This partial set of Forum cheques has been beautifully preserved and all notes are in bank fresh uncirculated condition.
Only the 100 Mark note is missing for this unique set.
The colours on this set are bright and fresh and the set itself is highly collectible. Numismatics enthusiasts will be greatly tempted by this offer.
Good sets are available although they are not so often coming on the market. Due to the very nature of these cheques we expect a great deal of interest.
Issued within the German Democratic Republic between 1976 till 1979. The purpose of the notes was to skim off western currencies as quickly as possible by forcing people to exchange all other currencies into this form of payment which gave the state control over purchases. Only non-citizens of the GDR could pay with cash and had to provide a passport to do so. It was not until the mid 1980’s that direct purchases using the D-Mark was again possible by GDR citizens. A Forum cheque mark was the equivalent of a D-Mark.
The Forum cheques could only be redeemed in all Intershops which were a chain government run retail shops. All change on goods was given in Forum cheques unless the amount was to small, less than 50 pfennig, in which case the change was given in the form of chocolates or bon bons or the like.
Forumscheck – Forum Cheques
1979 Alternative currency notes from the German Democratic Republic
Fifty Pfennig – 110 x 49 mm
One Mark – 115 x 52 mm
Five Mark – 122 x 55 mm
Ten Mark – 127 x 58 mm
Fifty Mark – 134 x 61 mm
Five Hundred Mark – 141 x 67 mm
* Intershop was a chain of government-run retail stores in the German Democratic Republic (GDR, East Germany) in which only hard currencies (and later Forum Checks) could be used to purchase high-quality goods. The East German mark was not accepted as payment. Intershop was originally oriented towards visitors from Western countries, and later as an outlet where East Germans could purchase goods they could not otherwise obtain. An unintended consequence was that ordinary East Germans had some insight into the selection of goods available in the West, which they could then compare with the rather limited offerings available in their own country.
Intershop was founded on 14 December 1962 as a publicly owned company (Volkseigener Betrieb – VEB). Its purpose was to increase the flow of hard currency into the GDR. There was such a lack of hard currency that even small amounts were welcome and this was a big problem. The groups targeted were mainly tourists and other foreigners in transit from the West. The first mobile carts were in the Berlin Friedrichstraße station, where cigarettes were sold for much less than was available in West Berlin. Little by little, alcohol and other goods were gradually added. By 1962, annual sales totalled more than one million Deutsche Marks (DM).
Originally, Intershop was organised as a division of Mitropa, the company that provided catering services to the Deutsche Reichsbahn. With the arrival of the first Interhotels, which were intended to house Western tourists, Intershops also began appearing in these Western-oriented hotels. One could also purchase items in their room (via room service) with hard currency. Over time, these hotel-based Intershops grew as well.
Later, Intershops were opened at border crossings, rest stops and transit stops on the GDR Autobahn, railway stations, bus stations, ferry terminals, and airports. As an example of the GDR regime’s desire for hard currency, in the 1980s, in the Berlin Friedrichstraße underground(U-Bahn) station, there was an Intershop kiosk on the platform of the U6 line created specifically for travellers from West Berlin who may not have wanted to pass through the GDR border controls. One could disembark from the underground train, make a purchase, and then get back on the next train, and go back to West Berlin, all without processing through the GDR border controls. Purchases could be paid with any fully convertible currency, such as U.S. dollars, British pounds, Swiss francs, and especially the West German mark. The selection included food, alcohol, tobacco, clothing, toys, jewellery, cosmetics, technical devices, music recordings, and much more. These products could not be purchased, or could only be purchased at lower quality, using East German marks, although the majority of these goods were produced in East Germany for sale to Western companies.
* information taken from Wikipedia for the purpose of customer education