What To Do With WWII Money?

I’m going through my father’s WWII things (booklets, furlough passes, etc.) and,
happily, someone here suggested a museum in Florida that might want it.

Now I’ve found an envelope stuffed with 28 pieces of WWII paper currency, which has me thrown: it seems to be “Occupation Currency,” most of it printed bilingually. 100 Pesos from the Japanese Gov’t. (pesos from Japan?!); 10 Yen; 50 Sen; “The Japanese Government Promises to Pay the Bearer on Demand Fifty Cents;” 20 Francs; 50 indecipherable somethings from Norway; “Tien Gulden;” “Ten Custioms Gold Units” from the Central Bank of China;" and, most creepily, a sheet of Nazi food coupons (for Brot, Butter, Kafe, Nuhrmittel, Fliesch, etc.), complete with swastika. Yikes!

It’s all very pretty, artistic and in good condition (except the Nazi stuff, which is very utilitarian). Is it worth anything? Should I send it to a museum, or have it looked over by a . . . whatever you call an old-money expert?



Numismatists collect money in general (coins and bills), but a philatelist might be more interested in the food stamps.

eBay can get you good prices if your auction happens to get noticed, but you can get screwed if you don’t do some research and set good minimums. A museum might help with appraisal, or you could contact an insurance agent and ask him for help.

I hate eBay. Haaaaaaaate it. And according to that site Oat1957 provided, what I have isn’t worth that much except from an historical and artistic standpoint–maybe I’ll have it framed, unless that WWII museum is interested in it.


Don’t think I’ll frame the Nazi food coupons. Too creepy.

I get railroad stock certificates from them. I just frame 'em. Worthless but looks cool.

Should read “defunct railroad stock certificates”.

. . . I may use that as my sig.

Eve What you have is what I buy in the coin shop every week, year in and year out. A museum doesn’t want or need it.

Give it to a kid as a piece of history or frame it for yourself.

If you have something other than what you enumerated, I’d be glad to tell yolu what it’s worth. But so far, nada.

Maybe you can put them on the fridge as a diet aid?

“I wonder if there’s cake?..eeeeewwwww

Thanks. I think I’ll get one of those two-sided Lucite frames I can slide them into, so you can see both sides. They’re really very pretty. I’ll write that WWII museum in Florida, though, as I have some other stuff I think they might be able to use.

What has the most value, in WWII stuff, is captured German hardware–daggers, helmets, medals, swords, pistols,etc.

Many museums devoted to this kind of thing are overflowing with donations. Many even sell your stuff out the back door. Unless you have Hitler’s personal dagger, you’re probably just throwing it away.

Let me know if you have hardware.

BTW, the peso note is from the Japanese Occupation Government of The Philippines.

Ah, that was going to be my question. Thank you for reading my mind and answering it.

samclem: If the sale goes to benefit the museum, I wouldn’t call that ‘throwing it out’. Although it would be nice if the curator or docent said that the piece would probably (or certainly) be sold.

Anyway, WWII stuff is certainly a glut. It was only a half-century ago, ferchrissake. Veterans are only now dying off in large numbers. Having WWI memorabilia, however, is undeniably cool, especially if it comes from a defunct empire that was on the wrong side.

Yes, I’m going somewhere with this. Somewhere cool.

I got one of these. It’s in much better condition: The former owner (my grandmother) slathered it in vaseline when it first began to rust, so it’s now a beautiful black. Also, mine is from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, not Germany (my grandmother is from a small town near Salzburg).

Anyway, the history is pretty simple: Near the end of the war, the Axis was getting low on gold. So patriotic citizens turned in their own gold and got iron medallions in return. The medallions say “I gave gold for defense - I got iron for honor” on one side, and “In a time of iron” on the other (“In Eiserner Zeit”). Mine is also dated 1916. (I think… I can’t recall where I stored it.)

I know, I know… cool beyond words. The site that has the image I linked to values the medallion at £10.00, but I wonder if anyone here could tell me a value.

Ah, that makes sense–father was stationed in the Philippines and Tokyo as a radio technician for the Signal Corps, from 1942-45. He was never in Germany; must have gotten the Nazi stuff from a friend.

Well, if a museum doesn’t want his uniform, booklets, passes, papers–what am I to do with them? I have no children, and when I die, it will all be tossed into a Dumpster.

Tragically, Eve, sometimes that’s just what happens. Any extended family that might want it? My sister is nuts about collecting stuff like that from even fairly distant relatives. What about his home town? Often, small town museums are happy to use that sort of thing that has a connection. Of course if he was from New York, then never mind. It’s funny, I never think of people as being from New York City. I always picture New Yorkers as having moved from places like, well, Denver.

Eve, if nobody you know is interested and you don’t want it, selling it is the best option. Look for a local coin collecting society or WWII historical preservation group or the like and ask around. Someone might know of an auction or a friend willing to part with money to expand a collection.

Eve Don’t get me wrong. A museum will take any donation. They just probably don’t need it.

Derleth. I’ve had that medal a few times the last few years. I’d say that site is right–probably a $15-30 medal.

The Japanese invasion money is pretty standard stuff. I may have 500 pieces in the back room. Sell it at 10 cents each, if you take the whole lot.

None of this is meant to trivialize memories. I guess I’ve just become jaded in buying/selling this for 35 years.