|Who, Where, What & How
in the World of Banknotes
| Introduction to
Bank Note Collecting
| Ways to Collect
World Paper Money
| World Currency
| How to Invest and
Promote Using Banknotes
| Gold vs. Banknotes
| History of Paper
| Handling of
Bank Note Collecting
Most of us use banknotes every day without a
second thought, but how often do you look
at the contents of your wallet closely, using a
magnifying glass or a more complex device?
After a close inspection of a banknote, seeing
all the richness of information a currency
banknote provides, many people become interested
in becoming banknote collectors.
Collecting world paper money let's you travel all
around the globe without leaving comforts
of your home. When you collect world paper money
you explore different cultures, places,
countries and continents, get to know many famous
people, learn about nature, animals,
birds, rivers and lakes that are plentiful in
seven continents of our Earth. Collecting world
paper money teaches you arts,
geography, history, foreign languages even
you assemble, diversify and maintain your world
currency banknote collection, you kind of
become a stockholder of the entire world's
Collecting world banknotes
strengthens world currencies,
helping world economies and cultures to prosper.
paper money collecting is an exciting hobby which
many thousands of people
all over the world enjoy so much. If you are new
to this beautiful hobby of collecting truly
fantastic, magical collectibles ever collected in
the world from all the mysterious countries
and places on our Planet Earth, I hope this web
site will provide everyone with amazingly
beautiful images and all kinds of interesting,
most intelligent and useful information on many
thousands of magical, enigmatic and truly
marvellous banknotes from all over the world and
will teach you how to collect, what to collect
and how to enjoy it.
People started systematically collecting paper and plastic bank
notes quite recently.
Although collecting of paper money was going on
for a long time, but that was done
only on a very small scale. Only in late 1950's
paper money collecting became more
of a global phenomenon. By 1920's paper money
began to be issued by significantly
more countries around the world and in early
1960's practically the whole world was
using paper money for buy or sell transactions
between people, businesses etc. As
a result more and more people started collecting
paper money as beautiful collectible
items, for an investment or both. These days
collecting world notes is growing very
strong and very fast. There are millions of paper
money collectors all over the world
and every year new ones join in. Knowledge
abounds with a multitude of general and
specialised catalogues covering notes of all
modern and no longer existing countries.
Prices and value of collectible paper money grows
steadily and better notes now
bring much higher prices than before making an idea
of investing in banknotes as well
as collecting attractive.
Various countries of the world have their own
words for "paper money". These are
translations of words "banknotes" and
"paper money" into some world
French: Billets, Papier Monnaie;
German: Banknoten, Papier Geld;
Italian: Cartamoneta, Banconota;
Japanese: Shihei, Okane;
Lithuanian: Banknotai, Popieriniai Pinigai;
Russian: Banknoty, Bumazhniye Den'gi;
Spanish: Notas de Banco, Papel Moneda.
Click here to view the list of
countries of the world, both modern and those
do not exist anymore and even those which have
reunited or have split apart.
There are other uses for paper money, usually
called banknotes, other than spending,
collecting or investing. One of those uses is to
create paper money art.
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|Ways to Collect World Paper
banknotes are one-of-a-kind collectible pieces of
art bearing unique serial numbers..."
||There are many ways of
assembling a collection
of world banknotes without having to
fortune on it.
You can begin collecting topical bank
such as, for example, those featuring
people, (scientists, writers, poets,
teachers etc.), animals, fishes, birds,
ships, boats, cars, trains, planets,
buildings, dams, rivers, mountains, views
and space, portraits of kings, queens,
dictators and many many other topics that
already featured on banknotes of the
all across the globe up to date.
|Another way of
assembling a meaningful collection is to use
historical context as
your main criterion. For example you may decide
to focus on collecting pre-WWII
notes only. Or start a collection of World War II
era notes such as occupational,
prisoner-of-war, propaganda, emergency, local
Also you may want to limit yourself to collecting
paper money of the country you
live in or were born in. You may want to collect
all banknotes of a certain continent,
or all notes of a certain group of countries, for
example: Middle-East (covers Asia,
Africa and even Europe) or you may choose to
collect banknotes of countries that
belong to NATO or countries of Pacific Ocean etc.
The most easiest way to start your collection is
to buy a "beginner set" of world
banknotes. That way you start your own collection
of world banknotes from a
scratch and at a low cost without spending many
days and weeks collecting one
banknote at a time. See Banknote Sets.
