Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Swiss Dinar

Perhaps when you hear the words Swiss dinars,you would wonder and say the Swiss currency is Francs not dinars.But it does not refer to money used in Switzerland but it is a term to describe Iraqi currency printed in Switzerland using Swiss plates before the Gulf War of 1990 with the US.After the war the UN imposed economic sanctions and importing the Swiss printed banknotes became prohibited and the Central Bank of Iraq began printing the new Iraqi dinar locally and in China.

After the Gulf War Iraq was divided into two parts,the north ruled by Saddam and the south governed by local Kurds.Saddam needed money to finance spending and he created it with his face on it and ordered the printing of the new notes.In May 1993 the Central Bank of Iraq announced that the old 25 dinar notes should be exchanged with the new Saddam dinar in three weeks time.

During the next few years, so many Saddam dinars were printed in southern Iraq that they became virtually worthless. The face value of cash in circulation rose from 22 billion dinars in 1991 to 584 billion in four years, and inflation averaged about 250 percent a year over that period.The Swiss dinar was in fixed supply while tha Saddam dinar was printed at an increasing rate so the Swiss dinar became more valuable By spring 2003, it took 300 Saddam dinars to buy one Swiss dinar.By spring 2003, it took 300 Saddam dinars to buy one Swiss dinar.
In fall 2002, as it became more and more likely that the United States would invade, the Swiss dinar became more and more valuable.

There was a belief that the Swiss dinar would be honoured by future governments(US). The Kurdish regional government was right. On July 7, 2003, the American occupation administrator, L. Paul Bremer III, announced the creation of a new Iraqi dinar that would be exchanged for the two existing currencies at a rate that implied that one Swiss dinar would be worth 150 Saddam dinars.The exchange rate during US occupation is this for the new banknotes
1 Saddam dinar=1 new Iraq dinar
1 Swiss dinar=150 new iraq dinar

Imagine keeping the old Malaysian Ringgit and finding out that it is worth more than the new Ringgit.

Here are the Swiss dinars
The difference between this notes and the Saddam dinar is it has a watermark,feeling of raised figures and words and quality

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Malaya and British Borneo Dollar

Although Malaya had achieved independence in 31st August 1957,this 1953 series banknotes with the portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II continued to circulate until 1967 although independence have been achived and Malaysia has been formed in 1963.

Issued by the Board of Commissioners of Currency,Malaya and British Borneo this new currency was named the Malayan and British Borneo dollar.These banknotes replaced the Sarawak Dollar,Malayan Dollar and British North Borneo Dollar.

There were several printers of these notes, the 1$,5$ and 10$ was printed by Waterlow and Sons Limited.The 50$ and 100$ was printed by Bradbury Wilkinson and Co Ltd while the 1000$ and 10,000$ was printed by Thomas De La Rue.All notes have the date 21-3-1953 and has the signature of W.C Taylor,the chairman of the Board of Commissioners of Currency.Emblems of the states are located at the back of all notes.

All these notes worth a lot of money today and has a high demand in the market because of its rarity especially the higher denominations.The 10,000 Dollar note was one of the highest valued notes in the world at that time.
1 Dollar (12,1cm x 6.3cm)

5 Dollars (12.5cm x 7.2cm)

10 Dollars (13.4cm x 8cm)

50 Dollars (16.7cm x 9.5cm)

100 Dollars (16.6cm x 9.5cm)

1000 Dollars (20.4cm x 13.2cm)

10,000 Dollars (20.4cm x 13.2cm)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Laotian 1000 kip banknote

Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxon LaoLao People's Democratic Republic

Laos officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic, is a landlocked country in southeast Asia, bordered by Burma (Myanmar) and China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south, and Thailand to the west. Laos traces its history to the Kingdom of Lan Xang or Land of a Million Elephants, which existed from the fourteenth to the eighteenth century
Recently Laos released a new 1000 Kip note on October 31, 2008. The note is similar to previous issues but with a modified design and dated 2008.The previous issue is above.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Grand Watermelon

Here is a banknote which has caught the attention of the world as not only is it one of the few pieces in existence it is also considered the most expensive banknote in the world.How much do you think one has paid for this banknote, well to the collector it might seem like a small amount since he is willing to pay for it at a price of $2,255,000 which is a world record for a price paid for a single banknote.A very advanced and sophisticated East Coast collector of art and rate currency had paid $2.3 million for an 1890 $1000 bill, according to Greg Rohan, president of Dallas-based Heritage Auction Galleries.This note was sold in December 2006 by Heritage Auction Galleries of Dallas, Texas a world's record price paid for a United States bank note.
(George Gordon Meade)
The $2,255,000 price is more than double the previous record for a Grand Watermelon note, paid in a March 2005 auction for a brown seal, graded PCGS Currency-50. The previous world's record for any bank note was $2,100,000, set in March 2006 each for a Series 1863 $100 denomination Gold Certificate (Fr. 1166c) and a unique Series 1891 $1,000 Treasury Note (Fr. 379c), both privately sold by Heritage.
(A monument to Meade by sculptor Henry Kirke Bush-Brown, on the Gettysburg Battlefield, located close to the point where Pickett's Charge was repulsed.)

