FI: Exchange Your Markka Banknotes Before February 29, 2012!

Started by Bimat, January 10, 2012, 05:38:45 PM

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Last chance saloon for holders of old markka banknotes

Only another 50-odd days before the notes lose their nominal value - but there may be real money still hidden away in drawers and old suit pockets.

By Jukka Harju

Amidst all the worry about the future of the euro, a look back to the past: the redemption period of old markka banknotes and coins will expire once and for all on February 29th, 2012, after which they will be good only for collectors.

This is a good time to go through one's old markka banknotes carefully one more time, and to rummage through drawers, cubby-holes, and old suit pockets in search of something that might be worth a little more than the paper it is printed on, or the nominal value in euros.

Among them there may be collector's rarities that one should definitely not just return to a bank to be destroyed against their nominal value.

For a rare markka banknote, a collector or a collectors' store can pay a price several times its face value.

Still, one should not expect miracles.
"Many people have been disappointed with their old banknotes, which turned out not to be too valuable at all. Some people may be in possession of precious collectors' rarities without being aware of it, but not all old markka notes are worth a fortune. One can only hope there will not be a huge wave of disappointment", says Antti Heinonen, the former Bank of Finland Director of Banknotes.
There is at least one rule of thumb.

"If a banknote is unfolded and in good condition, it should not be taken to a bank. Whether it is a one markka, hundred markka, or thousand markka note, it appears that those that are of good quality are worth their price", says Timo Mäkinen, who runs the online collectors' shop.

"The banknote art comes to its own only in notes that are of good quality. The notes that are in bad condition one might just as well take to a bank. It is difficult to imagine that they would ever accumulate much value", Heinonen says.
Recognising a genuinely valuable and rare banknote takes some skill and knowledge.

The most unambiguous sign signifying a banknote's worth to a collector is a star after its serial number.

The star signifies that the note in question is a replacement note produced in the bank-note printing works to take the place of a faulty one on a sheet of notes.

According to Heinonen, the replacement banknotes constituted between one and three per cent of all the printed notes, but only a part of them ever ended up in circulation.
So, what would be a real find?

According to shopkeeper Mäkinen, the big jackpot to unearth from the back of a desk-drawer would be a mint-condition 500 markka note from 1975 with a letter I in front of the serial number.

"A faultless specimen could fetch four, five thousand... and that's four or five thousand euros."

Good hunting!

It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. -J. K. Rowling.


By the way, last month I posted a note about the end of the redemption period in four European countries:
2011/2012: Redemption/Exchange Periods End in FI-FR-GR-IT

So last year (in December) it ended in Italy; this year (mid/late February) it will be Finland's, France's and Greece's turn.



This is for all those people who eat Saturday's breakfast four days later, just because they forgot  ;D

I can't imagine many people actually leaving it right to the last date!


Guess that is why such reminders are published now, instead of mid/late February. ;D  Most people in those three countries will already have taken their "old" money to the bank or central bank, I suppose - or they just don't care. Personally I prefer the policy of Austria, Germany, Ireland and a few other countries (where the pre-euro money can be exchanged "forever"), but in countries that have had redemption deadlines before, it is in my opinion not a big issue.

With Italy it is a little different: They used to have a Feb-2012 deadline for pre-euro coins and notes too, but (some time last year, I think) changed that to early December 2011. Again, not a major problem, but maybe not so convenient for people from outside the country who had planned a trip to Italy in Jan or Feb 2012 including an excursion to a Banca d'Italia branch office. ;)



I found three or four relatively low value notes years after the changeover and fully intended to swap them for euri, but listed them at face among my duplicates just in case. They traded easily, only one is left now (ƒ2,50 1949) and it was too old to hand in anyway. Saved me a trip to Amsterdam, which is subject to the adage: when I want to drive, I am stopped in a traffic jam and when I want to stop I have to drive on because there's no parking place. :(

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Ukrainii Pyat

Anybody who has 1894-6 dated markka notes can redeem them with me for face value.
Донецк Украина Donets'k Ukraine


Bank of Finland urges residents to buy euros

By: Jonathan Boyd 22 Feb 2012

Finland's central bank Soumen Panki has reminded those still holding Finnish markka banknotes and coins that they have until 29 February to exchange them for euros.

The exchange can be done at banks, foreign exchange bureaus, or by posting notes and coins to the central bank.

"The sender is responsible for postage. The sender's name, contact information and bank account number must also be included. The last day of dispatch is 29 February 2012 (date of postmark)."

"The euro amount will be credited to the sender's bank account," the bank said.

The bank has a so-called duty of redemption, which applies to all markka banknotes issued in or after 1945, and coins included in the last markka coin series before the changeover to the euro. This duty expires on 29 February.

There are an estimated FIM1.66bn of notes and coins still in circulation. This comprises about FIM740m in notes, FIM590m in coins and about FIM330m in commemorative coins - which may also be exchanged for euros.

The bank notes that "redeemable markka banknotes and coins may have sentimental or numismatic value that exceeds their nominal value."

It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. -J. K. Rowling.