Paper Money in Europe

The German Commission for UNESCO included artistic printing techniques in the Cultural World Heritage List in 2018. Artistic printing techniques are above all letterpress, gravure, planographic and screen printing. These techniques were developed primarily in Europe. The combination of different printing techniques characterises one specific print product: banknotes. Banknotes are therefore part of the European cultural heritage. In particular, they are an expression of cultural identities and count as national memorial sites.

The diversity of European banknotes also shows the development from paper money as a promise of payment to the banknote as legal tender. The European series reflect the respective national economic, monetary and cultural history. From the development of banknotes as a security product it becomes clear: while paper money initially resembles a factually designed document, its aesthetic and technical design evolves into graphic art of the highest quality.

The first European paper money issues can be traced back to Sweden and the Kingdom of Saxony in the 17th century. A phase of inflationary spending in France and Austria in the 18th century was followed by the establishment of the banknote as legal tender in almost all European countries in the 19th and 20th centuries.

This collection in bavarikon shows the banknotes of European countries from their beginnings until about 1945. According to the guidelines of the European Union, European is defined here as the states that geographically belong to Europe. The starting point for this division is therefore today's European states. This enables an overall view of the development of European paper money and at the same time takes territorial particularities into account, which are explained in more detail in the respective sub-collections.

The partial collections of "Paper money in Europe" available on bavarikon

This collection is still under construction. New content will be added soon.

>> This collection is part of the inventory of the Gieseck+Devrient Stiftung Geldscheinsammlung (Giesecke+Devrient foundation: collections of bank notes).