further. Germany is chock-full of  attractions and activities and chief among them are the Black Forest, the Bavarian Castle, Brandenburg Gate (tribute to peace), Weimar, Cathedral of Cologne, and the Oktoberfest. Berlin, the largest city has plenty to keep the visitor occupied. For winter visitors a visit to Nuremberg is a must for then the city decks up as a winter wonderland. Though German cuisine varies from region to region, the common theme is sausage, sauerkraut and beer.


ResourceISBN or ASINBest PriceDescription
Germany Eyewitness Travel Guides978-0756660710$20A fifty-page traveler’s introduction to Germany followed by sections on Berlin Area by Area, Eastern Germany, Southern Germany, Western Germany, and Northern Germany. There is also a travelers needs section covering over 125 pages. The maps are outstanding showing dimensional detail that helps you identify areas while you are there!
Maus I: A Survivor’s Tale: My Father Bleeds History978-0394747231$10A graphic novel about the holocaust based on the true story of the author Art Spigelman’s father, a holocaust survivor from Poland. The graphic comic book presentation is part of two-part Pulitzer Prize winning set. It is considered one of the most important works of comic art ever published!
Laminated Germany Map by Borch978-3866093171$12Scale 1:800,000.
Streetwise Munich Map978-1931257152$8Main Munich Map at 1:14,000. Munich Area Map at 1:73,000. Munich Metro Map.
International Travel Grounded Adapter Plug to France, Germany, Netherlands, Russia, SpainB001ISR9B6$4
Other Travel NeedsNAVaries


Philatelic Profile:

The first stamps of Germany were released in 1872 in the Coat of Arms theme. The set of eleven stamps (Scott #1 to #11) catalogs for around $8500 mint and close to $900 for used.  The Imperial Eagle is the oldest extant state symbol of Europe, with its roots going back to the Roman Empire. This was followed by a couple of issues in 1872 in the Numerals theme. The set (Scott #12 to #13) catalogs for around $150 mint and around $3000 used. The Coat of Arms and Numerals were the primary themes of German stamp issues until the turn of the century. Germany issued a set of ten stamps on January 1, 1900 in the Germania theme. The set (Scott #52 to #61) catalogs for around $800 MNH and $12 used. Several varieties and a reissue followed in 1902. The reissue set (Scott #65C to #74) catalogs for around $1,600 MNH and around $10 used. In the interim, a set (Scott #62 to #65A) in the History theme was also released. The designs show General Post Office in Berlin, Union of North and South Germany, Unveiling Kaiser Wilhelm I Memorial in Berlin, and Wilhelm II Speaking at Empire’s 25th Anniversary Celebration. Each stamp in the set is valued upwards of $50 mint. Some varieties and higher denominations command a huge premium. The set was reissued following World War I and those stamps are not as valuable.

Germany released a set of stamps between 1919 and 1920 in the National Assembly theme. The set (Scott #105 to #108) is remarkably inexpensive and catalogs for around $2 MNH and $5 used. The designs show Symbolical of a live stump of tree to signify Germany surviving difficulties, new shoots from oak stump to signify new government, and man lifting load to signify rebuilding. The Weimar Republic was established in August 1919 following World War I and the German Revolution. The primary element of the Versailles treaty assigned blame of the war to Germany and the rest of the treaty can be termed as details of Germany paying reparations to the victors. One major part of reparations aimed at punishing Germany was France being awarded full possession of Germany’s coal-bearing Saar basin for 15 years, after which a plebiscite would determine the country to which the basin belongs. Germany issued a set of two stamps on August 26, 1934 to mark the Saar Plebiscite. The set (Scott #444 to #445) catalogs for around $65 MNH and less than a dollar for used. The designs show “Saar Belongs to Germany” allegory and the German Eagle.