A good way of finding out where your interest may
lie is to examine a group of paper
notes (say at my online currency gallery or at a dealer's shop or
at a paper money
show) and see what kind of banknotes attract you
most. Are those mainly engraved
notes or notes of French influence or maybe notes
with attractive serial numbers or
those with holograms on them? Maybe notes printed
on plastic/mylar? Also you
definitely need some literature possibly a
Catalogue of Modern World Paper Money
to start with. Please visit my bookstore to view selection of books
that may help
you out in your hobby. Please note that to learn
how to grade paper money is very
important, as important as to learn how to tie
A very simple way to start your world banknote
collection is to buy a bunch of cheap
notes, say at $1 each, one note from every
different country of the world. Inspect
the notes, study the features, enframe your
notes. When you are done with your
collection of possibly over 300 notes, then if
your budget allows you may want to
start collecting notes that are a little bit more
of value, a bit more beautiful as well
as costly. Let's say then you may want to try
collecting notes that are worth between
$2 and $10 each and so on.
Always try to buy two of each identical
banknotes, so you can always replace a damaged
one, enframe it or use the second one to trade
with other collectors.
Did you notice that two banknotes which appear to
be similar can have two different
dates or signatures on them? There are notes that
look similar, but were printed by
different printers. Surely almost every note has
a different serial number.
I will not write a large article here, therefore
here are a few more ideas what to start
collecting in the world paper money collecting
area. So, you may want to start or
advance your paper money collecting into
collecting notes by:
- Topic (birds, nudes, sailing ships, famous
people, views, militaria etc.)
- Time period (WWII, 20th century, only notes
dated 1999 etc.)
- Country (your native or favourite country)
- City (city that issued the note, that applies
to local issues)
- Continent (Africa, Europe, Antarctica etc.)
- Features on a note (holograms, security
insertion strips, paper kind)
- Material used (paper, plastic, mylar, cloth
- Signatures (there are so many varieties)
- Serial numbers (111111 or 000001 or 123321 or
specimens 000000 etc.)
- Name of Printer (company or government who
printed the note)
- Influence zone (for example: France and
- Size (collect only large size notes or notes
that don't exceed certain size etc.)
- Condition/grade (collect only Uncirculated or
only circulated notes etc.)
- Science (collect notes that feature biologists,
astronomy, engineering etc.)
- Watermark (type of watermark or a picture on
- Type (Counterfeit/Bogus/Forgery notes; Specimen
notes; Error or Trial notes....)
Some banknotes become very popular and even
scarce or rare as soon as they are
issued. People are ready to stand in lines
overnight to get certain banknotes. Most world
banknotes are burned by their governments to get rid of old obsolete
paper money and
thus making many remaining bankn otes scarec or
Please remember: the stricter your requirements
for your collection are, the less
notes you will likely collect in your collection
or the more your collection will cost
you, but the more value your collection will
have. Also: if you just start collecting
paper money, don't look for investment, just buy the notes you like and
Later on when you become a more advanced
collector you will learn how to buy up
notes that are worth not only because of their
beauty, but also because of their
Afterall, collecting banknotes may bring you
happiness and good luck.
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Names: why is a franc
called a franc?
|Have you ever
wonder why different kinds of money are called
what they are? Why
is peso called a peso and mark called a mark, for
example? Well, the following list
will let you find out a little bittle about what
names of some world money mean.
- is a name for a silver dollar.
AUKSINAS (Lithuania) - means "golden"
or "gulden". Auksinas derives from
lithuanian "Auksas" which means
Rica, El Salvador) - derives from last name of
Christopher Columbus -
DRACHMA (Greece) -
"shield", referring to the coat of arms
on the original
FORINT (Hungary) - comes from the
city of Florence, where golden coins were minted
from 1252 called fiorino d'oro. In
Hungary, florentinus (later forint),
also a gold-based
currency, was used from 1325 under Charles
FRANC (Frank, Frang) (France,
Switzerland, Luxembourg) - first issued in
1360, as a gold coin. Gets its name from its
original Latin inscription - Francorum
Rex, which means "King of the
Franks", - the title given to kings of
France in the
GUILDER (Gulden, Florin) (Netherlands)
- from the same root as "gilded", the
guilder was originally a gold coin. It was
first introduced from Florence in the
13th century. Florin - another nickname
for Guilder means "flowers".
Slovakia) - means "crown".
KRONA (Kroner, Kronor) (Iceland, Sweden, Norway
etc.) - means "crown".
KUNA (Croatia) -
"marten". Marten skins were used as
KWANZA - derives from Cuanza,
the largest river in Angola.
LIRA (Lire) (Italy,
Turkey) - from the Latin word libra, which means
MALOTI (Kingdom of
Maloti is plural for Loti, currency of Lesotho,
a kingdom in Southern Africa.
PESETA (Spain) -
"little peso", and was created in the
18th century as a
"companion" coin to the Spanish peso.
PESO (Mexico) -
"weight". It was introduced by Spain in
adopted by Mexico and other Latin American
countries in the late 19th century.
