How safe is the cash in your wallet?
All euros are backed by the European Central Bank but the serial numbers prefixed with X may be regarded as most secure because they are issued by Germany. N is also a good prefix, because these come from Austria. P, L, U and Z prefixes may also be favoured because these are issued by the authorities in Holland, Finland, France and Belgium.
If you share widespread fears that the euro cannot last in its present form, you might want to avoid notes with the prefixes F, G, M, S, T or Y. These are issued by Malta, Cyprus, Portugal, Italy, Ireland and Greece.
Here and now, in a long-planned move to make life difficult for forgers, about 150m British £20 notes with a picture of Edward Elgar will be replaced as legal tender on Thursday, July 1, by notes with a picture of Adam Smith. When the change was first announced during the last Labour government, I noted how apt it was that Gordon Brown should replace a great English composer with a Scots tax collector – for that was Smith’s day job before he became an economist.
The transition will no doubt be smooth and the Bank of England says it will continue to honour all the notes it has issued.
Let’s hope the same can be said of the European Central Bank and all its euros.
I'm sticking those proper White Fivers .