Other stamps of Germany enjoying good philatelic interest include:
  1. A long set of twenty stamps released between 1947 and 1948 in the peace theme. The set (Scott #557 to #577) catalogs for around $5 MNH and $50 used. The designs show planting olive, sower, laborer, reaping wheat, Allegory of Germany reaching for peace, and Heinrich von Stephan. Stephan was a General Post Director who is credited with reorganizing the German postal service, introducing the telephone, and being integral in the founding of the Universal Postal Union.
  2. A set of stamps released on September 7, 1949 to mark the opening of the first Federal Assembly. The set (Scott #665 to #666) of two stamps catalog for around $90 MNH and $40 used. The designs show an allegory of reconstruction and a numeral Bavria stamp-on-stamp. The set was released immediately after the division of Germany into East Germany and West Germany based on the lines of Allied occupation at the end of World War II.
  3. A long set of twenty stamps released between 1954 and 1960 depicting a portrait of President Theodor Heuss. The set (Scott #702 to #721) catalogs for around $250 MNH and $20 used. Heuss was the President of the Federal Republic of Germany between 1949 and 1959. Huess was a member of parliament from 1924 to 1928 and from 1930 to 1933. During the last year of his tenure, he voted in favour of Enabling Act, granting Adolf Hitler quasi-dictatorial powers. He went back to private life when Germany became a one-party state and returned back to power as the Minister of Culture in Baden-Wurttemberg in 1946.
  4. A long set of twenty three stamps released between 1975 and 1982 in the technology theme. The set (Scott #1170 to #1192) catalogs for around $30 MNH and $9 used. The designs show satellite, electric train, Old Weser Lighthouse, rescue helicopter, space shuttle, radar station, X-ray machine, shipbuilding, tractor, bituminous coal excavator, color TV camera, chemical plant, brewery, heating plant at Licterfelde, power shovel, blast furnace, payloader, oil drilling, Frankfurt Airport, Electro RR, and Effelsberg Radio Telescope.
  5. A long set of twenty two stamps released between 1986 and 1991 depicting famous Women. The set (Scott #1475 to #1494A) catalogs for around $30 MNH and $12 used. The designs show Emma Ihrer, Paula Modrsohn-Becker, Cilly Aussem, Kathe Kollwitz, Maria Sibylla Merian, Christine Teusch, Dorothea Erxleben, Elisabet Boehm, Clara Schumann, Therese Giehse, Elisabeth Selbert, Lise Meitner, Cecile Vogt, Sophie Scholl, Hannah Arendt, Lotte Lehmann, Bertha von Suttner, Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Mathilde Franziska Anneke, Queen Louisse of Prussia, Fanny Hensel, Hedwig Dransfeld, and Alice Salomon.
  6. A long set of fifteen stamps released between 1993 and 1996 showing Scenic Regions. The set (Scott #1793 to #1807) catalogs for around $15 MNH and around half that for used. The designs show Ruger Island, Harz Mountains, Rhon Mountains, Bavarian Alps, Ore Mountains, Main River Valley, Mecklenburg Lake District, Franconian Switzerland, Upper Lusatia, Sauerland, Havel River in Berlin, Holstein Switzerland, Saale, Spreewald, and Eifel.
  7. A stamp released on January 10, 2002 depicting Hans von Dohnanyi. The stamp (Scott #2145) is inexpensive cataloging for about a dollar MNH or used. There is a variety (Scott #2145A) which is very rare and catalogs for around $1000. The stamp has a colored face and the year 2002 is inscribed at the upper right. Only about 3000 or so stamps are known to have been sold thus accounting for rarity. Dohnanyi was a jurist who attempted to document Nazi atrocities, helped Jews escape persecution, and helped with resistance activity against Adolf Hitler. He was condemned and hanged in 1945. 
Numismatic Profile:

The first coins of Germany were Copper Pfennigs issued in 1873 issued by the Empire. Prior to this, a large number of German States issued coins. Valuation of the first coin vary vastly depending on mintage and mintmark with the 1875 Berlin (A mint mark) minted version with very high mintage (~65M) valued at around $20 UNC while the same coin issued in 1873 at the Hanover mint (B mint mark) with low mintage.



ItemPrice RangeDescription
Coins$1 and upEmpire Era coinage in VF and contemporary Euro Cents in UNC starts around $1. Early 20th century Pfennigs starts around $5. Early 20th century Silver Coins in VF and recent Silver Proofs start around $60. Gold coins go well into the 100s depending on mintage and bullion value.
Paper Money$3 and upBanknotes from the 20s and 30s in VF starts around $3. Reichsmark Eagles and other notes in XF start around $5. Sets from the period starts around $20. Early 20th century bundles, Replacement Notes, Inflation Era Bundles, etc go well into the 100s.


Collectible Memorabilia:

Cuckoo clocks made from Black Forest wood are the extremely popular souvenir though some contest it as a Swiss item. Chocolate, beer steins, Bavarian bells, brass wall plates, books, charms, and dolls are good takeaways.


ResourcePrice RangeDescription
Militaria$1 and upWWII Swastika coins start around $1. Vintage pocket knifes start around $5 but can go into the 1000s for authentic Solingen knifes, Wuttemberg swords, etc. WW medals and equipment start around $20 but can go well into the 100s and 1000s for life saving medals, grand crosses, etc.
Breweriana, Beer$5 and upVintage Beer Coasters and beer labels start around $5. Vintage Oktoberfest memorabilia start around $20. Vintage Steins and Carafes start around $50.
Pottery and Glass$5 and upMetterteich saucer plates, Schonwald creamers, Bareuther Waldsassen plates, etc start around $5. Hand painted Kaiser Dinner plates start around $20. Lenox crystal wine glasses start around $30. Signed Rosenthal pieces start in the 100s.
Antiques$5 and up19th century maps start around $5. Rosenthal candle sticks and holders start around $25. Cuckoo clocks and other antique clocks, figurines, and other curios start around $40 for antique name brands. Rosenthal and Reinhold porcelain bowls and other pieces start around $100. Figurines from Metzler and Ortloff, Hutschenreuther vases, etc go well into the 100s. Silver tea sets and other ware with authentic markings, Schierholz porcelain figurines, 18th century silver candlesticks, Galleon ship models, etc go into the 1000s.
Art$10 and up19th century art and photo prints start around $10. Limited edition prints and certain coat or arms and other war themes start around $35. Original 19th century photos and other works start in the 50s. Works by Heinz L. Koller, Schneuer David, Clemens Prussen, Willi Bauer, Alan Ian Ronald, Erwin Kettermann, Anna Gasteiger, Peter Robert Keil, Charles Fazzino, etc go well into the 100s and 1000s.


Last Updated: 12/2015.

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