1872-D Germany Saxe-Meiningen 20 Mark
Obverse Die Trial in Lead
(Regular Gold Coin Issue Extremely Rare)
Identical to Schaaf 275G1 (Copper)
Choice Almost Uncirculated


This is a unique German Saxe-Meiningen 20 Mark obverse die trial from the adopted dies to strike this issue in gold. It is struck in lead and is uniface. It weighs 2.28 grams and is in Choice Almost Uncirculated condition. It is unlisted in Schaaf, Krause and Beckenbauer.

This unique die trial was struck in 1872 at the Munich Mint in Germany before the "D" Mint Mark was added to the obverse die. The obverse design is identical to the adopted final design to strike the gold issue for circulation. The only other die trial known for this rare 20 Mark is an obverse die trial in copper that is also uniface. It is the plate coin in Schaaf (page 247). It is listed as Schaaf 275G1 and is identical to this unique die trial in lead, other than being struck in copper. It was also struck before the "D" Mint Mark was added.

The 1872 Saxe-Meiningen 20 Mark is one of the great rarities in German States coinage. It is extremely rare in any condition. With an extremely low mintage of 3,000 circulation coins, it is a rare and famous European gold coin. It is referenced as J275, KM 180 and FR 3856. The obverse portrays George II, the ruler of Saxe-Meiningen. Although Krause only lists this rarity at $10,000 in EF and $16,000 in Mint State, this coin rarely surfaces or is offered.

In May of 2014, a Sincona Auction in Zurich (sale #18, lot #1941) sold a circulated (EF or better) 1872-D 20 Mark Saxe-Meiningen. It was lightly circulated and realized CHF 26,000 ($34,000+ USD). In the spring of 2016, Kuenker Auctions sold a proof 1872-D 20 Mark Saxe-Meiningen (lot# 6200) for 55,000 Euros ($62,000+ USD).

It is amazing that this unique obverse die trial exists for the already excessively rare 1872-D 20 Mark. It is basically as struck with only light marks and slight rub on the high points. It is perfect for the advanced collector of German gold or die trials and unique coins.



Die Trials are featured in Chapter 13 of my
NLG award winning book, World's Greatest Mint Errors: