The Spratly Islands are a group of more than 100 small islands or reefs in the South China Sea. The islands are claimed in whole or in part by the Peoples Republic of China, Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei. The islands sit atop large oil and gas deposits, are surrounded by rich fishing grounds and are located on major shipping lanes. Various islands are occupied from time to time by fisherman, military forces of the various claimants and oil exploration crews. In recent years there have been minor military clashes between some of the claimants. China calls the islands Nansha Islands, and bases their claim on fact that some old Chinese coins and pottery have been found on the islands. Recently some banknotes appeared that re-enforces their claim on the islands. They are current, regular issue Chinese 5 Jiao, 1, 5 and 10 Yuan notes that are overprinted in English on the reverse and Chinese on the obverse "FOR USE ONLY IN NANSHA ISLANDS". The reverse of each the notes also bears a large red chop that refers to the South China Sea Fleet. We were able to obtain a limited number of this unusual and mysterious issue.


At the end of World War II, Hungary found its infrastructure and economy totally ruined retreating the Nazi and invading Soviet troops.. The government issued vast amounts of unbacked currency, resulting in the worst hyperinflation ever recorded. In order to cut down on the number of zeros on the banknotes and allow for simpler calculations, Hungary kept renaming their currency. The Hungarian Pengo was soon replaced with the Milpengo, valued at 1,000,000 Pengo. The Milpengo was soon replaced with the B-Pengo, valued at 1,000,000 Milpengo or 1,000,000,000,000 Pengo. The Adopengo, or tax Pengo was introduced originally as accounting unit that would retain its value. It was later allowed to be used as legal tender and soon it also suffered from hyperinflation. By end of July 1946 the Adopengo was valued at 2×1021 Pengo. Inflation continued unabated, with prices sometimes tripling in a single day. Finally on August 1, 1946 Hungary introduced a totally new currency called the Forint, with one Forint equal to 400,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 or 4×1029 Pengo. We are pleased to offer two sets of notes from the Hungarian hyperinflation period. The first set consists of six notes including the 1000 Pengo dated July 15, 1945, 1 Million Pengo dated November 16, 1945, 100 Million Pengo of March 18, 1946, 100,000 Milpengo dated April 29, 1946, 1 Milliard (trillion) Milpengo dated June 3, 1946, and 1 Million B-Pengo dated June 3, 1946 (that is 1,000,000, 000,000,000,000 Pengo!. Because of the rapid inflation the Hungarian national bank did not have time to create new designs, so the 1 Million B-Pengo note utilizes the same design as the 1 Million Milpengo, changing only the color and denomination. All six notes have attractive designs are are in AU-UNC. condition We also offer a set of 10,000, 100,000 and 500,000 Adopengo notes dated May, 1946. The Adopengo notes have a simple design with no vignette and are in circulated condition.


Hong Kong is one of the few places left in the world where private banks are still allowed to issue currency for general circulation. There are only two private, note-issuing banks left in Hong Kong. Both banks were founded in Hong Kong in the 19th Century, have grown into some of the largest banks in the world. The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, now known as HSBC, and the Standard Chartered Bank. We offer Crisp Uncirculated 10 Dollar notes from each of these unusual private banks.


This set of three colorful Rwanda banknotes issued in 1988 and 1989 catalog for over $70. We are pleased to offer these attractive Crisp Uncirculated notes for MUCH less. Included is the 100 Francs that pictures Zebras and a woman and her child, the 1000 Francs pictures dancers and a mother and baby Gorilla, and the scarce 5000 Francs note shows the harvesting of coffee beans.


Congo 100 Franc Elephant note, 2000
A standing elephant is featured on the colorful 2000 dated 100 Franc note from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We are pleased to this scarce note, at a small fraction of their $75.00 catalog value. A hydro-electric power plant is on the back of the notes. The elephant note catalogs for $75.00! We are pleased to offer such an attractive note at a small fraction of its catalog value.


Pakistan Haj Pilgram Note for use in Saudi Arabia

The Haj is a pilgrimage to Mecca expected of each faithful male follower of Islam at least once in a lifetime. Because of tight currency controls, Pakistan did not want its citizens to take actual Pakistan currency when they left the country. Instead they provided them with this special currency which could only be spent in Saudi Arabia on their Pilgrimage. As a result, few notes are in the hands of collectors. The notes are similar to regular Pakistan notes, but printed in a different color and have a special overprint that reads "FOR HAJ PILGRAMS FROM PAKISTAN FOR USE IN SAUDI ARABIA ONLY". The pilgrim notes were discontinued in 1994. The notes are Uncirculated, but as is typical have a staple mark in one end. In order to discourage the theft, the notes are stapled together in bundles by the government.


