Notgeld — "Emergency Money" — was the currency issued in Germany during hyperinflation periods, including 1922 and 1923., the government allowed cities and towns to issue their own German mark currency on paper, silk, porcelain and leather. Money was in short supply and in high demand during this period. Inflation reached triple-digit percentages and the denominations of marks were numbered in the billions.
Nearly 90 years later, German hyperinflation currency still may be found all over the world. The market value of each notgeld depends greatly on its condition.
Find out which town or government office in Germany printed the notgeld, the year it was printed and the denominational value. Determine if the money was printed on paper, silk, leather, metal or porcelain. The paper used to print some notgelds is an important consideration. Sometimes the paper itself is worth more than the face value.
Estimate how much of the German inflation money in your collection was printed. There are many online sources and some printed guides to find this information. Generally, the more of the money printed and in circulation at that time, the less value assigned to it. The more rare and scarce the notgeld, the higher the value.
Determine the condition of the notgeld money. As with any collectible, the market value of individual notgelds depends on its general condition. Obsolete money's condition is generally graded as uncirculated, excellent, very good, good, fair and poor. Some dealers may use additional grading terms.
Use a printed paper money catalog to find the value for German notgelds. There are many guides to valuing obsolete currency. Two guides for notgelds are the "Standard Catalog of World Paper Money: Vol.1: Specialized Issues" and "World Notgeld 1914-1947."
Search for collectors' websites to find the value of German inflation money. There are many collectors of paper currency that also buy and sell German notgelds online. Compare the money in your collection to the money in their galleries to find the retail value.
Visit local coins and currency dealers to appraise German notgelds. Take your money to the dealer to get it inspected and appraised. It's a good idea to get estimates from various sources in addition to a coin dealer before putting your German notgeld on the market for sale.