Tag: belgian congo
This paper money, featuring ships docked at the Leo-Kinshasa wharf has eluded me for quite a while. I regret not buying it a couple of years ago, when it was cheaper, but even $103.50 can be considered a bargain for this scarce note. It is definitely harder and harder to find, especially in this good of a condition. The back of this banknote features an African transporting fruit in a dugout canoe.
Aaah … Belgian Congo. Beautiful and interesting money is a trademark, and I have been looking for one of these 100 Franc banknotes for quite a while. After I discovered it, it rose to the top of my wish list. First of all, I love wildlife, and elephants are quite a thing in the banknote world. Oxen are prominent features on banknotes too, in Africa and Asia. This banknote features both. I hadn’t seen this banknote often before I added it to my wish list, but it seems as though this banknotes comes up for auction quite often as I have kept my eye on it ever since. This banknote usually sells for $90-$150 in VF condition, but this one has a center hole. However, this is also one of the earlier versions (p17) and was printed again in the 50′s and is now p25 in the Krause’ Standard Catalog of World Paper Money.
I have a fascination, or at least I am drawn to paper money from the Belgian Congo. Between their relative scarcity and their zoological and cultural depictions, they are perfect for a collector such as myself. They are a little pricey, yet they are still attainable, which is something I love. Its almost like a little challenge …
Anyways, I have purchased pick 16j from the Belgian Congo. This banknote has beautiful coloration, but the back of this banknote possesses the true appeal for me: the back of this banknote features a leopard on the prowl at center. Its beautiful and I don’t mind having paid $41 for it.
I don’t have a scan of the back of this note, but you can check out a later issue with the same exact back, featuring the leopart right here.
One of the reasons that I love African banknotes is because of the wildlife featured on them. In this same line of thought, I have noticed a funny combination on banknotes from the Belgian Congo (and Rwanda-Burundi too, I think): the elephant and the hippopotamus. The back of p13B is a perfect example of this. While the front of the note features a seated woman with child and a beehive at left, the back of the bill features an elephant and hippo at center.
For those of you following this blog, you probably know that I have a preference for African banknotes, especially old ones. In keeping in line with this fact, I have won an auction on eBay for Belgian Congo p3B. As you can guess by the pick number, this is one of the earliest notes from the Belgian Congo. Indeed, this particular specimen is a 1 Franc banknote from 1920. It features a woman seated with a sheaf of grain and a wheel at left on the face, and has the word ‘Matadi’ printed on it. Matadi, as far as I can tell is a major city from that era. Now, I paid $44 for this banknote, but this was not a particularly great deal as I have seen this banknote sell for around $30 a few times since I won mine. No regrets, though. This banknote is a phenomenal piece of my collection, and I may pick up one or two more for re-sale purposes. I can’t see there being very many of these around, even though they are 1 Franc notes. p3, an alternate version of this note has the word ‘Elisabethville’ in place of ‘Matadi’ and is valued slightly more than the Matadi version.
I feel pretty fortunate to have purchased an African banknote from 1929. In this case I was fortunate to win an eBay auction for Belgian Congo pick 8e, which is a 5 Franc note from 1929. The banknote is in rough condition, but somehow though the face side is quite worn, the back of the banknote seems to be in acceptable condition. That is the side that really matters, because it features a picture of a river steamboat heading down a river banked by tropical vegetation. Spectacular! I love old African banknotes! Unfortunately this banknote cost me $44.95.
This banknote constituted a marked difference in the money printed in the Belgian Congo. Most previous paper money from the Belgian Congo involves scenes of tribes, landscapes, and conquests. In the fifties, however, the paper money printed for this region of the world started to celebrate the coming of the industrial age and, as in this instance, often portrays industrial movements, machinery, and major architecture. As such, this is not one of my favorite banknotes, but at $10.25 it is a good addition for any collection.
I have always been intrigued by old paper money from African countries. This is for two reasons: first, money from African countries tends to get beat up quite fast so there are few good examples of older banknotes, and second because African countries have the opportunity to print images of flora and fauna that is both unique to the continent and world renowned. Prime examples are gorillas, lions, and gazelles. Aside from these topics, there is also plenty of opportunity to display unique cultures.
For me, these banknotes are a great investment opportunity, because these factors make for a high demand for these banknotes, and the supply is only getting smaller. Even banknotes that are not currently valued very high by the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money will surely go up in value in a significant way with little time.
This having been said I have picked up a Belgian Congo banknote from 1959. It is the 20 Franc banknote which features a young boy at left on the face with a village and reservoir in the background, and a river landscape with a young African girl on the back. Unfortunately the banknote is pretty much monotone, but still attractive by design. In VF condition this banknote is worth only $10 according to catalog prices, but it seems to always sell for around $20USD. I managed to get this one for $15.50, but that is a rare deal as far as I can tell. Here’s a picture:
Paper money from the Belgian Congo offers an interesting glimpse into colonization of the African continent. These notes are usually either badly damaged or very expensive. The following example is a 20 Franc banknote from 1949 that falls into the first category. However, so far it has proven itself less common than either the 5 Franc, 10 Franc, or 50 Franc notes of the same issue. I managed to pick this one up for $11.83USD.