To identify foreign paper currency, determine the country of origin and research denomination designs for that country. You need a website with pictures of every country's currency. Identifying the currency takes 20 minutes or less.
- Find a website with currency pictures
Search for a site that has pictures on display and categorizes each currency based on its country of origin. Find one, such as the World Banknote Gallery website, that has a guide to each country's style of text.
- Determine which country the currency is from
Inspect the currency for any clues about which country makes it. Most countries include their name on the bill in the country's own language. Use a translation program on any word that stands out to determine the language. Check for any symbols or markings that correspond to a specific country. Look through the website style guide to match the text with the country.
- Figure out the denomination
Look for numbers that you recognize on the bill. Pull up pictures of the country's currency and find a matching denomination. Use a conversion calculator to determine the value of the bill. Don't expect to receive the full amount the bill is worth if exchanging currency. Each exchange organization offers a different rate and charges its own fees.