Notaphilyc culture

collector's corner:

Welcome to my "Collector's Corner" page where I share weekly views & past experiences in a series of RECENT OBSERVATIONS as a collector & a series of videos I entitled: NOTAPHILYC CULTURE. Please bookmark & tour this page regularly. Note the Notaphilyc Reads page which contains links to interesting online articles I have discovered re: some aspect of this gr8t hobby. Also check out my Social Media Links. Trust me folks, after 3 years of contributing, there's a lot of info for one to take in on this hobby site.


After each month passes, I add to my MONEY MARKET link for tips on how the market for collecting currency seems to have been holding up. These are opinions based on observations, chatter on US/World forums, and may or may not be relevant to you as a buyer (but I do try my best to give an informed opinion). Check out this article on The 7 coolest currencies in the world by Morgan Croissant. I added a WORLD MOTIF page which I hope may inspire you. My intention is to help new collectors who may wish to form 1 or 2 collector goals to form SETS of what they wish to collect. I hope you can also draw the line on what NOT TO COLLECT so what you do collect only becomes better & better.

"Phil Notes"

Please see this link to an interview with an accomplished collector who I've dubbed "Phil Notes." This collector (& many others) have helped me launch & maintain Notaphilyc Culture so it is current.

Try the "Collecting Banknotes" form quiz & submit. If you're new to this site then you may want to take a look around before taking the quiz. Remember: this quiz is based on strategies & info I have gathered for the past 46 or so years of collecting CDN banknotes & is IMO only. Do not consider it "Gospel" (even if I do) or a "get-rich-quick" money scheme. That is my disclaimer & I will take no responsibility whatsoever from anyone who goes broke collecting world currency. Some strategies may prove helpful while others may not. You must become your own judge on that case.

The front of a 5 Pound note P-35 from Australia

The front of a 1 Dollar P-28b from British Honduras

The reverse of a 100 Pengo P-111b from Hungary

The reverse of a 1000 Pesatas P-154 from Spain

Hoping (& intending) to tap into the minds of Canadian world class paper money collectors! Take this link to learn more.

Above is BC-54ciE3ii (a 1979 $20 with an offset printer's error) which I bought from selling off some common higher denominations about 20 years ago.

Above is BC-9b or P-46b featuring HM QEII as a child on this cropped image of a small sealed 1935 $20.00. This note will always remain super popular.

recent observations:

  • 09/24/22 On CoinsandCanada's Paper Money Discussion Board, there has been speculation whether banknotes (& coins) with HM QEII's portrait will increase in value. I feel that most seasoned collectors would agree that if there is an increase it will be more from newbie speculation & brief. What notes will increase are the ones that have always increased- the popular series such as the Devil's Face, 1937 & 1935. (The 1935 $20 has QEII portrait as a child & these will no doubt be ever popular- see image above). It is possible that her father (King George VI) portrait will become very popular again. But it is also important to keep a perspective on the entire new reality. What remains common will always be common & most 1954, 1969-79, 1991, 2004 & 2012 series had runs in the millions amounting to billions of common prefixes. Naturally, special numbers, replacements, errors & remarkable prefixes (such as Test Notes) will be the exception. But this has been the case all along & applies to notes right across the board. In other words, nothing really has changed all that much, except perhaps a small spike in interest (which is GREAT!) There may be some collectors in the US who pick up an interest in QEII notes & may look here to fill in their gaps. It would be more than likely that they don't just end their search here & turn to other more difficult nations too.

  • I added my 2 cents, as "Nota_phil," on "Trying to understand value of bank notes" on CoinsandCanada today. Please check it out!

  • 09/17/22 My favourite post regarding the speculation on the timeframe of when King Charles III image will be employed on coins/notes happens to be on NUMISTA entitled King Charles III coins. Nick Logan's article "Will Charles III replace Queen Elizabeth on Canadian Money any time soon?" is my favourite to draw on. I started the conversation on CCF as New Monarch on the $20? Although the technology has advanced considerably, I doubt that the RCM nor the Bank of Canada will waste coins/banknotes that have already been made for release (in fact, the RCM has released a statement to that effect). I still think that it will take 2 years for the old stock piles to be used.

What are your thoughts? If you care to share, then fire me an email!

