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:
Shah Reza has had many banknotes with his image on them. Throughout the 1930′s he has been on all Iranian banknotes, which are quite highly valued according to the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money: General Issues (1368-1960), but not so much on eBay. As it turns out, though these banknotes can fetch upwards of a hundred dollars for the higher denomination, they do not reach the astronomical values in the catalog — at least not on eBay. This makes me wonder why the discrepancy, because the catalog is usually fairly accurate and for an entire issue to be off is strange. Anyhow, I managed to pick up a 50 Rial banknote. I love the front of the banknote, and the back of the banknote is even nicer. The 5, 10, and 20 Rial notes are most common, so this 50 is great. Check it out!
Although it is severely beaten up, and is being held together by a piece of scotch tape, I have purchased an Iranian 20 Rial banknote from 1934, featuring a portrait of Shah Reza with a military high cap. This note, I believe, is becoming quite rare, so I thought I’d add it to my collection before it is gone. This banknote, even in its present condition has a catalog value of about $150USD, but I managed to snag it for $15.05. Today, I saw p27 up for sale, in VG condition, but I was outbid :( Anyways, here’s the note:
I came across an odd auction on eBay … it was for old German notes from World War I with Persian / Iranian overprints. At first I could not believe my eyes, and almost navigated away from the auction. But curiosity got the better of me, and I thank my lucky stars.
The Standard Catalog of World Paper Money has this to say:
“During WWI, in order to prevent British and Russian forces from joining, a small German military force together with Turkish troops occupied a small region of Persia. The German units operating in the area issued German currency overprinted with local values. After the war these notes were stored, but some years later most were destroyed in an accidental fire. Some may be found with singed edges.”
The notes are now listed under Iran, and are composed of the following military issues:
M1 = 12 Kran 10 Shahi on 5 Marks (G $175; F $350; EF $700)
M2 = 25 Kran on 10 Marks (G $250; F $500; EF $1000)
M3 = 5 Tomans on 20 Marks (G $75; F $150; EF $350)
M4 = 25 Tomans on 100 Marks (Rare)
M5 = 250 Tomans on 1000 Marks (Rare)
There is an Iranian seller on eBay, called farbod* who has several of these for sale, some of them with burn marks and smoke damage. His ‘Buy It Now’ prices are quite high, but I managed to snag a few of these notes during an Auction.
The following is a sample of M4:
Older banknotes from Iran, such as those from the 30′s, 40′s, and earlier, are going for a lot more money than their catalog values (relative to the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money). Now, I’m not saying that you should be buying these at the moment, because I think that maybe that boat has sailed (unless you’re thinking really long term), but it is an obvious observation that I have noticed while populating the banknote sales history for RealBanknotes.com.
The image below is a sample of the banknotes that are available and that are being sold for good money.