This article was originally printed in the latest issue of Numismatic News.
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After finding that 90 percent of the use of 500-euro bank notes on its territory are for criminal purposes, including tax evasion, Britain banned sales of the note at currency exchanges on its territory.
Great Britain does not use the euro. It uses the pound sterling as its currency, but its membership in the European Union and its proximity to countries that do use the euro had made this high denomination note (worth $615) otherwise easy to obtain and to use.
Britain’s action is similar to that taken by the United States in 1969 when it stopped issuing $500 and $1,000 Federal Reserve Notes for essentially the same reason.
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