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Germany: Help, my money is vanishing


tabbs
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Take care with that cash you got. It may fall apart.

 

What sounds like a joke, has become reality in Euroland - about a thousand times so far. Euro notes disassemble once they are touched by fingers.

 

The first cases were reported in June, with just very few notes. Odd maybe, but not a big deal. In the meantime, however, many more damaged notes have been found. Seems that only notes made by the Berlin printing company Bundesdruckerei are affected.

 

The damaged notes can be exchanged into fresh ones. But don't wait too long - usually the central bank only does that if you can present more than half a note (or prove that the rest was burned, etc.) ...

 

What causes the process? The notes were possibly treated with some kind of sulfate. When touched by a human, the humidity (sweat) could react with that sulfate, and the resulting sulfuric acid "eats" the note. (Note that I am not a chemist but simply reporting what I have read. :ninja: )

 

Problem is, at this stage nobody knows whether these are intentional manipulations or accidental damages. Police in several German states are investigating. The tabloid Bild already headlined "Acid attack on our money!" ...

 

Articles (in German):

http://www.handelsblatt.com/news/Journal/V...cheine-auf.html

http://www.bild.t-online.de/BTO/news/aktue...ro-scheine.html

 

Christian

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What a way to control the underground "cash" economy.

Indeed ... except that even notes that people get from ATMs have this problem. Here is a Bundesbank press release, by the way, with more info and (at the bottom) links to images of such notes:

 

http://www.bundesbank.de/download/presse/p...anknoten.en.php

(This is the English version.)

 

Christian

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did this company print others as well?

Possibly so (due to the pooling system), but I don't really know. Bundesdruckerei's printer codes start with an R ...

 

As for the reasons, one guess is that those notes had been marked by the police before (in some case of blackmail maybe) and that somebody desperately tried to clean them. Currently police are also trying to find out whether the damage has anything to do with a specific ATM type and some kind of battery damage. In any case, your or my "chances" of getting such a note are extremely slim. :ninja:

 

Christian

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Back in 1995 the Bureau of Engraving and Printing had issues with the ink on $1's and $5's. It seems as though the formula got mixed up and some of the ink would flake off in circulation. I remember the first time I saw one of the $1 bills that I got in change, I thought perhaps it was a counterfeit.

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Side note: If you have a close look at the printer codes (in the images provided by the central bank), you'll notice that only the €50 was made by Bundesdruckerei/R. The €20 note is from Giesecke & Devrient/P:

 

http://www.bundesbank.de/download/presse/p...vorderseite.jpg

http://www.bundesbank.de/download/presse/p...vorderseite.jpg

 

So it's not just one printer. Well, I just checked my cash, and the notes are all still intact. All five of them. :ninja:

 

Christian

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  • 2 weeks later...

BERLIN, Nov 11 (Reuters) - A mystery substance that caused some euro banknotes in Germany to fall to pieces may be linked to the party drug crystal speed, Der Spiegel magazine reported on Saturday, quoting regional police. Users of crystal speed inhale it through the nose using rolled-up banknotes and chemists think impurities such as sulphates, mingled with sweat, could have created an acid that ate away at the notes, the magazine quoted police as saying.

 

http://yahoo.reuters.com/news/articlehybri...20-08_L11463736

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