Heritage brokered the private transaction between two collectors in the sale of the only available red seal $1,000 "Grand Watermelon" note."The only other known red seal Grand Watermelon is in the museum at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco," said Greg Rohan, President of Heritage."This note is graded PMG VF-35. It is pedigreed to the famous Albert A. Grinnell collection and was sold at auction by Barney Bluestone for $1,230 in November 1944.
(Meade Monument, by Charles Grafly, U.S. Courthouse, Washington, D.C.)

The anonymous seller of the record-breaking bill is described as "a private collector who owned the note for a number of years," and the anonymous buyer was described by Rohan as "a very advanced and sophisticated East Coast collector of art and rare currency."
(George Gordon Meade)
How did it get its name?,well as you can see behind of the note there are three ornate zeros in the back look like watermelons which gave it the name "Grand Watermelon".The portrait on Grand Watermelon notes is Civil War-era General George Gordon Meade who commanded Union Army troops at the Battle of Gettysburg. The Grand Watermelon notes are at the top of the list in the recently-published reference book, The 100 Greatest American Currency Notes, by Q. David Bowers and David Sundman.
(General Meade and other generals of Army of the Potomac in Washington, D.C., June 1865.)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The million pound note

What is the worth of a million pound banknote?,well you would be surprised but its only worth 78,300 Pounds or $US138,624 which is only 1/12 of its face value.However the mention of a million pound note would seem unreal as we all know the highest denomination in circulation is 50 pounds by the Bank of England,but it does exist and it was recently sold recently in at auction by Spink. Bank of England
There were only 9 pieces numbering from 000001 to 000009 and they were produced in a period of six weeks.The note bears the signature of E E Bridges in the lower right hand corner and is cancelled over the signature and stamped 6 October 1948, Bank of England. The eight-inch-wide green note was issued by the Treasury on August 30, 1948, in connection with the Marshall Aid Plan after the Second World War.The banknote sold was one of two in existence and the serials are 000008 and 000007. Number 000007 was sold by Spink through a private sale for 8,000 pounds in 1977, when the note was listed by the Guinness Book of Records as being the highest denomination in private ownership.The one recently sold was numbered 000008.This note was sold by businessman Bill Parkinson who has spent 50 years amassing a stunning collection of 253 vintage bank notes which he is now selling as his three children sadly were not interested in banknotes.
(Map of Cold-War era Europe and the Near East showing countries that received Marshall Plan aid. The red columns show the relative amount of total aid per nation.)

How did this note came to be produced?, The Marshall Aid Plan, named after its architect, American Secretary of State George Marshall, was the programme of funding given to Western Europe by America between 1948 and 1951. America ploughed billions of dollars into Western Europe whose recovery from the 1939-1945 war had been slower than expected.
George Marshall

The U.S. gave the huge loan to the Bank of England in a bid to prop up the ailing economy at the time. The nine £1 million notes were shared around the financial institutions and were used to loan money against. The deal has startling similarities to today's global financial crisis, except in this case the bank had to pay the money back.Although the nine notes were canceled just two months later in October 1948,Britain had only finished paying the debt recently about 60 years after the note was issued. (One of a number of posters created to promote the Marshall Plan in Europe. The blue and white flag between those of Germany and Italy is a version of the Trieste flag.)

Britain wasn't alone in receiving funds under the Marshall Aid plan. From 1948 to 1951 the US loaned seven billion pounds - about 100 billion pounds in today's money - to western European countries. The US was happy to loan the money at the time as it took the view that a strong western Europe was needed to act as a buffer to contain the rise of communism in Russia.
First page of the Marshall plan

Barnaby Faull, director of banknotes at Spink, said the note was on Bank of England watermarked paper. "It was issued in connection with the Marshall Aid plan and was intended for internal use between financial institutions as a way of tracking money. "The notes were in use for only a period of six weeks and were not meant for public circulation. "It is one of the rarest examples of British currency around today and is the highest denomination note." Two of them, numbers 000007 and 000008, the latter of which is being offered for sale, survived, as they were presented as mementoes to the respective American and British Treasury Secretaries. The others were destroyed.