This is Randy Johnson's collection of foreign paper money, collected over several years of traveling. This page is meant to be a feast for the eyes, displaying some of the more beautiful money from around the world that you may not be aware of.
Selected by Surfing the Net with Kids as a 4 Star Site! (3/3/98)
Selected by LightSpan's StudyWeb as an Academic Excellence Award winner! (Feb, 2001)
I am not a serious collector, I simply picked up the hobby of
collecting paper money in the countries I visited as an alternative to
saving coins. I've got bags of those foreign coins somewhere
and don't know what to do with them! Coins may be a lot cheaper,
but the bank notes are much more interesting -- and much easier to carry
around. These are
not offered for sale,
just for your viewing pleasure, so enjoy!
[If you want more information, there are some Links to Banknote Sites, below. Do not send me your requests!]
Disclaimer: This page is for viewing only. Reproducing images of legal currency for fraudulent purposes is a crime throughout the world. To clarify this, the text "not legal" has been added to all large images.
There are ten separate pages here, for ease of loading, with samples from 32 countries, chosen from my collection not for their value or rarity, but only for their beauty and interest. (There is an index, below.) Click the images for larger .JPG images. Usually both sides of a note are shown, so the large images are 60-90 kb in size; sorry, but further graphical compression distorts these highly detailed images. Let's get to it...
Tanzania, 500 Shilling note. The back is particularly nice, depicting coffee harvesting. Watermark: Giraffe
Kenya, 10 Shilling note. 1989. Pres. Daniel Arap Moi on the front. University and Mt. Kenya on the back.
Egypt, 20 Pound note. Mosque of Mohammed Ali on front; carved murals from the Temple of Ramses II at Abul Simbel on back. Watermark: Tut's Head.
Greece, 1000 Drachma note, old 1970 one. Zeus on the front, Hydra Is. and traditional dress on back. Watermark: Athena's head.
[Page 1] -- Tanzania, Kenya, Egypt, Greece (this page)
[Page 2] -- Syria, Lebanon
[Page 3] -- Kuwait, Afghanistan, India, Nepal
[Page 4] -- Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maccao
[Page 5] -- Singapore, Brunei, Burma
[Page 6] -- Laos, French Polynesia, Taiwan
[Page 7] -- China Updated 5/2003
[Page 8] -- Guatemala, Costa Rica, Nicaragua
[Page 9] -- Colombia, Agrentina, Peru Updated 4/00
[Page 10] -- Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, France, Bulgaria
Watermark? What's this "Watermark" about? Well, you will not acually be able to see the watermark in most of these images. A watermark is a faint image that is (somehow) infused into the paper itself, instead of being printed on top of it. As a result, the watermark can be seen from either side, and the area containing the watermark usually has little or no printing over it. When you see such a blank area on both sides of a bill, you can view the watermarked image by holding it up to the light.
Watermarks have been used on paper banknotes as far back as the 1666 Swedish Palmstruchers, and became common in many countries by the early 1900's. US currency, however, did not have any watermarks -- until the new "off-center" $100, $50, $20, $10 and $5 bills were created, beginning in 1996. Hold them up to the light! You will see off to one side, a smaller image of the same president who is on the front. Here's the Wikipedia Article on watermarks.
How Much is that in Real Money?International Currency Conversion from Oanda.com! ...Calculate money conversions.
Is Your Money Valuable?As mentioned below, I don't know what your paper money is worth -- but if it is very old at all, it is probably completely worthless! That's because of inflation and the fact that many countries obsolete their currencies on a regular basis.
For example: the Peruvian money used to be Soles ("sun" in Spanish); but inflation caused Soles to become worthless, so Peru created new money called Intis ("sun" in Quechua). It took thousands of old Soles to buy 1 Inti; and then the old Soles were obsoleted -- no longer legal money! A few years later, guess what? The Intis had also lost their value because of incredible inflation. So Peru made a new money and called it Nuevo Soles; the worthless Intis were obsoleted. People still write to me and want to know how much their bill for 5,000 old Soles is worth! Answer: Less than nothing! Sorry. Enjoy the beauty of the paper money -- use hard work and thrift to get richer!
Requests PolicyI get a number of unsolicited requests for information about prices, value, and availability of world bank notes. Sorry, but I don't know! about these things. My policy is that I do not respond to requests for prices, sources, buying, selling, trading, or duplicates. Please see below for some fine on-line sources of such information. Thanks
Bank Note Collecting SitesHere are a couple of good sites to start with if you're interested in collecting, trading, or pricing foreign currency. Or just start at a local coin shop, they should have some information about bank notes.
who may buy your money.
- IBNS - International Bank Note Society
- The Paper Money Directory An online resource for collectors of paper money from around the world
- Including a list of Banknote Dealers.
- Collecting Paper Currency for Fun by by Cael Chappell
- Paper Money & Bank Note WWW Directory  ... lots of links...
- Including Dealers,
Other Interesting Money Sites