The estimated prints for the two issues

Historical context

Following the First World War and the Treaty of Versailles, France receives from the League of Nations and compensation under the mandate to administer the territory of the Saar Basin, which consists mainly of coal mines. This is an autonomous territory detached from that of the Weimar Republic. Two banknotes 50 Centimes and 1 Franc are printed there in 1919. But it was not until May 1921 that the Mark was officially replaced by the French Franc. In 1930, the French usual banknotes are used in that territory. Upon return of the Saar to Germany in 1935 after the holding of a plebiscite, the Reichsmark again replaces the Franc.

The 2 types of banknotes

A) 50 centimes (Domaniales Mines of Saarland) type 1920

Ref. Fayette # VF.50, Pick # P.SAAR 01 or Rosenberg # 865.

Three letters: A, B and C. Dimensions: 94x62mm.

B) 1 franc (Domaniales Mines of Saarland) Ttype 1920

Ref. Fayette # VF.51, Pick # P.SAAR 02 or Rosenberg # 866.

Six letters: A, B, C, D, E and F. Dimensions: 106x70mm.

2 banknotes do not include a watermark and are undated (probably 1920). On the back, a text mentions that they were payable before 1 January 1930: "The banknotes which value is deposited to the French Treasury, are redeemable by the Cashier General Domaniales Mines of Saarland. Reimbursement must be requested before 1 January 1930". On the front: Minerva bust in a medallion (graphics borrowed from two cuts need the 1914-1918 war for the Chamber of Commerce of Paris - Ref: JP.097.10 and JP.097.23 from the Jean Pirot Catalog), the letter and number of the note and the signatures of the Director General Louis-Joseph Ghislain André Defline and the General Cashier Henry.

A provisional inventory of 778 banknotes!

To establish a probable number of banknotes printed for the 2 notes, a systematic score of banknotes was conducted for several years. A list, though still provisional, has been established and is already giving some clues, for a total of 778 banknotes collected and distributed as follows:


50 centimes : 334 banknotes

For the letter A: 195

For the letter B: 79

For the letter C: 60

1 franc : 444 banknotes

For the letter A: 136

For the letter B: 94

For the letter C: 49

For the letter D: 48

For the letter E: 51

For the letter F: 66

The ranking by letter of smallest
to the greater number!

The summary table below allows you to see the smallest number and the largest currently known number for each of the 9 letters of 50 centimes to 1 franc "Mines Domaniales de la Sarre", Type 1920.

Conclusions on the estimates printed issues?

Of the 671 banknotes listed, none exceeding the #999,999. It is therefore quite legitimate to think that each of these 9 letters was printed in 999,999 copies, which would give the following total for the two issues:


For the 50 centimes:

3 letters x 999 999 copies =
2,999,997 million printed banknotes?


For the 1 franc:

6 letters x 999 999 copies =
5,999,994 million printed banknotes?


So an estimated total of 8,999,991 million
banknotes printed for the 2 issues.



La version française de cet article

a été spécialement écrite et présentée

dans une causerie du Club Auvergne

Papier-Monnaie de Chamalières : ici



Original article pubished in November 30, 2015.

Updated March 20, 2017.