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.
Though the front of this banknotes states ‘Banque Centrale du Congo Belge et du Ruanda-Urundi’ it is neither from the Belgian Congo, nor from Rwanda-Burundi. This is p2a from the Congo Democratic Republic, which is a 1000 Franc banknote from 1962 (took me a while to find this one in the catalog). Though the front side of the banknote is appealing, I love the back of the banknote which features a waterbuck drinking from a stream. There is a 5000 Franc banknote from the same issue, but it is ridiculously rare on eBay. This issue can be found on a regular basis, and often sells for above its catalog value, especially of late. I feel extremely lucky to have purchased this one for $50.
As an investment, I have picked up a trio of CDR p8a: 1000 Francs from 1964 in UNC condition but that have been punch hole canceled. They are attractive notes, featuring a general at left, and an indigenous carving at right.
I just love the fact that this country, always in turmoil, has chosen to cancel its banknotes using the communist star! Then again, many african nations are communist, though I’m not too sure about the Democratic Republic of Congo.
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:
I used to never see this banknote on eBay, and now I see a few examples in F-VF condition up for auction now and then. I’m not sure whether these are a good investment. It is strange for an old banknote to suddenly re-appear, but this could be a sporadic thing, and short lived. Either way, I picked up this banknote for $16.29 in F condition, which is approximately the book value. I just love the sight of the lion atop his mountain in Africa. On a side note, it reminds me of a bad movie … but I forget the title. If you’ve seen it, you will know what I am talking about, with the village in the valley below the lion!
Anyways, here it is (too bad there isn’t more color on this note!):