Millions in notes and coins: chance unearths Deutsche Mark treasures

Millions in notes and coins
Chance unearths Deutsche Mark treasures

The D-Mark has been replaced by the Euro for almost 20 years. But old bills and coins worth billions are still slumbering in drawers or piggy banks.

Almost 20 years after the introduction of euro cash, it seems to be difficult to say goodbye to the D-Mark. In mid-July, notes to the value of around 5.77 billion marks (2.95 billion euros) and coins to the value of around 6.61 billion marks had not yet been exchanged. This emerges from a response from the federal government to a request from FDP member of the Bundestag Markus Herbrand, which is available to the German Press Agency.

This year, by the deadline of July 22nd, D-Marks worth a total of 16.2 million Marks were received in the branches of the Deutsche Bundesbank. The largest single sum was 711,355 marks. “Too many citizens do not know that they can still exchange the large sums of old coins and bills that have collapsed under mattresses and in old piggy banks and drawers for euros,” said FDP politician Herbrand. Unlike in many other euro countries, D-Mark banknotes and coins can be exchanged indefinitely at the Bundesbank.

The vast majority of the stocks were exchanged around the introduction of euro cash at the beginning of 2002. Again and again, however, D-Mark treasures are discovered by chance. However, some of the holdings should never be returned – partly because collectors have secured old notes and coins. Larger amounts of cash are also suspected abroad.

500s still popular

The 500-euro note has continued to enjoy great popularity since its issuance stop in 2019. As of July 22nd, there were notes to the value of a good 145 billion euros in circulation, as can be seen from the answer, which is based on data from the Bundesbank. For comparison: on April 26, 2019 it was around 175 billion euros. On this day, the Bundesbank and the Austrian National Bank had issued the purple note for the last time. The other 17 national central banks of the Eurosystem had already finished issuing the 500 on January 26, 2019.

The Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) had decided that the production and issuance of the 500 euro banknote would be discontinued. Proponents hope that by doing without the certificate, the financing of terrorism and undeclared work will be pushed back. However, the 500s in circulation remain legal tender and can be exchanged at the national central banks in the euro area without any time limit.