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More Fun Than a 20-Euro Bill
November 19, 2010

I have a 50-euro note and a 5-euro note sitting on a dusty corner of my dresser. They sit there because I brought them back home in early February after I had attended the World Money Fair in Germany.

I bought them at an effective exchange rate of approximately $1.44. There is a fee involved to get cash and that is incorporated in the price.

World Coin News staff member George Cuhaj attended a world conference on medallic art in June in Finland. He brought back an unspent 20-euro note. His effective purchase price was at an exchange rate of $1.30.

He wants to sell it to me when I go to the 2011 World Money Fair in January in Berlin because he has no plans to visit Europe again in the near future.

Naturally, the 20-euro note has become the object of office banter.

When the euro rises, I yell over to George that I cannot buy his note today because it is too expensive.

On days when the euro drops, I yell over to his desk that my goal is to buy it back for less than he paid for it.

So it goes.

At some point, I will have to acquire it as I get ready to visit Europe. What will I pay for it?

I have no idea. In its short existence since 1999 the euro has yo-yoed down from its initial exchange rate of $1.17 to 82 cents, then up to $1.60, back down to $1.19 and now it is around $1.37.

So will George make a small profit on the note or take a small loss by the time the World Money Fair is ready to open in the last week of January?

Your guess is as good as mine – probably better.

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Recent Comments
On November 19, 2010 harvlaser said
I'm sitting on the sofa, typing on my laptop.. that's my office.. I don't have a George, and I don't have any Euro notes at all.. just a bunch of rare Euro coins (Vatican and San Marino), and an album of BU first year Euro coins, every denomination from the original 12 EU countries..

However, I did get an uhh.. interesting piece of currency at a coin show, from a world money dealer, and most people I show it to think it's Monopoly money, but it isn't.. it was actual legal tender issued by the Republic of Zimbabwe.. dated 2008, it's a ONE HUNDRED TRILLION DOLLAR note.. that's not a typo.. Zimbabwe is in hyper-inflation mode, like post-war Germany was, when people had to literally push a wheelbarrow full of money to a store to buy some food..

This Zimbabwe note is the largest denomination note ever issued in the history of paper money.. if you want one or more, even a whole pack, check eBay.. plenty of people are selling crisp, uncirculated singles, multiples, and full packs of them.. in terms of buying power, in Zimbabwe, a ONE HUNDRED TRILLION DOLLAR note wouldn't even buy you a popsicle.. it's worth about 25 cents..

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About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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