  • 09/10/22 The big news, of course, is that HM Queen Elizabeth passed away two days ago & King Charles III is now the head of the royal family. Since then, there has been a lot of chatter/speculation as to what will happen to the countless coins/banknotes which feature Elizabeth's portrait (how long will they remain; when will they be withdrawn; what design changes? etc). Other posts have been on the lines of how this will affect desire to acquire currency with QEII portraits & whether her death will affect their prices. I have always stated that there will be little change (a slight bump up for some items for a limited time). One of the reasons I've maintained this position is due to the fact that many of the tough-rarer issues (Canada's Devil Faces, Seychelles "SEX" notes, Rhodesia, Bahamas, etc) are already so expensive! You can pretty much throw out an updated catalogue on all of them! So, the real question remains whether the more common notes (regular/recent) denominations from the UK & Commonwealth will become more expensive? Perhaps the Better Than Cash Alliance successes in ridding many modern G-9 nations of their cash will have an effect? It is hard to say. All of the big Commonwealth partners (Canada, Australia, New Zealand) print massive amounts of $20 notes (the denomination most seen). If you are interested in collecting QEII notes then I urge you to review my WORLD MOTIF page.

  • 09/03/22 A member who calls him/herself "CanadianBill" posted the "What its worth" question about an EJZ (Journey) $100 on the CPMF. He/she got no replies so I threw in my 2 cents: that a) the note was more VF & b) while it was near the end of the run, I didn't think there would be much (possibly 10-15%) premium due to its condition. "CanadianBill" seemed disappointed and wrote "I didn't think my note was lower grade than and EF, but I'm still learning and not an expert like WTTW is." While that was that kind of "CanadianBill" to label me an expert, I just replied that "I've been collecting for more than 45 years. That doesn't make me an expert: I've been learning just like you & grading was my most drawn out/lengthy learning curve. It took me ages to get objective but honestly your note looks more VF to me. I may be wrong as it is a photo & difficult to tell." And I'm still of the mind that it just takes time & consistency to become a more avid (effective) collector. My advice to anyone who is thinking of starting out is to stick with it but most importantly, set aside a little time each weekend (or some other day) and try to keep at it. That is probably the biggest difference between the good collectors and the outstanding ones.

  • 08/27/22 I hope you had a chance to bid on the PMF auction described below. I, like many people in Europe & North America, have been on summer vacation. I believe a lot of the buying/selling remains low this time of year & there are many deals to be had. If you're looking to get something, bid now! Update: a member won the lot of notes for $26 USD (worth about $70 USD or $90CDN). Once again, I highly recommend collectors to become part of an online community such as the PMF, CCF, Numista or the CPMF. See my Notaphilyc Sites page for links.

  • 08/20/22 My three consecutive HPF $5.00 Insert replacements + one HPF regular note which was cut a little off-size at the security strip LOT #10 & other lots are now up for auction at the Paper Money Forum. Please take a moment to check out the action & place a bid if interested. It goes to a great cause (to keep the very active online community functional) & will benefit many, including yourself, if you win. The 3 inserts I have for offered would book 90 CDN (or about $70 US) plus I added the irregular cut HPF $5 that were present in the brick I searched. The starting bid is only FV so why not try your luck?

  • 08/13/22 I volunteered to contribute three consecutive HPF $5.00 Insert replacements + one HPF regular note which was cut a little off-size at the security strip. I plucked these notes from a brick I ordered years ago & the four notes plus a CBN strap (with the Canadian Banknote Company Logo) will be auctioned as LOT #10. This and other lots will be offered to collectors in order to raise money for the continued operation of the Paper Money Forum or PMF. The PMF Auction event will happen during the last week of August. Please bookmark the event, check it out and place a bid! It follows the Chicago's World Fair of Money (Tuesday August 16th to Saturday 20th) which is the biggest world event surrounding paper money.

  • 08/06/22 After my hassle with customs two weeks ago, I made it a point NOT to be trigger happy this week. This came when World Banknote Auctions had their August auction. I did not register so no damage done. I did, however, look at the results after Thursday (their primary auction) and the results will definitely be reflected in August's Money Market entry. A PMG Gem70* 2015 $20 sold for over $4000 USD & there were many crazy high hammer prices reached, just like this example. Only a couple of the notes I had bookmarked sold for a little above what I expected. The majority sold for well above so clearly the market for world currency is strong as far as this platform goes. I think WBA's handy app which can allow one to bid from anywhere there's wifi is a huge plus for the platform (& the way of the future). I'm surprised the other big players (HA, Spinks, Stacks&Bowes) have not yet transitioned (though I suppose their clientele are older money.

