home / notgeld coinage / worms


L- 593.3 City of Worms (Hessen) Iron 10 Pfennig Coin.

This iron coin was issued by the City of Worms and was meant to be used as local small change or sold to raise funds. On the obverse is the issue date and the city coat of arms showing a key and a star. Depicted on the reverse is the denomination, the name of the city, and a cluster of grapes.

Worms is a city located in the Rhineland-Palatinate in Germany, located on the Rhine River. Originally called Borbetomagus (settlement in a watery area) by the Celts who first settled the area, it is considered one of the oldest cities in Germany still in existence.

Worms was renamed Augusta Vangionum when it was designated a Roman garrison under Nero Claudius Drusus Germanicus in 14 BC. The garrison soon transformed into a small town complete with roads, temples, and a forum. It became a bustling town with thriving markets and skilled craftsmen. It was in Borbetomagus that the semi-legendary King Gunther, broke from the weakened Empire to form the short lived Kingdom of the Burgundians.

Later it became a Roman Catholic bishopric and the city was the location of an important palatinate of Charlemagne. By the middle ages it had become a free imperial city and played an important role in the history of the Holy Roman Empire. More than a hundred Imperial Diets were held at Worms, the Reichstag of 1521 ended with the Edict of Worms at which Martin Luther was declared an outlaw after refusing to recant his religious beliefs.

Worms was sacked by French Troops under King Louis XIV then later occupied by troops of the French First Republic in 1792 during the French Revolutionary Wars. The Bishopric of Worms was secularized in 1801, with the city being annexed into the First French Empire. In 1815 Worms passed to the Grand Duchy of Hesse in accordance with the Congress of Vienna and subsequently administered within Rhenish Hesse.

During World War I, Worms was a part the German Empire and the city suffered much the same as all German cities of the time. Lack of circulating currency underscored the fact that there was little to buy. Poverty and starvation was the norm. Worms issued several series of coinage in iron and zinc (Notgeld) as well as banknotes (Serienschein) during and shortly after the war. Like all other German royalty, the last Grand Duke of Hesse, Ernst Ludwig, was forced from his throne at the end of the first world war. Worms would be partially destroyed by allied bombing during the second world war. After that war, Worms became part of the new state of Rhineland-Palatinate

Today Worms is a thriving industrial center with a population of roughly 85,000. It is traditionally known for its wine industry, specifically for producing Liebfrauenmilch (beloved lady's milk). Liebfrauenmilch is the name given a variety of semi-sweet white wine produced from the vineyards of the Liebfrauenkirche or Church of Our Lady in the city of Worms since the 18th century. Although originally a high quality wine with a limited distribution, the name has more recently become synonymous with cheap, lower quality German wines.