I recently visited my local brick and mortar store to get new plastic sheets for banknotes (I always use Leuchtturm Vario 3C by the way) but I couldn't pass the 1-euro bin without looking at the notes. For some reason I always find something wedged between some raggedy old notes. This day was no exception since there were a lot of new notes recently added.
The harvest of this week:
- Romania - 1 lei (P117d)
- Czech Republic - 20 korun (P10a)
- Thailand - 20 baht (p124a1)
- Mexico - 20 pesos (P122k1)
- Russia - 100 rubles (P13b.c01 and proving that size does matter)
- France - Chambre de Commerce Marseille - 50 centimes (PNL)
Recently we had a teambuilding day at work. One of the tasks was to present something personal and talk about it. Of course I brought a banknote with me and talked about this beautiful hobby. This in turn led to several co-workers remembering that they also had some banknotes in their attics which they generously donated to me.
So I have added the following notes to my collection:
- Czechoslovakia, 10 Korun, P94
- Czechoslovakia, 20 Korun, P95 (which I already had but in much worse condition).
- Lithuania, 1 Litas, P53a
In the new series from the master creator of fantasy banknotes, Mujand takes us back to the Greek mythology. We enter the dangerous world of the Sirens. These mythical creatures lured passing sailors with their songs and their beauty to their doom. This new edition to the continuing series of the fictional planet Blissdane Naive shows the banknotes from the island of Eklisivia. You can read the history of this island here. It's the classic siren story but with a little twist: the sirens from Eklisivia are also vampires.
The banknotes are a hommage to this legend and in a fun way follow the story. At first glance the banknotes look like paintings from the Romantic era depicting a romanticized version of Greek history. Bright colors, beautiful women and delicious fruit. Until you look closer and see that the women have fangs in their mouth, snakes in their hair and the fruit consists mainly of poisonous berries. This series is a great addition to an already impressive line-up of fantasy banknotes.
If you're interested in buying this series you can do so here at the website of Mujand.
Disclaimer: this fantasy set was sent for review purposes. The text is entirely mine and was not paid for or asked for in any way.
On the last day before my holiday I decided to visit the local coin shop. Of course you can get everything online, but there is still something special about a brick-and-mortar store, right? The shop near where I work specializes in coins and stamps but they have a small collection of banknotes, mostly the 1-euro-each toilet paper like notes but I can always find something nice there. In places like that with a big basket full of cheap notes, I especially try to look for visually appealing banknotes. For instance, the back of the 20-korun note below from Czechoslovakia which I think is stunning.
The harvest today:
- Czechoslovakia: 20-korun (P95)
- Greece: 1,000-drachmai (P110a)
- Greece: 1,000-drachmai-on-100-drachmai (P111a)
- Hungary: 20-forint (P169g)
- Hungary: 50-forint (P170g)
- Hungary: 100-forint (P171e)
- Hungary: 100-forint (P171g)
- Luxembourg: 10-francs (P53a)
Last but not least, I also received a very special banknote. This Christmas my family played secret Santa: everybody had to get one present for one other person. My little daughter of 5 had picked me and asked my wife: "Daddy loves banknotes but where does he buy them? I don't know where to get one!" My wife suggested she could make one herself. I think the result is very nice and I will give it a place of honour in my collection!
Of course I couldn't wait long to add this beauty to my collection of Thai commemorative notes. So today I received the new 70-baht from Thailand.
Recently I wrote a piece about several of my hobbies (in no particular order: banknotes, fountain pens and tea) and how I like it when somehow these hobbies can be combined. In that piece I showed several banknotes with tea themes on it but I also wrote about not being able to find any banknotes with fountain pens on it.
Celsus Solar of Mujand, famous for the fantasy banknote series of the imaginary planet Blissdane Naïve and the more recent series of Dutch colonies (you can read all the reviews of these different sets here), has risen to the challenge and surprised me with a great personal gift. I received a set of these fantastic notes celebrating the beauty of one of the top brands in the fountain pen world: Mont Blanc.
I love the fact that different facets of the fountain pen can be seen: the filling mechanism, the nib unit and also some beautiful exemples of calligraphy. And of course: how cool is it to own a note with your name on it?
Just for the record: these notes aren't anywhere for sale but do they do show the craftsmanship of Celsus Solar of Mujand. His commercially available sets can be viewed here. These sets from Mujand are sold excusively by Yuri111 and fantasy_notes_and_more on eBay.