  • 07/30/22 After recent news that Canada & the US has entered a recession (technically) I decided to shop around on eBay to see if there were any "sweet deals." Banknote World had a PMG GEM 66 Bermuda $20 onion prefix for $49.00! I felt it and a couple other notes were reasonable enough to "pull the trigger," as we often say (when buying a note). I contacted the store to see if they would combine shipping (which was $20 USD via FedEx). They replied that they would. However, when I went through check-out another $5 was added for each of the other 2 notes ($10 in total). I paid this extra $10 since they dragged their feet to reply. I also kept receiving prompts from eBay to pay my Banknote World order. I regret that impulse to pay since Banknote World is either flagged at customs or their message that my package contain "printed numismatic material" was enough to tip customs off that the package contained banknotes. FedEx contacted me to pay over a considerable duty + taxes. This was one "sweet deal" that turned sour fast since FedEx also add GST (tax on their customs service). So when you get something from the US & are charged duties its duties plus tax on tax! The worst part is I cannot blame Banknote World since it was customs that charged me (not them) but there will be no feedback. And I will never buy from Banknote World again. I broke 2 of my rules- the first was to avoid stores like Banknote World (many of their practices like inflating Zimbabwe 100 Trillion Dollar notes) & being sucked into a BIN sale (when I should focus on TAsL). LESSON LEARNED! I also wonder about the 50 notes I wish to submit to PMG for a bulk certification will go. Will they get flagged at customs (since they use FedEx)? Will customs charge me GST? If you know (or have an idea), drop me a line.

  • On a more positive note, Rocky from Rock_Ka eBay continues to impress. He still list the majority of his notes as True Auction style Listings (TAsL rather than Buy it Now or BIN) & this only benefits you- the collector. I won an Italian

07/23/22 Welcome to all the collectors who come & check out this site. I started Notaphilyc Culture as a REFERENCE site to help collectors source helpful information. It is not a forum. I've been working hard to revise/update & conduct site maintenance for the past 2 weeks. If you'd like to share some information, please feel free to contact me!

  • From the COINSANDCANADA.C0M Discussion Board: GENERAL TOPICS, I learned that "Maktun is a Free Application for Collectors." This was posted on 07/12 so I searched Maktun's site. The application is intended to allow collectors the ability to scan, manage & estimate the approximate value of one's coins &/or paper money. Visit the site if you're interested. However, keep in mind, that another member of C&C (@Bushman74) tried to download on his i-phone & had no luck. It may work using Google play for android phones. I have yet to try it myself (I've been keeping track of my collection on Numista & don't want to start scanning my collection just yet) I would prefer to hear (see) positive feedback first on COINSANDCANADA.

  • 07/16/22 I shared a link to this site on a Paper Money Forum thread entitled Paper Money Related Websites was delighted to see 3 members & the site administrator give positive feedback. In fact, the site administrator reached out & offered to share a link on the PMG site! That sent me in a bit of a panic mode (GET BANNER READY) & I have been working on that task, plus making many revisions:

  • REVISIONS up to 07/16/22:

  • Linked some important World motif threads to my WORLD MOTIFS page

  • Updated & colour coded examples on my SPECIAL SERIAL NUMBERS page

  • Updated the Money Market page with June's summary.

  • Colour coded & revised my Home Page

  • 07/09/22 This week's entry comes from a thread started on The World's First Gold & Silver Banknotes (on the WORLD section at CCF). As you may already know, I am not big on gimmicks & the reason stems from being a "sucker" myself long ago, after I bought one of these gold-plated banknotes. I don't remember who it was who steered me off them but I quickly ended my subscription (perhaps it was realizing how much it would cost altogether). Anyway, hfjacinto went on a fact-finding mission & posted pictures of a few of the Excelsior Collection from Antigua. Below is his report on what he learned:

"The original poster reached out to me as my coin shop had a XRef tester. A machine that tell what composition in precious metals an object is.

He wanted me to get one tested. I told him we might damage it with acid if the machine couldn’t tell what it was, so he purchased a note and mailed it to me. Based on the selling value I assumed it was gold foil and so did my coin shop, but the poster believed it was solid gold.

So I got it, went to the coin shop and tried to tear it. The machine said it wasn’t gold, so we did a test cut and yep it’s gold foil over a stiff paper.probably .1 to .2 grams of gold in total.

The original poster paid $1100 in 1999 and today the set sells for $500"

Clearly, the collector (& I) got burned! Luckily, I only bought one whereas the original poster bought the entire set. I always try to encourage new collectors to start with regular ISSUED notes. It is easiest to start with one's own nation but that is not necessarily where a collector must go. Today, there are so many options. Take a look at my WORLD MOTIFS page if you'd like to get some ideas!

