The Deutsche mark lives

Apparently, as the Wall Street Journal reports, Germans still haven’t quite given up on the Deutsche mark: As defunct currencies go, "die gute alte D-mark," or "the good old D-mark," as it is still affectionately called, is far from dead. Germans officially traded in the currency for euro bills and coins on Jan. 1, 2002, ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
KEHL, GERMANY: Picture taken 28 December 2001 in Kehl of a cigarettes vending machine using deutsche mark and euro coins a few days before the event of the single European currency. AFP PHOTO PIERRE ANDRIEU. (Photo credit should read PIERRE ANDRIEU/AFP/Getty Images)
KEHL, GERMANY: Picture taken 28 December 2001 in Kehl of a cigarettes vending machine using deutsche mark and euro coins a few days before the event of the single European currency. AFP PHOTO PIERRE ANDRIEU. (Photo credit should read PIERRE ANDRIEU/AFP/Getty Images)
KEHL, GERMANY: Picture taken 28 December 2001 in Kehl of a cigarettes vending machine using deutsche mark and euro coins a few days before the event of the single European currency. AFP PHOTO PIERRE ANDRIEU. (Photo credit should read PIERRE ANDRIEU/AFP/Getty Images)

Apparently, as the Wall Street Journal reports, Germans still haven't quite given up on the Deutsche mark:

As defunct currencies go, "die gute alte D-mark," or "the good old D-mark," as it is still affectionately called, is far from dead. Germans officially traded in the currency for euro bills and coins on Jan. 1, 2002, and the mark immediately ceased to be legal tender. But 13.2 billion marks—worth €6.75 billion ($8.3 billion)—remain tucked in mattresses, old prayer books, coat pockets or otherwise in circulation, according to the Bundesbank, more lucre than the euro bloc's 16 other ex-currencies combined.

Unlike neighbors such as Italy and France, which let their liras and francs officially expire over the past year, Germany never set a deadline for exchanging its old money for euros. So, if they decide to accept marks, retailers and other businesses can still exchange them at German central bank branches.

Apparently, as the Wall Street Journal reports, Germans still haven’t quite given up on the Deutsche mark:

As defunct currencies go, "die gute alte D-mark," or "the good old D-mark," as it is still affectionately called, is far from dead. Germans officially traded in the currency for euro bills and coins on Jan. 1, 2002, and the mark immediately ceased to be legal tender. But 13.2 billion marks—worth €6.75 billion ($8.3 billion)—remain tucked in mattresses, old prayer books, coat pockets or otherwise in circulation, according to the Bundesbank, more lucre than the euro bloc’s 16 other ex-currencies combined.

Unlike neighbors such as Italy and France, which let their liras and francs officially expire over the past year, Germany never set a deadline for exchanging its old money for euros. So, if they decide to accept marks, retailers and other businesses can still exchange them at German central bank branches.

You never know. They may come in handy yet. Though Finnish markkas may turn out to be the better investment.

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

Tag: EU

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