POUND (English) -
named for its weight in Sterlings, - the
unit of currency in
England. The first pound coin was issued in 1642.
PULA (Botswana) - Pula means
rain in Setswana, but "pula
pula" does not
mean a lot of rain. It means luck, prosperity,
Arabia) - borrows its name from the Spanish real, meaning
Belarus etc.) - means "cut-off", a term that
dates back to the
days when portions of silver bars were literally
cut-off from the bars and used as
coins. The rouble was first issued as a silver
piece in 1704.
RUPEE (Rupiah) (India,
Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Mauritius etc.) - comes
Sanskrit rupa, which means
"beauty" or "shape". Another
version of the story behind
the name rupee is that it derives it's
meaning from Sanskrit words rupyakam,
raupya means "silver" and rupyakam
means "coin made of silver".
TAKA (Bangladesh) - the word
"taka" is derived from the Sanskrit
"tanka" which was
an ancient denomination of silver coin. Taka
currency name was also used in North India.
TENGE (Kazakhstan) - means
"a set of scales".
YEN (Japan) -
borrowed from the Chinese yuan, which means
describes the coin. First issued in 1870.
YUAN (China) -
means "round" and describes the coin.
ZLOTY (Poland) -
Historical World Currency Names and Countries of
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|How to Invest and Promote
|We think that
investing in a good collection of world banknotes
(collectible paper and polymer
currency and old obsolete banknotes as well) is
more appreciative in a long term than investing
in other commodities such as gold, stocks or even
immovable property. Have you ever thought
about buying an extra house or a parcel of land
just for investment purpose? STOP & THINK.
How about those high property taxes that you will
get charged every year? Home insurance
anyone? Severe damage done by renters? Can you
take your home with you when you move?
By investing in a collection of world banknotes
you can avoid all those costs and troubles.
Invest in World Bank Notes! Investments in
collectible currency (banknotes) and collecting
in/of World Banknotes is HOT and skyrocketing!
Why investing in banknotes is hot?
Because bank notes (paper and plastic money,
current and old currency) have a collectible
value which almost always increases with time and
rarely loses value! Investment in bank
notes is so much safer than investment in stocks,
gold or even real estate!
Thoughts for 2003-2012 - US dollar is weak and
getting weaker. We wish it was not. The
best you can do to beat the inflation and to
prevent your dollar savings from this terrible
devaluation is to invest in world banknotes! How
terrible that can be - US dollar was about
1,15 Euro just seven to eight years ago and today
it is just nearly 2/3 to 3/4 of a Euro! That's
over a 70% devaluation! That means that your
European Vacation got 70% more expensive
and every $1000 of your savings seven years ago
became only ~$300 this year! Not if you kept your
money invested in banknotes! If you invested
$1000 in banknotes (US and World
Collectible Currency Bank Notes, Paper &
Plastic Money) in Jan. 2002 when Euro was
introduced - now in 10 years you would have the
value of your collection increased by at least
60-80-100% instead of losing 60-100% as a
"liquid dollar"! By not investing in
you not only lost 60-100% of your savings, but
you also lost another 50% of possible gain
totalling in a (possible) loss of up to 150%! The
optimal amount for a middle income person
to invest in a collection of world banknotes
would be somewhere in a range between $5000
to $25000 US or more yearly. Anything
significantly less than those figures would
probably be considered as collecting, but not as
collecting and investing.
N.B.: Never underestimate United States' ability
to reinvent themselves after a crisis.
Let's now talk about Inflation.
Inflation is a general increase in prices that
you pay for goods
and services, stated as a yearly rate. If the
inflation rate is 5%, it means that prices
at a yearly rate of 5% (or more!). For example,
the same basket of goods and services that
you can buy today at $1000 will cost you $1050
next year. Inflation cuts into your
purchasing power even further for longer periods.
For example, if you have $100000 today
and keep them in your bank account and inflation
grows at just 4%, it would be worth
$82193 in five years. After 10 years, it would be
worth only $67556. It means you lose over
$32000 in savings in just 10 years! Beat,
torture, kill the inflation! Overcome inflation
win. How? Invest in an advanced world banknote collection. The better the
more value it holds. The more you will win in the
future, the less you will lose in savings as
the last resort.
How much money should you invest you would
probably like to ask us. There is no amount
to small or to big. The more you spend on your
banknote collection, usually the more you
should expect out of it in the future. Go for at
least 5-7 year investment goal, possibly a
longer term (10-30 years). If you spend $500 on
your collection, don't just stop there. You
can spend as much as most of your savings on
banknotes. Best is to buy one (1) to ten (10)
of each identical banknote so you have extra
pieces for trade, sell off or investment. Be
prepared to protect your collection well.