  • 07/02/22 I finally registered over at "Coinsandcanada" as "Nota_phil" but have found the forum pretty slow! I revived an old thread started by "GBELEC" regarding what one collects (& why)? "CanuckCoinGirl" shared her interesting entry into the hobby from years of gifting her father with proof sets & slowly warming up to his passion. She has been one of the few collectors who has bothered to reply to these posts & share her interesting POV. "GBELEC" also replied and seemed a bit disappointed that he had not really focussed on any area of coins (or banknotes). I think, in his case, it may just take a little extra time. There's nothing wrong with that (each person will naturally develop different areas of interests). Also, it is probably more common for collectors to discover their niche over a longer period of time rather than immediately (or overnight). There's nothing wrong with wanting to remain a generalist & just collect a little of everything. Some do this as well. I think the only thing that may be important in this case is once again to collect at higher than average condition since it always saves money to attain a piece with great eye appeal rather than pay more to upgrade down the road. Most "old hats" look to collecting as a long term marathon rather than a quick sprint around the block.

  • REMEMBER to check out CoinsandCanada for its excellent reference info on Bank of Canada, Dominion & Chartered banknotes. ALSO, be sure to register & check out their fun collector's FORUM.

  • 06/25/22 Cherry picking! Have you ever cherry picked a note? If you have found a special number, error or rare variety that was not labelled as such, yet paid the same as you would pay for a regular note, that is termed "cherry picking" in the hobby! If you have cherry picked note, or have a piece that was particularly satisfying to obtain, then I urge you to share your story over at the PMF June Contest hosted by collector "jdizzle." I have shared my 1986 rotator $1.00 from Bahamas (Serial Number B 086980) on his thread. I was pretty excited to find this note at Century Stamps in Clarkson. And to make the deal sweeter, it was sold to me for $12.00 & not $14.00 as labelled. It is not an earth shattering cherry pick by any means but it was still a sweet note for me to pick (literally from 2 boxes & a stack of circulated overpriced inventory).

  • 06/18/22 I have updated the month of May's Money Market entry. In the past week, I have been trying to update my List of World notes since I acquired a few not yet listed. It will take a little time yet before that is completed. North Americans, & I imagine most investors, have braced themselves for this bear market & a recession that has been predicted for some time now. It's not hard to imagine that it will be hard on the hobby and LCS (Local Coin Shops). I also believe it will be difficult on many eBay sellers. Most seem to be listing using BIN (Buy it Now) & I believe that will continue but the odd TAsL (True Auction style Listings) may appear from time to time.* Collectors will be all over these but the rocky stock market could throw a curve ball on the final hammer price for many good notes. I've seen this many times & benefited from buying (while everybody is selling) equally as well. (* I generally recommend TAsL over BIN though there are the rare occasions when good BIN sales do occur.)

  • Have you ever heard of Delcampe? This platform might give eBay a run for its money. If you do try it out please let me know how it turns out. I have seen a lot of chatter on the forums over sellers leaving eBay (for more reasons than I care to share here). My point is one shouldn't feel compelled to stay using the same old thing over & over, especially if it no longer serves its original purpose (or one begins to lose money). On Reddit, I read a post about American citizens not being allowed to sell Modern Cuban banknotes that were printed after 1962? How lame is that when we all know about the countless replicas & fraudulent crap (we report) that gets sold on this site? (I will end my rant here!)

  • 06/11/22 Last week, I started off with "these are odd times in the hobby," but I could have just as easily wrote that, they're exciting times too. What I mean is that while the research & numismatic work on coins has long been established, for banknotes, it is relatively new. There are always new discoveries in both hobbies but for paper currency, it has always been a game of "catch up." In this thread on El Salvador P-115 (1971-1972) One Colon, a member who goes by "ColonialCoinsUk" has set about trying to determine the number of notes per series plus to get more info on the issue dates, & numbers issued. It's a noble pursuit, to research what really happened with the release of P-115 (which probably should have been labelled P-115b & c when the face plate changed from 1971 to 1972, a new signature & the back seal was reduced in size). If you are struggling to see the difference between the 2 versions, than I urge you to check out the banknote museum entry for P-115. Either that or read my response as "walk2dwater". There is no doubt in my mind that P-115a is much more common than P-115b & c and that the 3 variations should be distinguished from each other. I, myself, have since been trying to discover what are the high and low numbers for the RL (last?) series for this 1 Colon P-115c variety. If you find you have reached a plateau with coins, stamps or whatever hobby you're engaged in, I can honestly say, you could exhaust yourself over here with World currency. Even studying the issues of one's own nation's currency can be a very lengthy (& enlightening) & time consuming pursuit!

  • I have just updated the high denominations review summaries for both the Bank of Canada 1969-1979 & the BIRDS Series.

