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Changing old money
Old 05-09-2016, 06:42 PM   #1
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Changing old money

Have you ever found some old foreign money you had forgotten about?

Some of us probably share this problem. I have sometimes found, in the unlikeliest places, old foreign currency. That's probably a function of the fact that I have made a couple dozen household moves over my lifetime, but never mind that.

A few years ago, I came across a small container with a mixture of old foreign currency.

I did a cursory internet search and decided that it was all worthless and put it away.

But I got more curious and found out a couple of things. For the English pound notes, it turned out that they can actually be exchanged for the current pound coins. On a visit to London last year, I decided to make it an adventure.

The experience was priceless. I had about 7 in notes, so I walked up the street from our hotel in the heart of London.

First bank: No, sir. Those are not proper currency and we can't deal with them.

Second bank: What? I've never seen anything like this. You might have better luck with a bigger bank.

Third bank: Pound notes? Never heard of them. Let me make a phone call. Long conversation. Then, "Apparently, we can actually convert them." He then takes my old pound notes and puts them in an envelope. Then, instead of going to a teller to take money from the till, he reaches into his pocket and hands me the appropriate amount of pound coins. I would dearly love to know what happened next.

Now I'm getting ready for a trip to Belgium and I have 200 old Belgian francs. Today's exchange rate puts that at about US$5.00 so hardly a major transaction

I've learned that the Belgian national bank (as with all Euro-area countries) will exchange the old bills for Euros. Since the national bank is a very short walk from the Grand Place in Brussels, I'll try it out.

Next on the list is some old German Deutschmarks I have from the same stash. The German national bank is right in the heart of Frankfurt, so that should be easy as well.

I wonder if anyone else has had an interesting time converting old money.
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Old 05-09-2016, 06:47 PM   #2
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I use it for bookmarks.

My favorite is a 10,000 peso note. My girlfriend saw it and asked "what's that worth"?

About 3 bucks -
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Old 05-09-2016, 07:16 PM   #3
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I use old foreign coins as ball markers on the golf course.
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Old 05-09-2016, 07:24 PM   #4
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I use old foreign coins as ball markers on the golf course.
Tiny, Dutch dimes are the best!

I was going through some old coins to give to my niece and her son. Among the coins I recalled, there was a German Nazi Mark. No idea who in the family picked it up.

I've never messed with exchanging in country. Some flight crews used to collect it for charity, probably not anymore.
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Old 05-09-2016, 07:46 PM   #5
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I've got some old German Deutschemarks but not sure they are convertible today. They have swastikas on them. Otherwise, just a smattering of random foreign currencies not worth a whole lot. I kept about $15 worth of pesos when we left Mexico last summer so we'd have some spending money in the airport if/when we go back. I found out the hard way that the ATM at the airport charges around $6 USD to withdraw a max of about $100 USD. Just needed ~$1 USD in pesos to take the metro. I suppose I could have traded somebody on the street for the 20 pesos needed.
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Old 05-09-2016, 09:35 PM   #6
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The teller probably called his friend who told him that those pound notes were selling for some good money....

Just looked on ebay and they have some listed for $22 each... he got a bargain...


World Bank Note British Money One Pound Vintage | eBay


Looked some more... others are selling for less...
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Old 05-10-2016, 12:27 AM   #7
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Some folks keep them as a souvenir of where they travelled.

I keep them as they don't take up much space, unlike a coffee mug, and some look interesting.
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Old 05-10-2016, 04:22 AM   #8
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I give mine to my niece.

To get a broader perspective on the world for her, and declutter for me
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Old 05-10-2016, 05:54 AM   #9
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Some flight crews used to collect it for charity, probably not anymore.
Icelandair does that. There is a box on the plane where you can deposit any unwanted Icelandic bills and coins. They go to some charity, and on my last trip I noticed that many passengers contributed.
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Old 05-10-2016, 06:33 AM   #10
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Many (most?) airports still have a donation box somewhere too.
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Old 05-13-2016, 08:24 AM   #11
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A few years ago I collected all my bills in former European currencies and sold them on e-Bay. At the time, some were still legal tender; I noted in my listings which ones were still valid. It's legal to sell currency on e-Bay.

I've got a ton of coins; hate to throw them out. I had a couple of Icelandic kroner in my change purse when I shook it out at the counter of a convenience store. The clerk expressed curiosity when she saw them and was really excited to hear that they were from Iceland. I offered one to her and she was happy to get it. When her co-worker looked interested, I gave her the other one!
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Old 05-13-2016, 08:27 AM   #12
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I got a note with saddam hussein on it. Wonder if that's still good? ;-/
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Old 05-13-2016, 08:43 AM   #13
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I worked with a guy who collected left over bills and coins, and also heavily devalued currency. He said he used it to play poker with his friends - it cost less than chips and gave everyone at the table that feeling they were playing "high stakes" when it was really pennies. (I raise ten thousand ..)

Going through my dad's things after he passed away, I found an envelop full of bills from WW2 era Japan and China, including a stack of crisp new bills. Still haven't figured out what to do with them.
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Old 05-13-2016, 08:46 AM   #14
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I got a note with saddam hussein on it. Wonder if that's still good? ;-/
Dead presidents make bills worth a lot here in the US, so it must be the same for the Iraqi dinar, right?
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Old 05-13-2016, 12:36 PM   #15
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I remember leaving Costa Rica, I knew their was an exit fee which I had in colones to get rid of. I must have figured the exchange wrong because it cost another buck. I received my change in US coins.
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Old 05-13-2016, 12:44 PM   #16
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I would probably keep it. I collect coins and bills anyway. It would also be a lure to go back.
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