Yesterday I posted about the biggest bills in the US, and that was interesting to me in a historical sense. However, the part of me that likes big numbers really liked seeing what other countries had to offer.
This proved to be difficult. There are a lot of countries, and even individual countries change their currencies from time to time, especially if there is high inflation [which would be tied to really big numbers on the bills]. Here is but a small sample.
There’s a 100,000 rubles bill (2000) from Belarus, worth about US$36.
There used to be a 2,000,000 złotych (1992) in Poland but in 1995 the złoty was formed by dropping 4 of the zeroes, leaving the largest current note as 200 złoty. It’s worth about US$61 and has Ignacy Jan Paderewski on the front, who was a Prime Minster of Poland and also a world-class pianist.
From 1990-2005 there was a 20,000,000 note in Turkish Lira. Isn’t it colorful? It’s got Mustafa Kemal Atatürk on it. He was the first president of Turkey, and in 1927 gave a speech that lasted 36 hours.
But the numbers don’t stop in the millions, no siree. About 15 years ago Yugoslavia, right before it split up, had a 500 billion dinar note featuring Serbian poet Jovan Jovanović Zmaj:
From the National Bank of Serbia (NBS Copyright)
And that’s not even the biggest. Zimbabwe is still undergoing hyperinflation, and has a 100 billion dollar bill (2008):
Even with all those zeroes it’s not worth much, less than US$1, and by the time you read this the value will have decreased even more. Less than four months ago newspapers reported that Zimbabwe would start printing notes in the trillions, up to and including a 100,000,000,000,000 dollar note, worth about US$30 at the time.