RealBanknotes.com is, and always will be a free website. Even the members section is free, and always will be. However, while programming the site I decided to make registration ‘By Invitation Only’ because I am more concerned about the quality of our members, than the quantity. So, as part of the system, a registration code is required to register as a member, and registered members have only a handful of invites that they can offer. As of February 1st (today) I have started handing out some registration codes to begin the process of registering interested members. I have a handful of friends in this hobby, and a few favorite eBay sellers as well. However, I will also be posting a few invite codes on this Paper Money Blog as well as on RealBanknotes.com. Once they’re gone …
See you at RealBanknotes.com!
Well, as promised the RealBanknotes.com website, version 3.0 has been launched, and a day early! The website features a huge number of improvements (too many for me to list) but the biggest, and most obvious improvements are the layout (including proper ordering of pick numbers for each country) and the members area. Registration operates on an invite system, so registration is not open to all. However, by the end of the month I will have the members portion of the website both coded and tested, and will begin issuing invitations at that time. From then on further invitations will be available to members, so that if you know someone who has registered they may invite you to join. Also, I plan on offering 10 registration codes on this blog, so stay tuned. The plan is to unveil the registration codes on the 1st of February, so please check back then if you are interested in joining the ranks of RealBanknotes.com. This site has been a labor of love, and has cost me hundreds of hours of my time, but I am eager to see the notaphilic community grow around it.
For now visitors can view the new site, including a much larger gallery of banknotes, images, and catalog and eBay values. Please take a look yourself. Here’s a screenshot:
Although the front end of the site has been pretty much completed, the added functionality for both members and non-members has given the RealBanknotes.com project a high level of complexity. Where there would usually be a graphics designer and three to four programmers, there is only me. Furthermore, I have recently purchased the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money Modern Issues 2012 edition, and I have also pre-paid for the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money General Issues 2012 edition which should arrive in late November. New issues and all catalog values for 2012 have yet to be added. All these things taken into account, in combination with all of the goals and paid work that continuously interfere one-with-the-other, I have decided to set an actual goal for site launch:
January 4th, 2013!! (first Friday of 2013)
I know that it is a ways off, but with this goal I will be accomplishing two things: setting a definitive schedule for progress while giving myself the time required to make this into an instant success with a minimal number of bugs and omissions. What you will be able to expect:
- 43,000+ banknotes
- 10,000+ banknotes with images (front and back, where relevant)
- 15,000+ banknote values
- listings that include descriptions, catalog values, and ebay sales histories
- listings will also include banknote dimensions, banknote issuers, and issue names
- country write-ups
- relevant and frequent paper money articles
- listings of recommended and current online paper money auctions
- a forum for users to offer feedback and meet members of the notaphily community
Let the count-down begin!
Recently, I found an eBay seller from France who was blowing out a fairly large and varied collection of paper money from French West Africa. I was able to purchase many, many notes which ranged from 1912 – 1956 with denominations from 5 Francs to 1000 Francs. The early notes included 1920′s issues, such as this fifty franc note from 1926:
I also bought multiples of the following, with selling them in the future in mind:
Anyways, I ended up spending a couple of hundred dollars on these notes, and most of them ended up being duplicates. However, although these banknotes are neither rare nor scarce, I would imagine that their availability will go down, as it always does with paper money that is no longer being issued.
There’s always been something in me that is particularly fond of banknotes that are 100 years old or more. Its true that for the most part those lack the color and detail that was introduced into the paper money printing process in the late 1930′s, but the history of the banknote enthralls me as well. I always wonder what a century old dollar bill bought its owner back in the day, and how many hands the banknote has passed through — the total inventory that it has purchased, and the deals that it was part of.
This recent acquisition is not quite a hundred, but for every year I age, so do my banknotes, don’t they? And so I will buy banknotes from the 1910′s and the 1920′s knowing that they will become part of my small ‘century old club’ banknote collection. In that spirit I bought this Swedish 1 Krona banknote from 1920:
It is neither the prettiest nor the ugliest banknote of its age, but at $9.99 it seemed like a good deal, regardless of what the catalog had to say about its value. If nothing else it is an elaborately designed note, and I absolutely love the crest at top center.
For a long time now the Ivory Coast has been classified, in the realm of paper money collecting, as part of the West African States, and truly it is so. And truly it is so. It shares a currency common with many of its neighbors. However, there was an issue of Ivory Coast money, though similar to the issues of other countries, was Ivory Coasts very own, and that is the 1917 issue. At the time the French colonists saw fit to print .5, 1, and 2 Franc banknotes and though they are not pretty notes, they are becoming scarce — and expensive. However, some of these notes in less than VF condition are still affordable on eBay, and so I’ve made it a point to buy them so that I can check another country off of my collection list.
There was a period of time, only a few years ago, when early (1930′s) Iranian paper money sold for a fraction of what it is being sold and bought for today. At that time, I didn’t see a lot of wisdom in purchasing the low denomination notes of that era, though I did pick up a handful. In the last few years, contradictory to my expectations, Iranian paper money has actually gone up drastically in price. Even low denominations, such as 5 Rial banknotes, are selling for $15+ in VF condition. Earlier editions, where Shah Reza is wearing his military cap, are selling for considerable more. High denominations are definitely beyond my reach now. So although I look, I end up purchasing very few of these Persian banknotes. I did manage to buy another 20 Rial banknote in salvageable condition, although I wouldn’t be too excited about the purchase price. It will be a while before this paper money catches up to its catalog value, but it now seems like a good purchase. Here’s what I managed to land:
If I ever had to slim my collection down to, say … 100 or so, this note would definitely make the cut. The first issues of paper money from Ethiopia were of a currency called Thalers, and with the exception of the 2 Thaler note (the lowest denomination), this paper money featured African animals on the front face. The ten Thaler note, also know as Ethiopia pick 8, features a leopard on the prowl. It is a beautiful note, and one that is quickly becoming scarce on eBay. I was thrilled to purchase this one, and did so at a bargain. However, even at catalog value this banknote is a scarcity and a wise investment. I figure that if you don’t buy one now (for $100-$200) you’ll be asked to pay $500+ within five years.
I’ve tracked the sales of these early Ethiopian notes, and have noticed a drastic decline in their availability in auction format on eBay. As a matter of fact, there is only one on sale in the ‘Buy It Now’ format, and its price is $450. Here’s the one I managed to land:
Well, the new site is coming along. Its definitely a lot of work, and so I do appreciate the patience. Its been a long time coming, but at the same time the new website is much more complex than the old, and it is all being custom coded. Currently, I am adding both user and administrative functions which will allow the site to be maintained in a very efficient manner. I am building the site so that when registration is open, users will immediately be able to create useful accounts and have the ability to contribute to the community through scan uploads, news publishing, and the creation of ‘favorite banknote lists’, ‘ebay auction lists’, and ‘banknote wishlists.’ The paper money forum will be created after the site has been launched …
Maybe a teaser screenshot?
The latest version of the paper money collectors website RealBanknotes.com is still under construction. However, lots of progress has been made in the last couple of weeks, and although I can’t pin-point a date, I am hoping to have the latest version online soon. It features a much more elaborate database, with updated values, and added functions such as a members section and forums. However, be forewarned: the members section will be ready a few months after the launch of the site. The front-end will be online in the near future, and the back-end … well … in the future ;)
However, with the current version we are approaching 1.5 MILLION banknote views. Not bad considering that the site was launched just over a year ago. Anyways, enough pats on the back for myself.
Here is a preview of the new site: