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I'm running a (one off) game for some friends (in the UK), in which notes will be required. I think it's probably cheaper to do currency exchange for some actual bank notes, then change it back again afterwards; rather than buy toy money.

I have specific needs (60*1, 60*5, 24*10, 6*50) in notes.

Two questions really:

  1. Would a currency exchange be likely to fulfill my request for exact note amounts like that?
  2. What is the cheapest available currency that would have notes in those denominations. While I trust my friends, I don't really want to play with 900 USD worth of cash.

closed as off-topic by gerrit, Relaxed, Kate Gregory, CGCampbell, Nean Der Thal Jul 17 '15 at 11:58

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    Does any country aside from the US still have 1-unit notes? – phoog Jul 17 '15 at 9:21
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is not about travel in any way. – gerrit Jul 17 '15 at 9:23
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    Why not just buy a Monopoly set in a charity shop? – Nick C Jul 17 '15 at 9:33
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    I agree that it's probably unlikely that any country whose unit of currency is worth significantly less than 1 USD would print 1-unit notes. So you are presumably talking about several hundred USD of value. When you exchange your pounds to this other currency and then back, you'll lose the amount of the spread, plus any commission (twice). That's probably at least a few percent. So this scheme will likely cost you at least 20 USD or so - you can buy a lot of play money at your local toy shop for that price. – Nate Eldredge Jul 17 '15 at 9:47
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    Also, if you choose an obscure currency with a low value per unit, your local bank or currency exchange may only stock high-denomination notes. – Nate Eldredge Jul 17 '15 at 9:50
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I'd forget about the selling back part, and just buy worthless notes off eBay!

enter image description here (courtesy Banknote World)

For example, this seller sells unused notes in bulk from all sorts of obscure countries, including these lovely packs of Mongolian 1, 5, 10 and 50 tugrik notes, with each pack of 100 notes selling for around 6 GBP (plus shipping). Or maybe you'd like some Kyrgyzstani tyiyn? This means you could get beautiful mint notes for well under 10 pence a pop.

And in case you were thinking about selling them back anyway, at time of writing 1 tugrik is worth around 0.0005 USD.

  • Zimbabwe currency would go a long way in this context.. – Russell McMahon Jul 17 '15 at 11:24
  • @RussellMcMahon Yes, if they're OK with using 1 trillion dollar notes instead... – jpatokal Jul 17 '15 at 11:27
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    You can get a pack of play money that would satisfy the requirements for about $6. – DJClayworth Jul 17 '15 at 14:47

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