  • 06/04/22 These are odd times in the hobby. Some collectors seem to think that the hobby has been "dying out" due to lack of forum activity, the retirement of key figures in the US or by the folding of the Krause publication (where we get our P numbers). I have seen a few posts regarding the "Future of our hobby," and some fairly grim predictions. I think it is safe to say that the hobby will evolve (everything changes) but how it evolves (& changes) is entirely up to the collectors! Collectors can either attend shows, stay active or avoid shows and continue the cycle of hyperactivity then retirement (repeat). If a collector wishes to build a set then he/she must dedicate time to a clear goal & stick with it. This could involve hunting down a banknote (or coin) for years! It may also be weeks or months but my point is that the collector never takes their eye off the ball. They continue to dabble (at least) and stay active. It does not mean they are always spending money either. What has truly happened is that technology has had a great impact. Social Media, like Reddit & IG, have removed meaningful discussions about rare notes. That seems like a blow to our hobby but don't forget the plus side. It does expose tough notes to the general public who would otherwise never see such items. Does it make everyone run out to their local coin shop & buy? No, but it does expose the hobby to far more people than the hobby was exposed to before. This can keep the hobby healthy even if it means expect things to change. And things may not always change in ways we wish to see. For example, I cannot (for the life of me) understand why anybody would want a Zimbabwe 100 Trillion Dollar note. And yet these common hyperinflation notes that once sold for dollars a piece can now sell for $100 each. The social media crowd love them ("all those zeros!") and that's just the way it is.

  • 05/28/22 I always encourage collectors to participate in the many online forums open to them. Sure its okay to lurk but its much more rewarding to participate, ask questions & even to offer your 2 cents! Recently, there's been a couple of interesting threads on the PMF regarding "Buying TPG notes" or "Buying notes raw off eBay." I favour both camps, because as is typical in the real world, it depends. If you can find some notes in any condition, then count yourself lucky. There are many collectors from the PMF who know their area of collecting & will settle on "VG to Good" notes because they're just so scarce (& the variety so seldom come up for sale). These are the best times to buy ungraded but what I have discovered is that it can take months or even years to find items like these (& they seldom come up for sale when the market is soft). But there are a few "deal-breakers" for me & they're not comments like "I'm not an expert" or "judge the notes condition." If the seller hasn't made a claim on the grade, I'm okay with comments like these. "Deal-breakers" for me are poor eBay feedback that states poor packaging. A few posted comments on how they received notes in poor packaging & I will pass. There's just no excuse for that (whether the notes are ungraded or graded, they need some cardboard insert). I have sent notes back that were packaged poorly & I have red flagged a few others. Another deal breaker is if the seller has misidentified a variety (which is much more common). This is often tough to discern so one must turn to the bank note museum & be sure the image matches the note! Many sellers claim that the note may have a different serial number (SN) & signature. The different SN may not a problem (typically) but if they claim that the signature may be different- than that's a red flag! Buying TPG notes is a no-brainer for the tougher, older more expensive notes. But just remember, if you do decided to go down this path, to "buy the note -not the holder." That simply means that you must take a moment to inspect the note carefully. Is that "66 GEM" truly well centred? I don't mind a few minor flaws from grades UNC 63 & lower but UNC 64's should be pretty nice (the odd minor wrinkle along a border is tolerable on rarer notes). Take your time inspecting TPG notes & decide whether the certifiers have missed anything (or are being too liberal). I have found many PMG VF25 to be excessively lenient. I don't mind seeing soiling on a VF20 but not so much so on the VF25 which some certifiers allowed to slide. Be sure the note has exceptional eye appeal & on most they should get an EPQ (unless exceptionally rare). TPG: Third Party Graded & EPQ: Exceptional Paper Quality.

  • 05/21/22 Last November (2021), Bitcoin was sitting at $85,000 CDN & today it is at $37,000. That's a drop of $38,000 (over 50%) in less than half a year! That must hurt those crypto investors who are "all in." When I see statistics like that & know how hard inflation has hit us (how much the stock market has suffered) I have to speculate on how it will affect our hobby. I cannot think of a positive other than the fact that perhaps some collectors will be motivated to sell & we will see some scarce (or tough) items come to market. Some of the collectors who I keep in touch with indicate to me that they're pulling back buying & that is no surprise. I've heard this pattern of "hold on the acquisitions" since late February (after the Russian invasion of Ukraine). I cannot think of any good reason to buy other than if it is priced right & filling a collector's gap in his/her set.

  • Updated my Social Media page.

