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Tips and Information for Collectors of Paper Money -

Special Topics:


    •    Storing Your Collection
    •    Eliminating Duplicates
    •    Why you should join the IBNS
    •    IBNS Grading Standards
    

General Tips for Collectors:
       
    •    Most importantly, collect for fun. As a beginner, don't collect as an investment or for profit. Just buy the bank notes you like and have fun doing it!

    •    Decide what type of collection you want to have. Some people only collect banknotes which contain a certain image (fish, tractors, etc.). Others strive to obtain collections of currency from countries which no longer exist (Biafra, Rhodesia, etc.) Some focus on one single country while others try to collect from every country. It's all up to you and your interests. The variety of banknotes out there is so vast that there is bound to be some category you are interested in.

    •    Tell everyone you know that you are a collector, many people will give you specimens they have collected on trips to foreign countries. Some people may have friends or relatives from other countries coming to visit who will bring you representative banknotes from their country in exchange for US dollars when they arrive. You'll never get anything if you don't ask, it's always worth asking.

    •    Always start looking in the inexpensive places first if you purchase your banknotes. You may be surprised at what you can find very inexpensively. For example, many coin shops have boxes of currency for sale for 10 cents each, 25 cents each, and on up. Sometimes they are behind the counter, you may need to ask for them. Often you can find great bargains this way.

    •    Always try to collect uncirculated notes if they are current issues. In many cases, a note that is in less than uncirculated condition will never be worth more than face value. The colors are usually more vibrant on an uncirculated note and the artwork is frequently more 'crisp' and easier to discern. Of course older notes can often only be found in various degrees of circulated condition. In this case, only buy notes which are visually pleasing.


Image from Zimbabwe World Paper Money
Zimbabwe, 1983, 5 Dollars, Reverse Extract
My Collection:

I have been an amateur currency collector for over 30 years. My collection currently consists of more than 3,000 different notes from over 225 different countries.

I have collected stamps and coins in the past but enjoy paper currency the most. Coins just get too expensive for me. Stamps were fun but I enjoy paper money more because you get a much better feel for each represented culture due to the larger size and printing on both sides. I also enjoy the incredible, intricate artwork and the security features designed into bank notes.

My goal is to eventually have at least one example of a banknote from each issuing authority both past and present. To see an impressive collection of notes that has achieved this goal, check out Ron Wise's World Paper Money Home Page.

When choosing notes to acquire, I consider whether or not I have a specimen from the country in question and how interesting the art work is to me. I prefer very colorful notes depicting the local flora, fauna, culture or landmarks of a country.

All of the images of currency on this site are scanned from my collection. All of the information on this site is derived from my collection or from submissions by you.

Special Topics:

    •    Storing Your Collection
    •    Eliminating Duplicates
    •    Why you should join the IBNS
    •    IBNS Grading Standards



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Over 1.5 million visitors have visited this site, created Oct 1997.
Copyright 1997-, Cael Chappell, IBNS member #7882.