The Mystery of the Disappearing Bills

Ad: This forum contains affiliate links to products on Amazon and eBay. More information in Terms and rules


Nov 9, 2005
The euro is supposed to be one of the world's most reliable currencies. So why are euro bills literally disintegrating in people's hands?

Since its introduction, the euro has served as a remarkably solid common currency for much of Western Europe. But lately, euro notes have proven to be less reliable -- indeed, they are disintegrating right in the hands of their holders. Introducing the case of the vanishing euros.

Since the first decomposed €20 bill was reported by a state bank in Berlin on June 21, a total of 17 cities have sounded the alarm about disintegrating euros. Authorities in a number of German states as well as the European and German central banks are now investigating.

According to the mass-circulation Bild newspaper, chemical experts believe "the destroyed bank notes came in contact with sulfuric acid, which led to the observed disintegration." They believe the bills were somehow coated -- either deliberately or through a manufacturing error -- with sulfur salt. Contact with perspiration (like sweaty hands) can trigger a chemical reaction that turns sulfur salt into corrosive sulfuric acid over time.

Though the authenticity of the bills has been proven based on their serial numbers, officials have ruled out the possibility of a production error at Germany's federal printing plant.

That's what has people scratching their heads. "Maybe a racketeer is behind all of this, someone who wants to prove to us that he can destroy the euro," an unnamed European Central Bank source told Bild. "But so far, no one has announced anything in this regard."

It could have been anything -- even an accident. "We still haven't been able to determine whether this was an unintentional chemical spill or whether it was a conscious manipulation," a spokesman from the Bundesbank, Germany's central bank, said.

In the meantime, the euro bills continue to disintegrate and officials are baffled.

(Der Spiegel)


  • eur.jpg
    18.2 KB · Views: 181
An I was thinking thats where somone proves it only took 1 hour to make a B-24.

Cause dey comes out of dems factry evra hour massa. :shock:
K9, the day you gettin' dat degree, you gonna be showin' dem white folks..
That is very strange, especially the square edges on those holes. I would have thought that acid would have dissolved paper in a different way... :?:

Oh, and no Euros here... yet!
When I was in England in 2002 this was a hot topic among the folks I met, all seemed deathly against the Euro - I think its the British - when they go over to the continent they're wiping their @sses with them and laughing as they cross the channel back home! :evil4:
Yeap I am not sure what other countries are saying, but here in Germany you have to have atleast 50% of the bill in order to trade it in for a new one at the bank.
An I was thinking thats where somone proves it only took 1 hour to make a B-24.

Cause dey comes out of dems factry evra hour massa. :shock:

25 B24's in a single 24 hour period = 1.05 per hour rolling out the Willow Run assembly plant.

Do they teach you basic math in NZ?
Do they teach you basic math in NZ?

Yup, an when I am over at the Fire Brigade, we can count to 180 without having ta take our boots off.

Thats more'n enough to work out statistics most times.

And they wheeled them out of the factory, rolling them out would have scratched the paint job.

Ya can't fool this Kiwi, no sir.

Users who are viewing this thread