Porcelain money

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German local "emergency money", Saxony, 1921

Porcelain money refers to coins and tokens made of porcelain intended for economic exchange. Most famous are the German Notgeld struck between 1921 and 1923, and the gambling tokens used as petty coinage in Siam with Chinese characters.

German Notgeld 1921 - 1923[edit]

The German porcelain Notgeld are special form of Notgeld between the years 1915 and 1923, in the years before the German Hyperinflation, and a shortage of small change.[1] [2] Most of the porcelain Notgeld are produced for collectors in sets. These special form of coins were struck in Meissen in Saxony in the years 1921 to 1923. Most of the coins were done in red Böttgerstoneware, but also in white porcelain. Some of them are partly gilt. They were issued for the province Saxony, Meissen, and a number of other cities such as Eisenach, Thuringia; Freiberg, Saxony; Münsterberg, Silesia; Quedlinburg, Saxony-Anhalt; and other cities. Building on the popularity of these tokens, Meissen continued to strike Medals in porcelain and stoneware.

Siamese Gambling Tokens 1760-1875[edit]

Also known as "Thai porcelain tokens" or "pee" (Chinese: 暹罗陶瓷代币 Xuanluo taoci daibi).[3] Originally tokens for gambling, these small porcelain tokens became popular as petty coinage. They come in all variety of forms: round, square, and rectangular. Some have inscriptions in Chinese or Thai, some have a pictorial design. There are several collections of these in museums around the world, including the British Museum[4], the Museum Volkenkunde (Leiden)[5], the Sammlung Köhler-Osbahr (Duisburg)[6].[7]

Malaysian clay gaming tokens[edit]

These were issued in Chinese settlements in the Malay states, for use in gaming establishments, and then as currency. The early tokens were imported from Siam/Thailand, and over time they began to be made locally too. They were easy and cheap to produce. To deal with large-scale counterfeiting, licensed issuers would change the designs frequently. This eventually led to the appearance of new-type gambling counters, called jokoh.[8]


  1. ^ Funck, Walter: Deutsche Porzellan-Münzen = German Porcelain-Coins, German.-Engl. ed, 2nd ed., Neuenburg/Oldb.: [self published], 1964.
  2. ^ Scheuch, Karl: Münzen aus Porzellan und Ton der Staatlichen Porzellanmanufaktur Meissen und anderer Keramischen Fabriken des In- und Auslandes, Munich 2012.
  3. ^ Collection of key references (in Chinese) http://www.southeastasiacoin.com/zh-CN/coin/index.xhtml?f=spt.xhtml
  4. ^ http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/search.aspx?searchText=pee&place=41403&material=17994
  5. ^ van Dongen, Paul LF (in collaboration with Nandana Chutiwongs, translated by Enid Perlin): Playthings in Porcelain: Siamese Pee in the National Museum of Ethnography, Leiden, n.d. Digital publication only. http://singosari.info/sites/default/files/attachements/playthingsporcelain
  6. ^ Althoff, Ralf H.: Sammlung Köhler-Osbahr II/3. Vormünzliche Zahlungsmittel und außergewöhnliche Geldformen, Siamesische Porzellantoken - Collection Köhler-Osbahr II/3. Primitive Currency and Extraordinary Kind of Money, Siamese Porcelain-Tokens, Duisburg 1995
  7. ^ "Thai Porcelain Tokens (pee)", Chinese Money Matters, 14 Feb 2018. Retrieved 14 February 2018.https://chinesemoneymatters.wordpress.com/2018/02/14/thai-porcelain-tokens-pee/
  8. ^ http://dniewcollectors.blogspot.com/2014/05/malaysia-monetary-tokens-clay-gaming.html#ixzz59ewHbNXL accessed 13 March 2018