Of all of the banknotes featuring King George VI, I believe that Fiji has the best portrait. Ofcourse, I think that all banknotes featuring the royal family are great investments, but any time that you are able to get a banknote from Oceania featuring a king, as opposed to the queen (which would be great anyways), for a low price, you are adding serious value to your collection. I purchased p37c from 1940 off of eBay for $15.50. Sure that it is in F condition, but even in this condition the catalog value is roughly $70-$90, and consistently sells for $40+. This was just luck (and too much time on eBay :).
I have seen a drastic jump in the values of Jamaican paper money featuring Queen Elizabeth II. I have been keeping my eye open for a while, and lately I have purchased a banknote which, though I don’t feel it was a spectacular deal, could have a good return on investment down the road. This particular one is a Jamaican 10 shilling note from 1964, printed under the Law of 1960. It features the queen at left. The back features a much more interesting picture: men with bananas (don’t be gross!).
If you are the kind of collector that gauges their collection by its catalog value, then I strongly recommend looking into the ‘Shilling’ banknotes from old South Africa. These banknotes can be found in a vast array of qualities, from G to EF, at a very reasonable price on eBay. I have discovered this time and time again, and have actually picked up another lately. I have purchased p82d, which is a 1940 10 Shilling note. The catalogue value for this note, in VF condition is $100+, and I managed to get one in F-VF condition for just $13.50 which is a little more than it usually sells for. I have a feeling that this note is a bargain because it does not depict anything interesting on the face side, but I do have to confess that the arms featured on the back are very intricate and interesting.
Malta seems to produce some interesting banknotes. And as I have mentioned previously, any banknotes with the young Queen Elizabeth II are a great investment, so I managed to win an auction for a Malta 10 shilling note from 1968, featuring the Queen at right on the face. The back is a monotone picture of a harbor in Malta. Later issues featured color backs, which made for some beautiful notes. None-the-less, this is a good investment for the future:
A seemingly good bargain and investment, when compared to catalog values, is the purchase of paper money from Biafra. Personally, I am a big fan of collecting money from countries with few issues, as I am quite fond of having complete collections, but anything less than 5 and 10 pound notes, in my mind, is a waste of money in terms of collecting banknotes as an investment.
Here is the rationale: just prior to Biafra’s fall and re-instatement into Nigeria it had a money shortage. In particular, there was a major shortage of 5 and 10 shilling notes, as well as one pound notes. So a major order was made to the company that was printing Biafran money. The money was printed, and was about to be shipped to Biafra, when Biafra came to an end. And so there are bricks and bricks of paper money from Biafra somewhere in the world (in the UK, I think). My understanding is that there were not 5 and 10 pound notes in the printing. Hence, all five and ten pound notes are actually from Biafra. It is my belief that many lesser notes have never seen Africa, and that is why many notes in uncirculated condition are available for purchase.
I was led onto this when I purchased a lot of five and ten shilling notes from a seller on eBay. I asked the seller if he had more of the same, and he told me that he had tons, and that he had just sold 1000 five shilling notes to someone in the US. I’ll let you draw your own conclusion …
Some banknotes are still available for a great price! This one is proof. It is a Government of Bahamas banknote, with a denomination of 4 Shillings from the 1953 issue of their paper money. In the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money this one is pick 13d. It features Queen Elizabeth II at right, in her youth. I love the ship drawn at right on the face of this note. I managed to get this banknote, which I would gage as VF condition, for $12.39. I consider that a steal.