Ducat Society

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The ducats firm (v. Lat "societas" "Company".) Is a 1746 by Franz Karl Ludwig von Wied Neuwied (* 1710, † 1765), Prussian lieutenant general and youngest son of Count Friedrich Wilhelm zu Wied-Neuwied , launched Society that worked according to the pyramid scheme and promised its members, if they paid one ducat per month , “not only to get rid of this payment soon, but also to receive many ducats per month”.

A member of this partnership was exempted from paying the first ducat of the month when a second member was recruited. For the third recruited member, they received a ducat per month, as well as for each additional odd number. The contributions of the even number of recruited members went to the partnership fund. With fifty recruited members, this resulted in an increase of 24 ducats per month for the recruiting member.

Within one year the society had 416 members all over Germany, mainly in Neuwied and the surrounding area and in the Wesel garrison .

A short time later the company was classified as "dangerous" and banned.


  • Meyers Konversations-Lexikon , Leipzig and Vienna 1896, vol. 17, p. 721
  • Theodor Fontane: Walks through the Mark Brandenburg, third part, Havelland Aufbau-Verlag, Berlin and Weimar 1982, p. 334 ff.
  • Arwid Liersch: Ducat Society and Faith Academy. Two Wiedische societies of the 18th century , Neuwied: Heuser, 1904, 62 p. Online edition at the Landesbibliothekszentrum Rheinland-Pfalz