Purchase holders, albums, safelock boxes or
large fireproof gun safe(s). The more money you
spend on your collection and the better you
protect it from the outside elements, the more
you should expect to gain from your banknote
collection. And don't just invest. Buy for visual
pleasure and educational purpose as well.
China, India, Central and Eastern Europe and many
other emerging economies are growing
at an "alarming" rate. Number of
banknote collectors in those countries is
increasing at a
lightning speed. At the same time a supply of old
and older banknotes is drying up, their
value is skyrocketing. Even the current currency
notes are sometimes in short supply. All
this "bank note hot rush" creates
excellent soil for banknote investing.
Some banknotes (has) become rarities (scarcities)
virtually "overnight". All of a sudden
"right Moon phase" comes and suddenly
everyone is demanding pretty much the same
banknote(s). Every dealer, supplier and a
retailer is sold out of it. The note becomes
or a rarity in just a few short months or even
weeks. That can happen to any banknote in
your collection. Just make as much intelligent
research as you can and try to guesstimate
which notes of yours have a potential to become
hard to find, scarce or even rare in just a
short period of time.
If you are from a country outside USA now it is a
very good time to buy banknotes from us
since we sell for US dollars and we do not adjust
our prices for inflation (we may do so if US
dollar keeps falling!), so it is the right time
for you to start spending your Euros, AU$, NZ$,
Yen etc. as we think US dollar is at or near its
weakest point. More value to your Euros,
Pesos, Yen, Francs etc.! Today your home currency
can buy a whopping 50% more in US$
goods than a couple years ago! I personally spent
all of my Euros savings buying banknotes.
Buy collectible banknotes today and your home
currency can buy 50% more than 3-4 years
ago! Plus add the appreciation in value of your
banknote collection and in some cases you
can gain as much as 100% in a short period of
time! Don't stop investing in real property,
gold or stocks, no. Just spend some of your money
on banknotes and see how it goes in
5, 10, 20 years. And don't forget to get out of
Why banknotes are the most popular investment
Let's talk Real Estate / Immovable Property verses Bank Notes /
Collectible Currency Notes
- you can invest in real property only if you
have substantial amounts of money. Real estate
investment is not for everyone. Real property and
Banknote investment is one of the most
enjoyable investments. You can see, touch, feel
the look, the art and the feel of both real
property and bank notes. To invest in bank notes
you don't have to spend many hundreds of
thousands or even millions of Euros or Dollars,
Yens or Reals. You can start with as little as
$30 or less purchasing a beginner set.
Talking Gold vs. Banknotes: everyone agrees gold
is beautiful, so are banknotes. Gold is
basically indestructable, banknotes can be
burned, you must protect them well. Gold is
faceless, unless you own an art collection made
of gold. Banknotes do have "face". In
not just one face, many faces, and not only
faces. Banknotes are art, banknotes are
education, banknotes are history. Finally, -
banknotes are money and some of them can
be spent without even getting their value
Since there seems to be no gold left at the Federal
it makes sense to buy as
many of a variety of collectible banknotes
(currency) as one can. Gold seems to have such
an insignificant value, despite the market
speculation in gold, that even the United States
Federal Reserve Bank got rid of it, as it seems.
Don't wait any longer. Buy as many banknotes as
you can afford, now.
How To Lose Weight by Collecting World
Rule # 1: Replace sodium, trans fats, saturated
fats and partially hydrogenated oils in
your food with vegetables, minerals and
supplements. Replace Coke and other sweet
and sweat drinks with spring water. Enjoy water.
You will lose weight if you excercise enough.
Eat less. That helps lose weight and it is a
proven fact that less calories equals longer
Once you lose weight, you will feel better and
will live longer. Once you live longer you
will have extra time and money for your hobby. Collect banknotes. Pursuing a good
collection of world banknotes, drinking enough
water, eating right, looking up into the sky
more often and excercising lowers your blood
pressure, adds years to your life.
Time is Money, but Money is Timeless!
Time is Money... Money is
Time(less). Take a look at a bank note that
you hold in your
hand or in your currency album. Does it (do
you think the banknote in your album has a
gender; is a he or a she or an it? It's up to you
to decide) have a date on it? Most
banknotes do have a date on them.
It's a date (usually) indicating when that
note was approved, printed or
issued for a circulation in a particular country
and world wide.
To you, to a collector the date on
each bank note could mean a certain period
sometimes a New Era is marked by
that date. The date could be important just to
important life event, your or your
loved one's birthday, perhaps? Hunt that date
can be quite a challenge, can't it?
What's the best way to preserve wealth?
Are banknotes to you art and collectibles or
What will the collapse in the value of the
dollar mean for the US? It's mainly bad news in
an increasingly desperate attempt to maintain the
illusion of prosperity, but some popular
investments - such as banknotes, gold and silver - will
thrive. Still your best investment is
your and your loved ones' health - don't forget
to take care of your own self, and your world
bank note collection will be there for you.
