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The E-Sylum:  Volume 8, Number 1, January 2, 2005, Article 7

HIGH DENOMINATION NOTES

  Regarding last week's question, Arthur Shippee 
  writes: "I have or had somewhere a 60 million 
  mark note, I believe it was.  But you'll want 
  to check China post WWII, too."

  Dave Hirt writes: 
  "you asked about the the highest inflation note. 
  I am sure it was the Hungarian Peng§. The § is 
  pronounced as "er". It is interesting because I am 
  writing you from Budapest. In the summer of 1946 the
  highest note was 1 billion trillion peng§.  This is
  one followed by 21 or 22 zeros. Later that year the
  Forint currency was introduced.  One Forint was 
  given for each one, followed by 29 zeros.  I have 
  no idea how to say that number. There is a famous 
  picture of a street sweeper sweeping up paper money 
  that had been thrown into the street."

  Ronald S. Thompson writes: "I am not sure of the answer
  but I have two "funfzig Milliarden Mk" notes from 
  between the world wars (October 1923).  Funfzig 
  Milliarden for those not familiar with the term is a 5
  followed by ten zeros or 50,000,000,000, which is 
  printed on the note.  I am also curious about what 
  larger ones were issued.  The ones I have were 
  circulated and only cost a couple of dollars each or
  less so they are fun things to collect."

  Steve D'Ippolito writes: "To the best of my knowledge
  the recordholder is still the 1 Milliard B Pengo note
  from Hungary, (P137 from the Seventh Edition).  The
  B stands for "Billion."  Hungary follows the same 
  system as England when denoting large numbers, where 
  1,000,000,000 is a "milliard" or thousand million, 
  not a billion, and 1,000,000,000,000, a million 
  million, is a "billion," not a trillion.  (I suppose
  that 1,000,000,000,000,000--a "thousand billion" or 
  a quadrillion to us in the States--might be called 
  a "billiard" but I am only speculating!)

  The milliard B-pengo note is therefore 1,000,000,000 
  x 1,000,000,000,000 pengos.  Or to save my poor 0 
  key from further abuse, 1 x 10^21 in scientific 
  notation.  To us in the states that's 1 sextillion 
  pengos.

  I own a Yugoslav 500,000,000,000 (500 billion or 
  milliard) dinar note from 1993.  That was on the heels
  of several droppings of multiple zeros (they dropped 
  6 zeros earlier that year, 1 in 1992, 4 in 1990, and 
  2 in 1965) --if you roll those back in (which might 
  be cheating), that note ends up being 13 more zeroes
  on top of the 11 zeroes already on the note--you end
  up with 5x10^24 1964 dinars, which is 5 quadrillion 
  (5 million million million million) by the British 
  system and 5 septillion by ours.   But that's not 
  all--immediately after this, they lopped NINE more 
  zeros off their currency and shortly thereafter issued
  a 10 million dinar note--so that's seven zeros on the
  note, plus a total of 22 zeros dropped since 1965, 
  for 1 x 10^29 pre-1965 dinars.  I think that's 100 
  octillion by the US system or 100,000 quadrillion by
  the English system.  I don't know what happened after
  that--my edition of Pick is woefully out of date.  
  I don't doubt inflation has continued there, though 
  they seem to have been trying to tie their money to 
  the deutschemark.

  Now I have to chase down one of those 10 million 
  (or 100 octillion) dinar notes!"

  David Gladfelter writes: "On the new Turkish lira: 
  The old Bir Milyon Turk Lirasi note is a feel-good 
  note to have in your collection. Own one and be an 
  international millionaire. Mine cost ~$23 in the 1990s.

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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