Disclaimer: these fantasy notes were provided for review purposes. The text is entirely mine and was not paid for or asked for in any way.
A trip to my local coins and papermoney dealer resulted in a few nice new notes. Some of these were sold at a far lower price than the SWPMC indicated so all in all a good visit!
Bhutan - 2 ngultrum (1986) - P13
Cuba - 10 pesos (1985) - PFX8
France - 1,000 francs (1943) - P102
Hong Kong - 1 cent (1945) - P321
Japan - 50 sen (1938) - P58a
Nepal - 5 rupees (2012) - P69
After the spectacular fantasy Dutch-Mauritius set from Mujand designed by Celsus Solar, there is now a new former Dutch colony available in a perhaps even better looking set.
The Dutch Gold Coast, or Dutch-Guinea, was a colony in Africa so don't confuse it with Dutch-Guiana in South America or with Dutch New Guinea (currently known as Papua New Guinea) in Asia. Yeah, Dutch history lessons were always fun with all these confusing similar names.
But back to the Dutch Gold Coast which is the subject of this particular fantasy set. This small colony in present-day Ghana was the most important Dutch colony in West Africa. However, for some reason it is not as well known in The Netherlands as other former Dutch colonies like Indonesia or Suriname. This is not only due to the fact that those colonies were decolonized in the 20th century and and the Dutch Gold Coast was already abandoned in the 19th century. It also has something to do with the reason it was called the Gold Coast. You see, our ancestors made a lot of money on the Gold Coast, not only with shipping gold but also with shipping slaves. When the slave trade was abandoned in the 19th century the colony was more are less finished as well.
The Dutch shipped a lot of slaves in those days and consequently became very rich. These days however it is regarded as one of the darkest pages in Dutch history. And rightly so I might add. The colony was governed by the infamous Dutch West India Company which needed the slaves for the other Dutch colony in present-day Brazil and later for other colonies, either Dutch or from other countries.
Even though this history is dark, this set of fantasy notes is pretty much the exact opposite. Colorful on both sides and packed with images associated with the real country, like animals, masks and colorful dresses worn by (beautiful) women. This set has something for every thematic collector it seems. The colors of the notes are vibrant and really stand out when you have them in your hands. When I received the notes I found myself constantly looking at them with all the hidden details in both the design and the themes. Mujand has raised the bar again with a brilliant new set.
The notes are made of polymer and are 3.25" x 6.50" (82.55 x 165.1 mm) in size which makes them slightly larger than the Dutch-Mauritius set. The sets from Mujand are sold excusively by Yuri111 and fantasy_notes_and_more on eBay.
Disclaimer: these fantasy banknotes were provided for review purposes. The text is entirely mine and was not paid for or asked for in any way.
A reader of my website send me a pic of this note asking me if I knew what it was. My idea was that it's so called Hell Money, or 'banknotes' which are burned for the afterlife. From the Wikipedia article on the subject: "A story says that the word hell was introduced to China by Christian missionaries, who preached that all non-Christian Chinese people would "go to hell" after death. The word "Hell" was thus misinterpreted to be the proper English term for the afterlife and hence adopted as such. Some printed notes attempt to correct this by omitting the word "hell" and sometimes replacing it with "heaven" or "paradise"."
I have tried to find some more information on this particular note (its age for instance) but I haven't been able to find good online resources for these questions. Nor do I know if people collect these kind of notes and which varieties are available. So if you might have more information please let me know in the comments below.
Thanks to Hugo for providing me with this interesting note!
I visited Walt Disney World with my family the past three weeks. That was a lot of fun by itself but for a collector of banknotes also a good opportunity to get some Disney Dollars which can be bought in Disney World and at the resorts and can be used in the parks as 'real money'. For more information be sure to check out DisneyDollars.net.
I got three new notes from the Guest Relations office at Disney's Epcot. When I asked for some mint unfolded notes I immediately got the question "mmm... are you a collector by any chance?". Our reputations procede us it seems.
The notes they were able to provide were the 1 dollar from the 2000-series, the 10 dollar from the 2008-series and the 5 dollar from the 2009-series all of which I didn't have yet. I especially like the 1 dollar since it has an image of Epcot on the back. All images below are from DisneyDollars.net.
If you've been reading this blog a while you'll know I'm a big fan of the fantasy notes by the Mujand Trading Company. Its creator and designer Celsus Solar has created a whole new world based on the fictional planet Blissdane Naïve. If you thought the gravitational waves yesterday were interesting then wait until you read the stories from the different nations so far. Each nation has its own set of banknotes which tell the story and also show some of the characteristics of each nation.
