20 years ago, 12 EU members approved the euro. In Germany, the German brand has disappeared from circulation – a favorite not only in Germany. But it is still coming out of various hiding places – and it has not lost its value.
“Even 20 years after the introduction of the euro in cash, the German mark is changing without restriction in more than 30 branches of the Bundesbank. “This makes Germany one of the six eurozone countries where the former national currency can be exchanged permanently,” said Johannes Berman of the Bundesbank.
However, many do not know this – not even in Germany. Not only is the German mark eternal, but the exchange rate has remained unchanged – 1.95583 marks per euro.
In the old drawer
At the end of 2001, shortly before the changeover to the euro, 162 billion marks were in circulation, of which 150 billion were in banknotes. Most of the money was quickly exchanged by people. But billions of signs are still crawling through drawers, hiding in closets and between pages of books or lying under mattresses.
Thus, an animal protection organization from Leipzig received as a gift an old dresser, ie a will for the deceased. Years later, when the workers of that organization dismantled the nightstand – they found 27,700 marks, or 14,163 euros. It will never be clear if the deceased owner forgot that money or deliberately donated it in such an unusual way.
This often happens, says Johannes Berman: “People use furniture as a safe.”
However, bunker stamps are also discovered in other ways, such as during a burglary, when a man near Bonn entered a neighbor’s house, stole a bicycle and took 150 stamps, which he exchanged before being arrested. .
In 2021 more than 22 million euros were replaced
For 11 months in 2021, the Bundesbank changed 43.1 million marks, in banknotes and coins, to about 22 million euros. The bank has data that it still has German marks worth 12.35 billion – of which 5.75 billion in banknotes and 6.6 billion in coins. Exactly, it is about 163.8 million banknotes and more than 23 billion coins, including special coins of 10 marks.
The 100- and 1000-mark banknotes are mostly bunkers – together they make up 49 percent of the value of German marks. According to the Bundesbank, 17.1 million 100-mark banknotes and 1.1 million 1000-mark banknotes were hidden.
Favorite spare currency
However, over time, the German central bank is converting fewer and fewer German marks: “People are finding less and less secret places and are coming less and less.
The exchange of German brand banknotes and coins in euros fell especially in 2020 and 2021, which is attributed to the Bundesbank pandemic and the blockade that did not bypass the bank branches: banknotes and coins could only be sent by mail.
However, the Bundesbank calculates that a portion of the money will never be returned or exchanged, inter alia because it is in receipts. And there is a considerable amount abroad, because the German mark was the preferred currency worldwide – for cash reserves.