European Authorities Stop Printing High-Value 500-Euro Notes

(Bloomberg) -- Friday marks a sad day for the more cash-loving residents of the euro area as central banks stop handing out 500-euro notes.

While all other national central banks in the currency bloc terminated issuance in January, Germany and Austria had an additional three months for their banks and citizens to request the purple-colored tender if they so pleased. Their deadline was April 26.

The Bundesbank said earlier this month that it expected demand for the banknote to pick up slightly in the final days before issuance stops, yet a spokesman said on Friday that there were no noticeable withdrawals or hoarding activities.

The 500-euro-note -- which was excluded from future banknote production after increasing suspicions they are being used for illegal purposes -- will remain legal tender and can continue to be used as a means of payment and store of value, as well as recirculated by commercial banks.

It is one of the highest-value circulating banknotes in the world, worth about $557. Switzerland has a 1,000 franc-bill ($979), and Brunei’s 10,000-dollar note is worth about $7,313 in the U.S. currency.

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