Home > History & Chronology > German Qaran and Toman

German Qaran and Toman

German banknotes in the occupied Persia during World War I

Saturday 12 August 2006, by Babak KHANDANI

In 1916 — during WWI — a small German military unit, together with Turkish forces, occupied a small region in Persia. The goal of that mission was to prevent a united front of Russian and English troops in the Middle-East against the German-Austrian coalition. The German and Turkish troops held up in Persia until 1918. During their occupation German bills with a Persian overprint were issued in the area.

 

JPEG - 3.5 kb
Wilhelm Wassmuss
The German “Lawrence of Arabia”.

The German “Lawrence of Arabia” was a consular official named Wilhelm Wassmuss. In the first days of February 1915, Wassmuss and a few followers sailed a small boat named the Pioneer down the Tigris River to a point some 40 miles below Kut al Amara, a town about 100 miles (160 km) southeast of Baghdad. From there the party moved eastward into Persia (Iran) where Wassmuss began work on a grandiose mission, something the empire-builders in Germany’s Foreign Office had dreamed about for years, the ending of Anglo-Russian domination in the Middle East. Wassmuss would achieve this by first bringing Persia into the war on the German-Turkish side by organizing revolts among the Persian desert tribes and then manipulating Afghanistan and eventually all the region.

The German and Turkish troops held up in Persia until 1918. During their occupation German bills with a Persian overprint were issued in the area. The overprinted bills are denominated in Qaran and Toman: 12 Qaran, 25 Qaran, 5 Toman, 25 Toman, 250 Toman. The latter 2 notes are only known as specimens.

These bills are very rare and due to their high value have attracted falsification.

Click on the following images to enlarge them:

JPEG - 17.9 kb
5 Mark / 12 Qran & 10 Shahi
The overprinted regular German 5 Mark banknote is dated from 31 October 1904.
JPEG - 14.3 kb
10 Mark / 25 Qaran
The overprinted regular German 10 Mark banknote is dated from 10 October 1906.
JPEG - 13.8 kb
10 Mark / 25 Qaran
Verso.
JPEG - 20 kb
20 Mark / 5 Toman
The overprinted regular German 20 Mark banknote is dated from 19 February 1914.
JPEG - 16.5 kb
20 Mark / 5 Toman
Verso.

There were also the following banknotes:

- 100 Mark / 25 Toman — The overprinted regular German 100 Mark banknote is dated from 21 April 1910 (specimen only).
- 1000 Mark / 250 Toman — The overprinted regular German 1000 Mark banknote is dated from 21 April 1910 (specimen only).

Forum posts

  • Hi, Thank you for your informative site. I am sure that it is greatly appreciated by thousands of your readers. Recently a seller in the eBay named farbod* is selling 1000 Mark / 250 Toman !!! He even has sold the same note which shows the 250 Toman stamp in error and selling all these counterfeit notes at a very high price. He ia also selling 25 Toman/100 Mark German notes!!! Please advise you readers about this seller.

    Regards,

    Reza Kayhani 28MAR08 13:03 GNV ************************************************************

  • I have a 20 mark that is VERY identical to the one you have on here, but only mine differs a bit. On the front of the note where there’s a red marking between the two 20’s that are lower center in the note, mine does not have that red marking (looks to be asain marking?) And on the reverse side, You could almost look at the design as a diamond. Well again, from each of the four sides, there’s that red marking (again, asian looking writing), but mine does not have those either. Also, the 20 on the center of the backside of yours, looks to be white, as mine is red (the one you have a picture of maybe just have worn in color there i suppose?). I’m trying to figure out more about this bill and if it is worth something. My e-mail is mazzhead@aol.com. I also have another that is quite interesting, a 1942 Japenese note from world war 2 that says The Japenese Government on the front, and below that says TEN PESOS.

  • Hi there

    I have a question. I could get my hands on a 10 Mark 1906 Qran but the red print is only on the front of the note and no over print on the back. Do you think that this might be a fake ? Have you heard of such notes?

    Thanks for the help

    Curt

Any message or comments?

pre-moderation

This forum is moderated before publication: your contribution will only appear after being validated by an administrator.

Who are you?
Your post
  • To create paragraphs, just leave blank lines.