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Banknote Collecting and How to Value

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, fishes and plants that are plentiful in seven continents
of our Earth. Collecting world paper money teaches you arts, geography, history,
foreign languages even politics. 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 I hope this web site of mine will teach you how to collect, what to
 collect and how to enjoy it plus it can be a very meaningful way to spend your free time. 
Money, while it still serves as a symbol for a person's wealth and savings it
can also be a reflection of the history of the nation that uses it.  
Collecting world paper money is truly one of the best hobbies around today.

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.
Prices and value of  paper money grows steadily and better notes now
bring much higher prices than before making an idea of investing in banknotes.

Ways to collect Banknotes

You can start collecting topical notes such as those featuring famous people
(scientists, writers, poets, politicians etc.), animals, fishes, birds, sailing ships,
boats, cars, trains, planets, poetry, buildings, dams, rivers, mountains, views of
nature in general, kings, queens, presidents and many many other topics already.
featured on banknotes of the world issued 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 issues.

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 Ex-Soviet Countries.

Have  you noticed 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.

You may want to start or advance your banknote collecting into collecting notes by:

 Topic (birds, nudes, sailing ships, famous people, views, militaria etc.)
 Time period (WWII, 20th century, only notes dated 2000 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)
Material used (paper, plastic, mylar, cloth etc.)
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)
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.)

Value of Banknotes 

Novice collectors often believe that the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money represents the last word on
 banknote values. Experienced collectors and dealers know better. While the various catalogues are invaluable 
guides (I recommend them for all serious collectors), they are not the definitive word on pricing.

The catalogue and market values for notes often differ for many reasons:

Out-of-date: Each catalogue takes months--if not years--to produce, and by the time of publication, 
much of the information contained therein is already outdated. Furthermore, 
listings for most notes are unchanged from one edition to another.

Conflict-of-interest: The "values" listed in the catalogues are obtained by surveying a small group of dealers and 
collectors, some of whom may purposefully undervalue notes so that they can replenish their inventories 
inexpensively, and others who may overvalue notes they intend to sell.

Estimates: Even if you give the catalogue contributors the benefit of the doubt and assume they're all doing their
best to provide honest values, the fact remains that they are not reporting actual sales,
 but rather simply providing estimates of the value of notes that they may not have handled or sold in years, if ever.

Unrealistic: Modern issues are often valued at an unrealistically small mark-up to their current exchange rate. 
Since dealers must pay their sources a premium for uncirculated notes, absorb the carrying cost of inventory, 
and try to make a profit, a good rule of thumb is to price modern issues at twice current exchange rates.

Incomplete: As collectors who specialize in particular notes will confirm, there can be dramatic differences in the 
market values of various signature combinations and/or dates, 
but often the catalogue doesn't distinguish between these varieties.

Inaccurate: Every catalogue edition has been riddled with egregious errors, such as missing notes, incorrect 
images, and unlisted date/signature varieties. With such a dubious track record, how much confidence can you 
place in published values, especially those which inexplicably rise or fall from one edition to the next?

Rarity: Collectible banknotes are not commodities readily available on a retail market at a fixed price. 
True rarities may come on the market only once in a lifetime, 
and even so-called "common" notes are often impossible to find at any price.

So the next time you find a note selling above or below the catalogue "value," keep the above points in mind 
before you assume you're being ripped off or are getting a bargain

 

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