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WW1 Gold For Iron Medallion

WW1 Gold For Iron Medallion



DATE: WW1, c.1916

A WW1 period Golderinnerungsmünze der Reichsbank (gold donation commemorative token) medallion issued by the German Imperial bank in 1916. Such pieces were exchange for articles of gold: coins, jewellery, watches (and presumably bullion, if you had any lying around). It was part of a well-planned, large scale patriotic drive to fund the war effort, inspired by a similar operation around 100 years earlier to try and stay Napoleon's advances through Europe. Individuals, as well as private and government institutions, were encouraged to exchange what they had for symbolic goods, such as this one, manufactured from iron and often bearing the words Gold gab ich für Eisen (I gave gold for iron). The gold would be melted down into ingots, used by the Reichsbank to purchase military hardware and ammunition. Wearing of gold jewellery in public became seen as unpatriotic; further than this, the wearing of such iron jewellery became the patriotic duty of every respectable German. 

Although various types of iron articles were issued (rings, brooches, medals, pendants, cigarette cases, etc.), tokens like this one, designed by Hermann Kurt Hosaeus, were the standard for donations of more than 5 marks. Apparently they came with a certificate as proof, and feature a woman on one knee offering a cross pendant hanging from a long chain, while clasping a jewellery box along with an iron replacement cross and chain close to her body. The words In eiserner Zeit (In Iron Times) above, and the date, 1916, below. The words Gold gib ich zur Wher, Eisen nahm ich zur (Gold I give for war, Iron I take for honour), along with crossed oak branches and the name of the designer, Hosaeus, at the bottom of the obverse side. This token is been mounted in a simple silver brooch fitting with bail for wear as a pendant and ropetwist border. 


 4.7 x 4.4cm (not including bail)




 No marks present, tests as silver


 Very good, light/general wear commensurate with age

WW1 Gold For Iron Medallion WW1 Gold For Iron Medallion WW1 Gold For Iron Medallion