The Odd Value of Money

Examine these two bills and guess which one is worth more in Congo. Click on the photo for an enlargement.

Take a close look at these two bills and guess which one has more value in Congo.

Have you picked one? OK. It’s the 100 Congo Francs, which by the way, is worth about 11 US cents. Is the $50 a fake, you may ask? No.  In the US, it is worth $50.  Here in Congo and Uganda, it is worth nothing because no one, no bank, will take it as it is dated 1996. Neither country will accept American dollar bills unless the bill is in near-perfect shape, and dated 2001 or newer. Surprisingly, their own money is still accepted, even when it looks like it has been used to clean the floor, then placed on a dirt road and run over by several trucks, leaving it torn, dirty, and taped together. It’s one of those small things that Americans living in Congo forget to mention to visitors coming out. My poor $50 bill has been rendered worthless by the powers of Congo.

One Comment

  1. Steve Cadd 5 July 2010 at 4:32 pm #

    You are not alone. We found out in Taiwan that no bank would exchange our US$100 bills if they were older than 1996 as well! They were even hesitant to take the 1996. I’ve no idea why. Maybe those are notorious for counterfeiting. Who knows, but as you say, it’s one of those things that it would have been nice to know before we landed in Taiwan!

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