  • 05/14/22 I have seen a couple threads on the forums questioning why collectors would buy NCLT (Non Circulating Limited Time) coins & North Korean (DPR) banknotes. On the whole, I'm not in favour of attacking what people choose to collect. People will always collect whatever they want (& they're often driven by economics or what appears to them as a "good deal"). That was exactly how I started out & I started buying NCLT coins about 5 years ago after recuperating from surgery (too much time on my hands). The way I looked at it, if I could buy the coin for around the price of bullion, it was a fair price. But it never was b/c I was buying from a very dodgy auction house (with ridiculous shipping fees & I'm sure shill bidding). Anyway, I started to rethink the whole desire of bidding for NCLT & I quickly realized it was simply b/c I had no idea what type of coins were "collectible." I am suspecting that the same practice goes on today for Zimbabwe 100 Trillion notes (or other hyperinflation series) & for many specimens. Again, I would not judge anybody who has chosen to chase these notes but I certainly would never encourage any collector to do it. I know it takes a bit of time & effort, but I would encourage one to learn what to collect! And don't support isolated regimes run into the ground by ruthless dictators such as currently the case with North Korea. These notes will always be unpopular.

  • 05/07/22 I am surprised that we are into May already. I am also still trying to raise awareness to an issue I think everybody should be concerned about. You can read about this on here on a NUMISTA thread where a collector questions the state of the hobby in Asian countries. If you are oblivious to the BTCA (Better Than Cash Alliance) PUSH for nations to become cashless, then I believe this would be a great read for you. If you think this pernicious interest/lobbying group is only targeting 3RD World nations, then think again! They have incentives for US businesses to refuse cash! Try to imagine what will become of our privacy without the access or use of cash. Since the pandemic, I have not been able to easily pay cash at many retail outlets including VALUE VILLAGE & Shoppers Drug Mart here in Canada. We are forced to use credit cards or go in & pay before you pump. While it may crush our hobby initially, it will likely become a boon to it further down the road (for our children, or grandchildren if we have any) but that won't concern us (or will it)?

  • 04/30/22 I have taken the liberty to revise some of April & March's observations. Sometimes I just fix typos or grammatical errors while other times I may revise a whole set of old links which I know will become dormant soon (like my old eBay listings). If you are in search of a particular topic or some info that you may think I have please feel free to reach out. As I have wrote earlier, some collectors from the currency forums I frequent come for a visit and start corresponding. I appreciate them reaching out & if I can help them in any way with their collections (goals/info/etc) that is an added bonus for me. [It works both ways as I find I'm always learning from them].

  • You can also check out my ARCHIVED OBSERVATIONS from previous years.

  • I have updated my Money Market page with April's observations.

  • Please check out my Social Media page for some great video updates!

  • 04/23/22 I believe I have completed the LIST OF WORLD NOTES available but a few collectors have already contacted me about purchasing a few & each have noted some errors or problems with the page (thank you guys!) I always appreciate feedback & correcting whatever typos, mistakes I have made. I also appreciate full disclosure & transparency from sellers so I do try to be as clear about everything I sell. As you can read below I simply sell at cost plus a very small premium to cover extra expenses I have incurred. I certainly cannot quit my day job! I sell my extras to those who wish to avoid eBay & to help collectors fill gaps in their collections. I just purchased another large lot of notes from ALLEN'S and the shipping came to $34 USD. So try to keep that in mind when you see the prices of the notes listed: they are what I paid, + shipping + a minor premium to pay for my Paypal, VISA + exchange fees. Every note is in USD (except my CDN inventory) because I paid USD for my WORLD extras. It keeps it simple for me.

  • On a different note, it has been great to see many of the forums pick up in activity. If you are unaware of the many forums out there than I suggest you check out CCF, Numista, PMF & others on the SITES & FORUMS page. I just want to remind anybody who is thinking about taking their collection to the next level that you must become eclectic with your goals. You will need to start doing a little more research as a collector & define what avenue you plan to pursue. If you decide to go down a particular untravelled "rabbit hole," it is much wiser to explore that territory (or seek out some opinions) before getting in too deep. Participation in the above forums will help shed some light this way. And remember, collecting isn't always about buying/acquiring (as so many assume). The more you keep active in the forums, find out more about what you're acquiring (or focussing on as a a collector goal), the more you will enjoy this hobby.

  • A very important part of this hobby is about purchasing the right type of currency sleeves, albums (boxes?) and displaying the notes in a nice safe (dry) way! The more care you put into your sets the more pride you will take in having them. I would also not put off selling extras or notes you have already upgraded. If you have extra notes (& don't plan on giving/swapping them away) then start planning (or making arrangements) to sell them. Go to my Money Market page for Tips on SELLING. You could also just list your extra coins/notes on eBay account (if you have an account). I do not endorse eBay by any means! I just mention eBay b/c it's the most commonly used platform: try whatever selling platform works for you (Green Apple, eBid, Etsy?). The idea is to replace old for new (possibly earn from your extra notes) to fund your collection as you see fit.

  • 04/16/22 I have just made some revisions to the site. I'm still working on my list of World Notes Available & should have that completed by next week!