U.S. Americans buying Gold? Think again,
buy Banknotes instead
Would you consider taking a risk and buying gold (again)? Think twice, read
extract from the article and try collecting or
investing to (or both) banknotes instead.
Some people think that Gold is Money, but it
seems that it is not.
"For hundreds of years, much of the
world had a single currency: gold. Gold was used
currency and to settle debts between nations.
Paper currencies originated as warehouse
certificates for gold and its cousin, silver.
However, that all changed in 1933, when President
Roosevelt ordered all U.S. citizens to
turn in their gold and silver to the government,
under threat of a $100,000 fine and ten years
in prison. In effect, Roosevelt seized all of the
gold in America (except for rare coins, which
were exempted), and for the next 41 years it was
a crime for private citizens to own gold."
Two Plus/Times Two Does Not Always
If you have 2 banknotes in your collection
and add another 2, you usually would end up with
a collection of 4 (banknotes), but not always
necessarily. For example, in the world of
temperature measurement 40oC is not
twice as hot as 20oC. So even if you
comfortable temperature begins at 0oC
but there is also the freezing world out there.
with banknote collecting: you have a collection
of 4 banknotes and you think you started it
from scratch, from zero, but actually by thinking
of beginning a collection you already added
value to your future colllection in your mind,
which the thoughts about collecting added some
photons, micro particles to your brain and your
aura. You are a collector way before you
acquire anything. Sometimes minutes before you
buy a collectible, you first look at it and
there you already have something in your mind. It
is called a Collecting Aura. Also, each
banknote has an invisible aura of its own
surrounding it, which is smaller or larger
on each individual item; a banknote in this case.
To clarify this more, let's take a look at 4
buses each of which contains 25 passengers
including a driver. Two buses are parked at the
eastern lot and the other two are parked at the
western lot. Now if you add them together you
will have 4 buses within your sight, yet you will
see 100 people and 16 wheels (if each bus
has 4 wheels). So in this case 2 + 2 = 116+
(+billions of molecules, atoms etc. within those
buses). And so on, as many as your mind and
your eyes and senses can "make" for
Now if you take two white stones and two
black stones of any size what do you have? You
have 4 stones, but all those stones are made
up of millions and probably billions of atoms
and molecules. As you can see, 2 + 2
sometimes is more than four, but sometimes it can
be even less. For example: if you throw two
dollar banknotes and two euro banknotes into a
fire, the end result will be zero banknotes
or if you throw 2 stones and then another 2
into a lava field, again, you will have one
lava field and not 5 lava fields. So it all
how and where you add or keep your items of
interest. This is of course apart from the value
of those items that are considered
collectibles by many humans, animals and even
Don't Overspend On Goods At
Supermarkets - Invest, Collect Bank Notes Instead
Have you ever bought something at a local
supermarket or at a mall and thought to yourself:
"This isn't really necessary, but I
wanna try it". Trying is legal. Overeating
is evil, unnecessary. Don't overeat
or overspend. Be responsible. Every time you go
store, stop yourself and think: "Is
it really necessary for me and/or my family to
or to eat this? Do I need two of these, or will
we be okay with just one?" Look at the
well. Usually foods that contain saturated fat,
trans fats and were prepared by
using (partially) hydrogenated oils are unhealthy
and can cause disease and even a premature
death. Those kind of products can
shorten your life as the least. If you follow
look how much money and health it saves you.
Well, what are you going to do with all
that saved money? Put into savings, let the
inflation consume it? Or you could begin
world banknotes (paper and plastic currency)
which will bring you much joy and a potentially
great investment as well.
Collecting just about anything normalizes your
blood pressure, makes you more happy.
Becoming and staying happy makes you
resistant to some diseases. Don't overeat -
Collect World Banknotes!
Notice: The above article is a mere opinion and
not any kind of financial advise.
January 12, 2010: Moneys got soul: What
goes on our bills says a lot about us:
by Clare Raspopow: http://pre2010.thelinknewspaper.ca/articles/2074
Human activity creates soul of a place.
Financial activity creates an economy.
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|Gold vs. Banknotes
||Gold is said to be a
great investment today, but it's almost
late to invest in gold in 2012, because
the gold has gone up in
price so much it nearly hit the ceiling.
Gold is thought to be great,
but it's boring. Would you rather look at
a piece of gold or at a
piece of art? Gold can be dug up in a
gold mine, but a bank note
is issued and printed in a limited
quantity usually by a
governmental entity and it can't be
multiplied or dug up more and
more. You can't find banknotes on other
planets either. Banknote
is harder to preserve intact than gold,
therefore scarcity of a
banknote increases faster than gold's.
Banknotes are related to
Consumer Spending, which is more
important than gold.
