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13.31 billion Deutsche Marks still missing

The Local · 1 Jan 2012, 14:05

Published: 01 Jan 2012 14:05 GMT+01:00

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According to a report in Sunday's Bild am Sonntag newspaper, DM6.41 billion in notes and DM6.9 billion in coins were never converted after the euro was introduced on January 1, 2002. Altogether, they would be worth €6.8 billion.

The cash, which works out at DM162 per German, is thought to have been stashed away and long forgotten, or else left abroad by holidaymakers and immigrants.

The Deutsche Mark was also often used as currency in the Balkan region during the wars of the 1990s, and much of the missing cash is thought to be still hidden away, even buried, in the former Yugoslavia.

On top of this, wads of old banknotes are still occasionally discovered when deceased people's homes are cleared out.

A German Federal Bank spokesman told the paper that the bank expects that a large part of the money will never be converted into euros.

Forty-seven branches of the federal bank still exchange old DM banknotes into euros at no charge, though statistics show that less is exchanged every year. In 2011, only DM140 million was converted, compared to DM180 million in 2010.

The banks says it will even exchange damaged notes, as long as the metal strip is still in place, or more than half of the note is still left.

Story continues below…

According to Deutsche Bank, the missing €6.8 billion would theoretically give the German economy an extra boost of 0.27 percent if it were brought back into circulation.

The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

23:21 January 1, 2012 by wootdude
I think I have about 30 DM or so back in the states from when I was here 20 years ago. Next time I go back to visit, I'll stop by my storage and see if I can find it. Hope that will help!
00:38 January 2, 2012 by Motorhead
I have one of those DM 10 commemorative coins somewhere in the house. That won't even get me a Mass auf der Wies'n, thanks to the "Teuro", hehe.
02:06 January 2, 2012 by wood artist
Oddly the article doesn't mention the fact that some people are undoubtedly saving the currency for later sale...as a collector's item. I'm sure that's not a big part of the "missing cash" but it will have that value in the future. ebay is full of offers for earlier German currency and coins, so the DM will be no different. Any time currency is changed, the old stuff gets kept. In the US you can purchase Confederate currency, which has no value beyond the historical, and I'm sure that's true in Europe also. If you look around, you can find Occupation Currency, earlier versions of Francs and Pounds and all sorts of things.

11:53 January 2, 2012 by michael4096
@wood artist

You are surely correct, but it is a fickle market. There are old roman coins around that cost less today than their value (in, say, loaves of bread) 1800 yrs ago. DM speculators may have to wait a long time before making that killing.
15:00 January 2, 2012 by Englishted
Better start putting away new Euros if thing keep going the way they are.
19:12 March 17, 2013 by COINverter
If you still got some DM, schilling, peseta or all the other fine old curencies, you can still exchange them with Euromoney24 (all in one shipment) or donate them to UNICEF or PETA
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