German Reich, Weimar Republic, Province of Westphalia, Emergency Issue 5 Mark 1921

Generally coinage is a sovereign right – meaning that the state has to provide enough currency to ensure frictionless monetary transactions. During the First World War, Germany was not longer able to carry out this duty. Therefore different cities and communities started to issue emergency monies during and after the war. The government tolerated these coins and bills enforcedly, since it was not able to supply enough money itself. The province of Westphalia minted very attractive emergency coins as late as 1921. They were made from tombak, an alloy of a color similar to gold. They depicted Heinrich Friedrich Karl vom und zum Stein, who is known today as politician and reformer and who spent his eventide in Cappenberg, Westphalia.