Governments shred, burn and destroy
entire prints of some or
most of banknotes making them scarce or
|Banknotes are light and easy
to handle; gold is heavy, although you
can melt gold and
make jewellery and other things from
gold; coins for instance. (Most)
Banknotes bear serial
numbers which makes them even more unique
and attractive not only as an investment,
as collectibles as well. The scarcity
factor, the beauty factor, the
educational factor - that's
where Banknote wins versus Gold. What
wins you over? Try diversifying into
and gold. Those two are
still more affordable than immovable property today.
|This website is
made available with the understanding that it has
been prepared for
informational purposes only and the Provider or
Author is not engaged in rendering legal,
accounting, financial or other professional
services. The information at this website is not
intended to create, and visitation of it does not
constitute a lawyer-client relationship,
accountant-client relationship, or any other type
of relationship. If legal or financial advice or
other expert assistance is required, the services
of a competent professional person should
be sought. The Provider or Author disclaims all
warranties and any personal liability, loss, or
risk incurred as a consequence of the use and
application, either directly or indirectly, of
information presented herein.
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|History of Paper
||The Chinese were the first
to invent paper around 100 AD.
They were also the first to invent paper
money, which in
its early form can be traced back to the
In the year 812, the Chinese Emperor used
it as a
temporary solution because of the copper
money was called "flying money". It was
so popular that by the year 970 it dominated as
a monetary unit.
These first bank notes carried a guarantee that
it could be traded at any time for coinage. The
name of this bank note was "cash".
The oldest existing bank note is the 1000 cash
note of the Ming dynasty from the era of the
Great War 1368-1398. It is 225 x 340 mm with a
pile of coins centrally depicted . The picture
was to show people who couldn't read that they
could trade the bill in for the depicted number
When Marco Polo came back from his travels in
China (1275-1292), people in
Europe didn't believe that the Chinese used paper
for money. Paper money in
Europe came 300 years later. The use of paper
money in China stopped in 1455.
The history of paper money in Europe is
interesting. It started as emergency
money sustituting for regular money. The first
emergency paper bills are from
1483. The first bank notes were printed in the
The first European banknotes were printed in
In 1644 copper plate money was minted, but
besides being very heavy it was quickly
devalued because of the 30 Years War (1618-1648).
Therefore, Johan Palmstruch, who in 1657 founded
the Stockholms Banco, suggested as a
new monetary unit - a temporary
"Kreditivsedlar" (credit paper). He
printed the first
banknotes in 1661.
Unfortunately for Johan Palmstruch, all this came
to a bitter end. The bank very quickly got
into trouble for printing too many bank notes.
Palmstruch was taken to court and was made
accountable for damages and was sentenced to
prison. Not many Stockholms Banco-Notes
remain today and are a rare collectors item.
A battle had raged for decades between the King
and the merchants, for control over
England's money system. The arrival of William
III of Orange in 1688 with his "glorious
revolution" heavily financed by merchants
tipped the scales in favour for the often spoken
wish for an independant credit institute.
Following the suggestion by William Patterson,
the Bank of England was founded in 1694.
The Bank of England printed
"Goldsmithnotes" as promissory notes
from English goldsmiths
for account deposits. The clause "(I)
promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of
pounds" (i.e. in gold) originally meant that
they could be exchanged for gold, although in
practice this was not always possible.
The state received a loan in exchange for the
right to print banknotes. In time the Bank of
England developed into the most influential bank
of issue bank in the world.
One year after the founding of the Bank of
England, the Bank of Scotland was initiated. It
the bank note monopoly for Scotland until 1717.
Also in Norway, which at the time was a
Danish province, in1695 the businessman Thør
Møhlen, circulated banknotes (without interest)
with the approval of the government. The notes
had 5 wax seals. Unfortunately the population
didn't find them acceptable and brought them
immediately to the bank to cash them in. As a
result, Thør Møhlen came into financial
It wasn't until 1713 that Denmark began
circulating paper money during the war with
Ireland. It was also served as a form of
emergency coinage and emergency money.
France also began printing paper money in the
year 1703 under Louis XIV. Because of
uncertainties connected with paper money, other
states waited until the late 19th century.
One problem with paper money was the paper
itself. Several companies experimented with
the processing of special paper in the 18th and
Information (History of P. M.) from
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One of the first steps to proper grading is to
recognise the features of an original banknote.
allow you to draw certain conclusions regarding
the condition. In order to recognize
of an original banknote it is necessary to have a
general understanding of the
processes and the features used in producing
banknotes. There are many different
printing processes and books have been written on
these topics but for the
is simply interested in acquiring general
knowledge, we have drawn some
to help in this understanding.