Rubber Export Coupon from Sarawak
Before World War II, The Malay States were the world's largest producer of natural rubber. In an effort to increase the world price of rubber, restrictions were placed on the export of rubber. Rubber growers were issued Rubber Export Coupons based on the size their rubber plantation and the age of their trees. The coupons had to be turned in when the rubber was exported. Many small producers found it easier and more profitable to sell or trade their rubber coupons than to actually harvest and sell their quota of rubber. The coupons became a form of currency in many rubber growing areas. We offer a 25 Katis Rubber Coupon from Sarawak. The coupon states "This Coupon is Valid for the Export of 25 Katis of Dry Rubber until 31st December 1941". 25 Katis is equivilent to about 33 pounds (15 Kg.) of rubber. Depending on the price of rubber, the coupon could trade for 25 Malay Dollars or more!


After years of persecution by the Muslim majority who controlled Nigeria, the oil-rich and heavily Christian south-eastern portion of the country declared itself the independent Republic of Biafra, in May, 1967. The independence was to be short-lived however. After over two years of bloody civil war, in which as many as two million people died, Biafra was forced to surrender to Nigeria in January of 1970. During this brief period of independence they made two issues of paper currency. The 1967 issue consisted of just two notes: the 1 Pound, which featured the Biafran arms on the back and the 5 Shillings, which pictured four Biafran women. The front of both notes featured a palm tree and a bright orange rising sun. From the 1968-69 issue we offer the 5 Pounds which pictures a weaver at a loom, the 1 Pound which shows the national arms, the 10 Shillings that features buildings and the 5 Shilling, which again pictures Biafran women. These are the original notes that circulated in Biafran, not the unissued left-over notes that lack serial numbers. Biafran notes tend to be hard to find as most were destroyed following the war. The 5 Pound note in the 1968-69 series catalogs for more than we are asking for that entire set!


French Revolution 5 Livres 1793 Assignat note

The French Revolution brought about a radical and violent reorganization of French society. France soon found itself at war with most of the monarchies of Europe as it tried to spread its revolutionary ideals. In order to finance these wars and revolutionary changes, vast quantities of paper money, called Assignats were issued. The Assignat was supposedly backed by land confiscated from the church and nobility that fled the country (in hopes of keeping their heads attached). We offer the following notes from this historic period. Compared to other paper money from this era, these notes are remarkably inexpensive.


Mexican revolution currency

The Mexican Revolution caused a complete breakdown of the countries economy and banking system. In order to pay troops and provide for commerce various states and governments issued their own currency. We are pleased to offer 4 such notes. Venustiano Carranza's Constitutionalist Army of Mexico issued this 1 Peso note dated March 31, 1914 in the state of Chihuahua. It features an Eagle eating a snake, an allusion to Mexico's founding. We also have a Crisp Uncirculated 20 Peso "two little faces" note issued by Pancho Villa's forces in Chihuahua dated February 10, 1914. The note bears the portraits of the recently assassinated President Madero and Chihuahua governor Abraham Gonzalez. On the back the state capitol is shown, with several old cars driving in the street. From the State of Mexico we have a Crisp Uncirculated 1 Peso note dated March 1, 1915. The note features a monument of Christopher Columbus on one side and the government building on the other. The state of Oaxaca, not wanting to get involved in the revolution, declared independence from the rest of Mexico. From Oaxaca we have a 1 Peso note dated 1915. One side of the note shows a decapitated woman's head. The other pictures Benito Juarez. The notes were printed on ledger paper whatever other paper they could find so are rather crude. In addition most have minor worm holes.


Philippines 5 Piso Note P160
An American might wonder about the designs on these Philippine 2 and 5 Piso notes from the late 1970's. The reverse of the 5 Piso note shows a group of men gathered under a "KKK" banner with a skull and candle cutting themselves with knives! The note does not commemorate a Klan meeting, but rather the founding of the Katipunan Society which fought for Philippine independence from Spain. The 2 Piso note shows Jose Rizal on the front. Rizal was a writer that wanted reform the Spanish rule of the Philippines rather than independence. For his efforts the Spanish executed him. This created more support for the Independence movement. The reverse shows Emilio Aguinaldo declaring Philippine Independence on June 12, 1898. Rather than gaining independence, the Philippines became a United States colony after the Spanish American War. It did not achieve full independence until 1946. Both notes bear the facsimile signature of President Ferdinand Marcos, who was driven from office by the 1986 People Power Revolution.


Hell Bank notes are used in funeral ceremonies in many far-eastern countries to provide money and goods in the afterlife for the dead person. The term "hell" just designates the place where the dead go, and does not carry the negative connotations that it does in the Christian world. A wide variety of notes have been produced, and make an interesting and inexpensive area to collect. We assembled a collection of 10 different Hell Bank Notes from China and Vietnam. It includes both traditional style notes exchangeable for goods in the afterlife and modern, multi-color currency style notes. Included is Hell banknote that looks like a United States Hundred Dollar Bill!


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