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.
With no exceptions that I can think of, Czechoslovakian specimen banknotes from the pre-world war II era have been selling for much more than catalog value. The most common banknotes of this type that are found on eBay are from the 1926-1934 issue as issued by the Czechoslovak National Bank. Pick 24, the 500 Korun banknote, and pick 25, the 1000 Korun banknote are most common. Specimens of these banknotes are valued at $15 and $20, respectively, in uncirculated condition. However, I feel very lucky to have won an auction on a very fine conditioned 24s for a price of $9.05, as I have seen these banknotes sell for over their UNC catalog values even in conditions as low as F. Here’s my winner:
I purchased a single Tibetan banknote, way back in the day, when I first started collecting paper money. At the time, I did not have a catalog which indexed Tibetan paper money. I didn’t really know what the banknote was or how much it was worth. Its was in really rough shape, but it was ornate and very unique. Since that time I have purchased a more recent version of the Standard Catalog of World Paper money, and Tibet has its own listings. Among them is p9, a 10 Srang banknote from 1941. This banknote features two stylized lions at center on its face side, and dragons and lions on the back. These notes were made by pasting together three sheets, the middle one having a two line security legend printed on it. I spent nearly $40 on this banknote, which is above catalog value, but I believe that these banknotes are actually quite scarce and few are in this good of a condition. The only question I have is whether the two holes punched in this banknote were actually used to tie bundles of money together. I have seen these two holes on other banknotes from Tibet on eBay, so I have a suspicion that these were made during the days of circulation by a bank or another such authority. Does anyone know anything about this?
I was lucky enough to win an eBay auction for a collection of 4 banknotes from Mozambique. The notes included 10,20, and 50 centavos all dated 1914 and 10 escudos dated 1945. Note the 50 centavos has an oval shaped over stamp. Usually these notes sell for a minimum of $10 each, so I was really happy to win this lot for $24.50. Also, because they were a single lot the shipping charges were reasonable. I’ve added several banknotes from Mozambique recently, but none of this era so affordably. Here they are:
I was actually hunting for a Trinidad & Tobago $2 banknote because anything from that era above and beyond the $2 denomination has always been out of my reach, however I was to have a little luck in my hunt. Not only did I end up purchasing the $2 bill I was looking for, I also scored this $5 bill for $36USD. I know that the corner is torn off, but I never expected to add this banknote to my collection. This entire series of banknotes by Trinidad & Tobago features the same imagery on all the notes, unfortunately, with a difference in color distinguishing one denomination from another. The most common is the $1 bill which can often be bought for around $10 on eBay and is blue.
I’m not sure why, but both Irish and Scottish paper money is very rare and very pricey. I understand that the actual value of Irish and Scottish money is high, however currently used on pound notes, for example, sometimes sell for eight times their face value even in circulated condition. Its kind of crazy. So I was extremely glad to land a 5 pound paper money bill from Ireland, from 1976, for less than twice the face value. This is a rare Irish addition to my paper money collection.
I can seldom afford sets of banknotes for any given country, but I have purchased a five banknote set from the Maldives on eBay for a very reasonable price. This set includes p18c, 19b, p20, p21, and a more recent and unlisted issue. Respectively, the denominations are 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 Rufiyaa. I love the colors in this set, but I must admit that though this package contains five banknotes, the sixth eludes me (and my budget!). It is the highest denomination of paper money from the Maldives, which is p23: 500 Rufiyaa issued in 1996 and then again in 2000.
I have recently realized that older banknotes issued by the government of Gibraltar are selling for relatively little money on eBay. In particular I am referring to notes from 1937-1958, which are pretty much identical to those issued in the sixties and seventies, except for the date and probably the signature. I really think that these are undervalued both in the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money as well as eBay. And, truth be told, they are quite attractive, even though the different denominations differ almost exclusively based on underprint color (and the denomination, ofcourse). The 10 Shilling and 1 Pound banknotes are selling for around $12-$15 and the 5 Pound notes are selling for around $30. I highly recommend purchasing a few of these, especially if you don’t have any of them in your collection. These banknotes are going to boom before long, and in the long-term they will prove to be great investments. Here’s one I got for $14.65:
I have purchased what would be considered a fractional banknote from Nicaragua. Comparative to Canadian shinplaster notes, this particular note is pick 53a with a denomination of 25 Centavos, or a quarter of a Cordoba. The banknote features lady Liberty at right, and the Nicaraguan coat of arms at center on the back. I find it quite interesting that the bank name appears in both English and Spanish. Though this note is in Fine condition, at best, I thought it was worth the $9.99 that I paid for it.
Well, its been another great month. I have managed to add quite a few interesting pieces to my collection, and the website is doing great as well. RealBanknotes.com currently has 34,450+ banknotes listed and now has 4200+ banknotes with images. In addition the site boasts 23,950+ banknote catalog values, as well as 5,750+ eBay sales values so that you can get the value of your paper money and banknotes. This post is scheduled a little before the end of the month, we we are up to 38,000 banknote views on the site, which is great. Thank you for all your support.
Also, for those of you viewing the blog at blog.RealBanknotes.com you will notice that I have customized the WordPress skin, so that it matches the parent website. Also, I have had to add advertising to the blog as well. IF YOU WANT TO SUPPORT THIS PROJECT OF LISTING AND VALUATING 65,000+ BANKNOTES, PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO CLICK ON ONE OF YOUR ADVERTISEMENTS!
One more note: We have a new author as well — Yuri. I look forward to his first blog post.