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:
Prior to the 1945 Dollar Issue of Ethiopian banknotes the currency was entitled the Thaler, no doubt an Africanized version of the word dollar. The denominations ranged from 2 Thalers to 500 Thalers, with 100 Thalers being the second highest denomination. Quite to my surprise my bid was a winner on eBay, and I ended up landing the famous ‘Elephant note’ from Ethiopia. I have yet to see a 500 Thaler banknote up for auction on eBay, so I am very happy to have this second highest denomination as part of my collection. Definitely a huge investment potential in this one. As a matter of fact, the seller contacted me after the fact, and told me, in a sportsmanlike manner, that he was quite disappointed with the closing bid because he had just see a similar banknote sell for nearly eight times what I had paid for it at a banknote auction.
I have been trying to purchase this banknote for quite some time. I remember losing two auctions on this same bill about 6 months ago: the eventual winners paid $14.55 and $17.33. I purchased this one for $34.55, and feel fortunate to have won it for this little. It is quite obvious to me that the supply has been drying up, and I won a second banknote like this shortly after this first one. Great investments, I believe. The thaler issues are becoming ridiculously scarce, including this 2 thaler banknote which used to be relatively common.
Previously I have posted on the availability, on eBay, of Ethiopian one dollar bills from the 1945 series for very reasonable prices. Recently I managed to purchase a $10 bill from this country, and for what I would consider to be a bargain price. Though the condition is VG-F, I still consider this banknote, which features Emperor Haile Selassie at right, a bargain. Though this denomination is sometimes available on eBay, it almost always fetches at least twice the $24.03 that I paid for it.
I’ve been trying to purchase this banknote for a while now. I remember losing two auctions for this banknote, where the eventual winners paid $15.65 and $17.33 respectively, and now, not even half a year later, I am very happy to have won this one for $34.55. Ethiopian ‘Thaler’ issue banknotes are going to be huge winners down the road, and I predict that their values are going to skyrocket in a few years, as the supply dries up, as it has been doing.
I seldom buy any banknotes using the ‘Buy It Now’ feature on eBay, but this one seemed like a pretty rare find and a good deal. I picked up Ethiopia’s 1966 one hundred dollar bill in extremely fair condition for $45USD. Its kind of a pretty note, and it is the largest denomination of the last issue of Ethiopian dollars. The issue following is from the Peoples Democratic Republic and the currency becomes birr, as opposed to dollars. This banknotes catalog value is $20 in VF (very fair) condition, and $125 for UNC (uncirculated) condition. My guess is that the EF/XF value is closer to $125 than $20. Maybe $80-$90?