The Poneet Island series now has a little offspring, in the form of series F2: the tobacco note. If you happen to be a thematic collector and you collect 'naked women on banknotes' (hello Cook Islands) than this is definitely one for you. The colorful polymer note features the Tobacco Czar of Leaf Gathering on the front (also winner of the greatest title in the world by the way!) and the topless Tobacco Twins on the back. You can read their elaborate story over here.
Apart from the ongoing series from Blissdane Naïve the Mujand Trading Company now has two more commercial series to choose from. The first is a polymer note commemorating the 180th anniversary of the state of Texas. This refers of course to 1836 when Texas gained its independence from Mexico and became the Republic of Texas. In 1845 it joined the United States of America as the 28th state but announced its secession in 1861 when it joined the Confederate States of America only to rejoin the USA in 1865 after the Civil War.
But this note commemorates the first time Texas gained its independence. The front of the notes shows Stephen F. Austin, who is known as the Father of Texas. The state's capitol is named after him, among many other places and institutions. The back of the note shows the Capitol Building in Austin, the State Bird (the Northern Mockingbird), and the State Flower (the Bluebonnet). Could this perhaps be the first note in a 50-note series? I certainly hope so though I understand why the Texas' based Mujand Trading Company chose this state for this note.
Another new set is one I'm very excited about, not in the least because it features my native language Dutch! This set is for Mauritius. Now Mauritius is of course an exisiting island which issues its own banknotes. But this set is from a particular time in history when the Dutch East India Company (Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie, or VOC in Dutch) first colonized the island and named it after one of the nations leaders Prince Maurice (or Maurits in Dutch) of Orange. The colony was not a big success so the island was abandoned in 1710. These days the former colony is mostly remembered in the Netherlands for the fact that the colonization led to the extinction of the dodo bird (which is featured on the blue 50-gulden note).
To commemorate this period in history this set of banknotes has been issued. The whole theme and imagery on the notes makes it look like the Dutch East India Company has been issuing these notes. To me that's a fascinating concept: just think what the US banknotes would have looked like if the British had defeated Washington in the 18th century.
The colorful set has all the makings of a tropical banknote series: bright colors and exotic birds, plants and flowers. It reminded me a lot of the award winning series of Samoa. The front of the note shows several extinct birds which reminds us of the dangers to nature when humanity gets involved. The back of the notes show Dutch sailing ships used by the Dutch East India Company and scenes from the history of Mauritius.
To be honest: the present-day island of Mauritius could have done a better job choosing these notes as the national currency since they look way better than the official banknotes in my opinion. I can also attest to the fact they look great on your screen but in real life the colors and details of these notes can ony be described as spectacular.
All these notes can be bought exclusively through the eBay store of Yuri111 or at the eBay store of fantasy_notes_and_more. If you want to know more about the other notes by the Mujand Trading Company than please visit the website.
Disclaimer: these fantasy banknotes were provided for review purposes. The text is entirely mine and was not paid for or asked for in any way.
One new banknote this week with a big thank you to my traveling aunt who visited Lithuania recently: 10 Litu, P68.
From Wikipedia: "The reverse of the 10 litu banknote featured Lithuanian heroes, Steponas Darius and Stasys Girenas. In 1933 they flew from New York over the Atlantic Ocean with a small plane called Lituanica. However, the plane mysteriously crashed in Germany (now Poland). The duo did not survive.
The obverse depicts Lituanica flying over the Atlantic Ocean with visible shores of the North America and Europe. This banknote was noticed by the international press covering the introduction of the litas. Journalists made a metaphor that the litas should do better than the pilots, i.e. the litas, hopefully, would not crash. The most recent release clearly shows Darius wearing the cap with an insignia from the Palwaukee Municipal Airport located in Wheeling, Illinois. It attracted some attention from topic collectors.
The banknote was designed and redesigned by Giedrius Jonaitis. The very first draft of new Lithuanian currency had Darius and Girenas on the 5 litai banknote. It was released in different designs four times (in 1993 (twice), 1997, and 2001). The first banknote design started an international scandal. In 1992, these banknotes were printed and ready to be released to the public. However, it was discovered that they were virtually unprotected. It delayed the introduction of the litas as the banknotes had to be reprinted. The banknotes bearing the date "1991" were released for a very short time and were quickly replaced by the 1993 issue. The major design ideas have not changed throughout the issues."
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