After waiting a year to get her lost wallet back, is all hope lost for our reporter’s 1o,000 yen bill?

Imagine that you have two 10,000 yen bills in your wallet. One of them is fresh and crisp, and the other is old and crumpled. Is one worth more than the other? Of course not. They’re both worth 10,000 yen (US$74). You don’t get any monetary bonus points for your money looking nice.

But your cash can lose its value if the bill is in such bad condition that stores won’t accept it and vending machines would start spitting it back at you, which was the situation our Japanese-language reporter Suzu An found herself in.

▼ Suzu

See, about a year ago Suzu lost her wallet. So much time had passed that she’d given up on ever getting it back, so imagine her surprise when she got a call from the police just the other day saying that they’d found it!

And that wasn’t the only surprise. Though Suzu’s credit card was missing, a 10,000-yen bill she’d had in her wallet was still there!

Well…it was kind of there.

The bill was tattered and torn. The portrait of Fukuzawa Yukichi had the top of his head removed, and things only got worse when Suzu pulled the bill out of her wallet and saw that it wasn’t even in one solid piece anymore!

There isn’t a store in Japan that would accept this as payment. The police advised Suzu to go to a bank and see if there was anything that could be done, so she put the pieces of the bill in a Ziploc bag and headed out to the local Mitsubishi UFJ Bank branch.

After she explained to an employee why she was there, the bank first checked to see if they could repair the bill, Unfortunately, there was simply too much missing, and in particular the fact that it no longer had the same vertical width (remember Fukuzawa’s missing head section) meant that repairing it would be impossible.

All hope wasn’t lost quite yet, though. The next step was to send the bill to the Bank of Japan, the country’s central bank for an evaluation. If the Bank of Japan could determine that it was indeed a real bill, Suzu might be able to be compensated for it.

Since she didn’t have anything to lose except a few scraps of currently worthless paper, Suzu agreed to send her bill off to the Bank of Japan. The appraisal can take up to two weeks, they told her, but just one week later she checked her bank balance, and…

…10,000 yen had been added to her account!

We should point out, once again, that the Bank of Japan performs an appraisal in situations like this, which means that there’s some point of damage and degradation at which they won’t reimburse you for the value of your damaged bill. Considering what bad shape Suzu’s bill was in, though, it seems like your cash would have to be practically reduced to ashes not to pass the evaluation, so should you discover that you’ve got a bill too damaged to use in stores, head to a bank and see if they can help you.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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