  • Remember to check out my SOCIAL MEDIA page for some cool video clips! (I'm always updating this page!)

  • 04/09/22 This past week has been a blur for me as I returned to work full time. I have seen that many of the forums have become rather quiet but fortunately there are still many excellent contributions. There are still those dedicated collectors posting important collector questions or interesting observations. I feel there is no such thing as a stupid question (unless you are asking about crypto currency or something completely unrelated). Often collectors can get frustrated by all the perceived barriers (lack of cash or access to collectible notes). As most long term collectors know, it is pretty important to develop clear goals (or a plan) of what you want but not to rush into it. Take your time to discover what is out there while exploring your own interests. I'm sure you will be rewarded for your patience.

  • 04/02/22 Now we are into April & no end in sight with for the instability brought on by Putin's Ukraine invasion. The only thing remarkable is that the soldiers & citizens of Ukraine have dug in & held out this long. Nevertheless, it has affected world markets (oil, gas, fuel for inflation, PM, etc). Very few true auction style eBay auctions remain but those that do seem to be doing well since they're seldom seen & are drawing attention.

  • My "hfjacinto" collector friend attended the big Baltimore Whitman Spring Expo which ended April 2nd. He wrote me an excellent email on how large the show was (hundreds of dealers) and how he zeroed in on securing US & Portuguese fractionals which he had arranged to purchase prior to the show (& pick up there). This collector has fantastic clear and concise collector goals. I'm still working on refining mine. A Reddit collector was once asking how he should go about starting a collection & his main concern was acquiring lots of notes for Face Value. I cannot encourage this because it encourages the "globe trotter" approach. It often turns into a hoard of notes placed in envelopes (like travellers do after their travels). Such "great buys" but one has no idea what he/she got (other than a wad of currency & perhaps the denominations). Condition, serial numbers, signatures or tough varieties are seldom considered. On Reddit, I suggested that the OP try a different approach. Why not discover which country, QEII, Motifs, era, or type of currency he/she likes? It may even be a denomination (fractional? odd?) or it may be Nobel Laureates featured on notes. My point it, if you have a certain type of set in mind, your collection will be much more meaningful and it is more likely that you will continue to collect/enjoy this hobby.

  • The globe trotter's approach is nothing like this. I have nothing against travel (in fact I love/encourage it!) But collecting only FV notes from countries visited happens to be much more sporadic & entirely budget minded. Remember that 99% of all banknotes are issued in the tens of millions. In circulated condition, they lack eye appeal & are simply not very collectible. If you wish to begin a collection than at least try to attain nice clean Extra Fine (or better) examples with better eye appeal (well centred, bright & crisp). Anyway, I want to publicly thank "hfjacinto" for his interesting observations about this huge Baltimore show & helping me figure out what to post here!

  • 03/26/22 I have some favourite notes & nations I look out for. I was watching a 1965 Eastern Caribbean States (ECS) $20 in EF-AU. It sold on eBay for $36.00 (or some such small figure) which was shocking to see. Clearly anybody who puts their banknotes on true auction style will lose their shirt. Not only are we seeing rampant inflation impact our cost of living, we could be entering a recession at this very moment. What this means is there will be less good notes come to market. While it may be a good time to track down inexpensive notes on eBay, people are likely bracing themselves for what's ahead.

  • Now that there may be some "BARGAIN" buys ahead, I wonder what are your "deal-breakers?" For me, I like GEM notes but for the very rare (& quite tough as I perceive it) I will settle for AU-UNC63 but no tears, pinholes, annotation, stains or toning. Actually, that is not quite true: on rare occasions I will settle for TPG notes that are VF35EPQ because they have outstanding eye appeal & they are "3 figure notes." Do you have any "deal breakers?" Do you settle for notes lower than VF? Are you entirely budget minded or do you stop buying and save up? I think these are all great questions to ask oneself as a collector. What do you think? Email me your answers & I will post them.

  • 03/19/22 Okay, I took "a hit" on the notes! But despite the damage, I want to thank each & everyone of you who took the time to look & especially those who bid. It is clear to me that the market for collectible paper is slowing down. It is typical that newer series are the "canary in the coal mine" that first show signs of a rocky market. And it is no wonder as we've had 2 years of buoyant sales as a result of a pandemic (& pent up demand). While the older series have remained fairly steady, I doubt that this will continue. Rampant inflation & Russia's invasion of Ukraine has put the world markets on edge. Until the global affairs in eastern Europe settle down to a more peaceful rational manner, I am pretty certain that collectibles will become a soft market. But enough politics & back to currency. Thanks to the collectors from the CPMF who also purchased notes from me. I will update my Money Market page & start revising the notes I have available to you again.