The earliest printing process, the woodcut, is
produced by cutting away the unwanted part
of a piece of
wood. The design that is left in relief is inked
up with a roller and transferred to
design is drawn directly on the wood which is cut
plankwise or along the length
of the grain
or tree trunk. Cut this way, however, the wood
has a tendency to splinter.
discovered that they could avoid the problem by
cutting on the end grain of hardwood
process called wood engraving. By using a burin,
the wood engraver could produce
a wider range
of tones than were possible with a woodcut. This
process was used on a few
types of early
style currency and in certain
"emergency" cases where this was the
Lithography was the first fundamentally new
printing technology since the invention of relief
the fifteenth century. It is a mechanical
planographic process in which the printing
non-printing areas of the plate are all at the
same level, as opposed to intaglio and relief
which the design is cut into the printing block.
Lithography is based on the
repellence of oil and water. Designs are done
with greasy ink or wax based tools
prepared stones or plates. They are then is
moistened with a liquid, which the
in areas not covered by the wax. An oily ink,
applied with a roller, adheres
only to the
drawing and is repelled by the wet parts of the
plate. The print is then made by
against the inked drawing. Lithography was
invented by Alois Senefelder in
1798 and, within twenty years, appeared in
England and the United States.
immediately, attempts were made to print in
colour. Multiple plates were used, one
colour, and the print went through the press as
many times as there were plates.
for the printers was keeping the image in
register, making sure that the print
would be lined
up exactly each time it went through the press so
that each color would be
in the correct
position and the overlaying colors would merge
The process of intaglio printing was and still is
the most popular form used by banknote
companies. It is an extremely time intensive
process and requires the combined
highly skilled artists, steel engravers, and
plate printers. Engraved printing
covered with ink and then the surface of each
plate is wiped clean which allows
the ink to
remain in the "valleys" of the design
and letter grooves of the plates. Each sheet
forced, under extremely heavy pressure, into the
finely recessed lines of the printing
plate to pick
up the ink. The printing impression is
three-dimensional in effect creating
of ink" on the banknotes. The height of
these "mountains" depends upon the
depth of the
grooves that the engravers made on the plates,
the quantity and type of ink
used, and the
pressure applied to force the paper into the
plates. The surface of the note
raised, while the reverse side feels slightly
indented. This process is called
Definition of Original Raised Ink
An original banknote printed using the Intaglio
process noted above will have definition of
discernable by touch. There will be height to the
ink. Different parts of the banknote
will feel more
raised up than others due to the fact that the
engravers would engrave the
differing depths for different features of the
banknote. As time goes by and the
circulated more and more, the height of the ink
is slowly worn down until the
ends up looking "flat" and loses it's
bright colours. If a banknote is washed or
"mountains" become flattened and loss
of definition is noticeable. A true
grade banknote will retain some or all of this
Banknote Building in Kaunas, Lithuania
Counterfeiting banknotes pervades the entire
history of paper money. Tools to aid in the
counterfeiting were and remain the finesse and
complexity of design and
techniques. Coupled with special papers and
security features, banknote printing
issuing authorities ensure that their paper money
would be very difficult to
The avid collector will encounter forged notes
from time to time that even the untrained eye
There are however examples in history whereby a
sovereign nation or country
so-called "perfect" counterfeits of an
enemy country. These were normally
secretly sent into circulation in order to create
inflation with the ultimate goal
being to bring
about the economic instability of the adversary.
To the collector, identifying
counterfeits requires great experience.
With modern computers and printers, it has become
easier for unscrupulous individuals to
certain lithographed banknotes that were
originally issued without many security
an example, the uni-face 1940 KGVI fractional
issues from Mauritius lack
security features and even the original printing
was quite poor in quality.
banknotes in Uncirculated condition fetch
considerable sums. The combination of
factors has resulted in the modern forgery of
these banknotes. To all but the
they are virtually undetectable.
Numerous security features have been used
throughout the course of history. Modern
features are extremely elaborate and utilize
certain older techniques coupled with
developed through fantastic technological
The quality of banknote paper is one of the
characteristic features that distinguish a
The process of engraving requires expertise and
long hours to produce designs deterring all
but the very
Watermarking is the addition of a design or
portrait put onto the paper using a special
image is visible only when the paper is held
against the light.
Serial numbers are printed horizontally and
vertically with assymetrical fonts and different
make them more difficult to counterfeit. They are
also printed with special inks
penetrates the paper. As a result, the trace of
the numbers can still be seen under
light if the numbers were to be tampered with.
This security feature is based on the optical
effect produced by light when introduced to
arrangement of plastic lines printed by intaglio
technique. The picture becomes
when the note is held at the eye level in a
horizontal position against a source
Part of the background of banknotes contains
micro-lettering which can be viewed under a
Signatures and Dates
Combinations of different signatures and dates
creates other variables adding to security.
Visible from both sides of the note, they are
readily identifiable see through window features
even under low
light conditions. This security feature is
currently only being used on
A security thread is clearly visible when the
banknote is held against the light. The thread
incorporated into the paper across the full width
of the banknote and sometimes contains
A security thread may be metallic.
OVD - Optically Varying Device
Clearly visible optical shifts are generated when
the note is tilted to the light.
Use of Polymer (plastic) for Banknotes
Becoming more popular due to the difficulty of
forging as well as the superb strength and
the polymer notes.
Synthetic Fibers (threads) in the Paper
Usually visible colour threads added to the
paper. More recently, fluorescent fibres in red,
blue and green
embedded in the banknote paper, only visible
under ultraviolet light.
A contrasted image appears when the banknote is
held up to the light.
Invisible Fluorescent Printing
Invisible under normal conditions, elements of
the design will fluoresce when seen under
A coloured foil design is hot-stamped onto the
paper and is over-printed in using a
technique. When photocopying is used to reproduce
the note, a black spot
place of the foil.
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Most banknotes you will
handle will be made of some sort of paper.
Although a number of countries nowadays are
adopting a polymer substrate (type of plastic),
the vast majority of banknotes available to the
collector will be made of paper in one form or
Clean hands are essential to prevent undue oils
and dirt transferring to the paper.
Ensure that there are no fans or breezes nearby
which may blow the banknote from your hands.
There should be no food or beverage in the nearby
vicinity. There have been many cases of someone
removing a banknote from a holder and then a third party
ends up accidentally spilling something which
stains the banknote. This is of particular
concern at busy show bourses where the normal
hustle and bustle of patrons may create this
scenario. Removing the banknote from its holder or sleeve should be done
with care. Once out of the holders, simply treat the banknote
with care however not so gingerly so as to drop
it. Lightly feeling the surface of the note can
tell you a number of things.
Once you are finished handling the banknote,
place it back into its holder. This should be done with
the utmost care as this is when most banknotes
become torn or creased. If you are viewing a
dealer's banknote and are having any type of
trouble getting it back into the holder, it is always better to
hand the banknote and the holder back to the dealer and
allow them to complete the task.
By virtue of its nature, a piece of paper money
has a limited life expectancy, which is directly
proportional to the amount of handling it
From Printer to Bank to Wallet or Your
The handling of a banknote used to begin at the
printers with a manual counting of the sheets
both prior to printing and then again prior to
cutting. This is now done mechanically with
little to no evidence of handling.
In the very early years of banknotes, the actual
cutting was done by hand which is noticeable by
varying margin sizes of many countries banknotes.
After cutting, the banknotes were recounted,
stacked and bundled. Bundling was accomplished by
a variety of different methods and often created
marks on the edges of the banknotes in the
bundles (or bricks) as well as the banknotes on
the top and bottom of the stacks.
The bundles are then stacked and either stored or
shipped to the appropriate issuing authority.
Storage was not always done in climate-controlled
environments and in certain countries the effects
of the natural environment are noticeable on the
banknotes. This is particularly noticeable in
banknotes from countries with a tropical climate.
While in storage vaults, banknotes were often
counted regularly for auditing purposes. They
were normally kept in their respective bundles
and often only random bundles were counted,
however in the case of certain issuing
authorities all bundles were regularly counted
which created "counting creases" on
these banknotes. If a banknote made it this far
without traces of handling, these counting
creases were often the first visible signs of
Upon requisition by a bank or bank teller, the
banknotes would be further counted, usually more
than once, before being released to the general
public. Certain countries issued banknotes that
were quite large which necessitated folding by
the tellers in order to fit them into their boxes
or drawers. Even if a teller did not need to fold
the notes, it was certainly a necessity for a
customer to fold the banknote to fit it into
their wallet or purse. Banknotes from these
countries are extremely difficult to find without
varying degrees of folds in even the cleanest,
crispest banknotes put away during that time.
Modern equipment and machinery has created a
process whereby a banknote may now remain
virtually untouched and pristine until the moment
a bank teller hands the banknote to a customer.
The above steps relay the difficulties that
collectors of old notes / times had in obtaining
truly UNC notes. Many other factors, unrelated to
grade, created additional obstacles for the early
paper money enthusiast including economic
factors, the relative unpopularity of collecting
paper money in those days, the stigma attached to
paper money in relation to precious metals with
intrinsic value, not to mention the fact that
paper money was almost always worth more than
coins and very few individuals could actually
afford to "save" a piece of paper
we die, our bodies turn into soil, which feeds
trees, and when paper is made
from those trees some of that paper goes to
produce paper money (bank notes),
banknotes you collect. Therefore please respect
each other and let's respect the
banknotes we collect and take a good care of
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