  • 03/12/22 All last Sunday's auctions ended at very low hammer, well below cost so I lost money. I should have known not to list again but I was adamant that I would really try to get it up & going again. I created a thread on CCF to explain why the Journey banknotes are collectible.

So now there are 6 items you can bid on. Good luck to those who throw me a bid:

  • 2006 APF Insert Replacement $5

  • 2001 BEP 'lost prefix' $10

  • Two 1954 Modified $1.00

  • 2005 FEV Insert Replacement $10

& others.

  • 03/05/22 I have listed 9 banknotes on my eBay account. It took me over 2 hours to enter the 8 listings (1 listing is a lot of 2 notes) but I got it done. I don't know why eBay has made the listing procedure even more complicated than when I listed 2 years ago. At that time one could use the one listing generated & copy it for the next several listings only modifying it slightly. This time I had to create a template but the template kept resetting the starting price & postage to "0" which meant I had to re-enter each listing. It would stop at the postage every time since it needed the weight & service. It was long tedious & extremely inefficient & cumbersome. Now, I have been told by a friend who checked my listings that he cannot even see them (which is no surprise considering how few views they have got). So once again it appears as if this will be a brief venture.

  • Here are the listings (feel free to bid/you won't be disappointed as everybody bids as low as humanly possible -so if you do win - it will the lowest price possible!):


  • & other $5 replacements in Choice UNC

  • FER Insert REPLACEMENT $10

  • & other $10 notes

  • (circulated) 1973/1974 $1 & $2 Lot

  • 02/26/22 We tried not to think about it & hoped the Putin problem would go away, but it hasn't & now we're seeing how ruthless a dictator he is. The invasion of Ukraine, which began with the take over of the Crimea in 2014, started this past week & my heart goes out to all those poor souls who are dealing with it now. It is a very troubling world event which eclipses all thoughts on collecting this week.

  • 02/19/22 I want to thank all the collectors who have reached out & contacted me over the past 2 years since NC began. It has made contributing weekly to Notaphylic Culture a lot easier. I also want to thank another collector (Hoong) who has been a long time member at the CPMF. He has made some great suggestions & I have implemented some of those needed updates/revisions which I finally got around to on my Journey & 2011 Frontiers pages.

  • At the moment, collecting Canadian polymer banknotes is pretty exciting since Carolyn Wilkins stepped down as the Senior Deputy Governor last spring. Huge demand for the the $50 denomination forced the Bank of Canada to use Timothy Lane's signature on the $50 and the $100 denomination since upcoming Carolyn Rogers was not due to take over the post until December 2021. Some collectors have noticed this signature change over on other forums. Remember that whenever signatures change, it can produce signature prefix change-overs, some of which are short & become quite collectible. This indeed has been the case for the $5.00 IND (above 9M) prefix with the Wilkins-Macklem signature. Also the Wilkins-Poloz signature on the $10 FFE (under 1M) is a tough one. You can try to find these notes right now and get them for Face Value (FV) in AU or UNC rather than pay a premium over FV. If you want to learn more about these changes (& the new Lane signature) take the 2011 Frontiers link above. And most of all, have fun hunting for one of these tough signature change-overs folks!

  • 02/12/22 Last month I entered the Paper Money Forum's monthly contest, "Stranger in a Strange Land" & won 2nd place! Not to be confused with Heinlein's book of the same name, this was an opportunity to share a note that featured a portrait of a non-native individual on another nation's banknote. Bonus points were given if you could show a note which featured a place that was outside the country. "CurrencyDen1" announced that I had won banknote of my choice. It was nice to see the back of Canada's $5 (which shows an astronaut in outer space). Now if you are still lurking through these forums, I urge you to stop, register & participate. You could participate in February's contest (notes that tell a story) but you must register & participate to win. This could be a great opportunity for you to win free stuff!

  • 02/05/22 "Experts" now claim its time to accept that Covid 19 is here to stay & the new normal will be just that (new). We will have to embrace it & accept the fact that lockdowns will be a thing of the past. Nations will need to make the appropriate adjustments & address shortages in their Health & Long Term care sectors. Like climate change, new deadly viruses may be on the horizon. For climate change new infrastructure must be built & future planning must anticipate floods & severe weather. How does this all impact the hobby you ask? Well, it could affect our taxes, our future income & our future governments. We will need to address sustainable energy, reliance of fossil fuels, & possibly the distribution of wealth. Many changes could be on the horizon.

  • 01/29/22 We are in the middle of unprecedented inflation which makes it difficult to purchase new banknotes. I anticipate that the market will slow down dramatically as a result. Remember two years ago? I predicted pretty much the same (or worse): that the pandemic would be a terrible blow to the paper money hobby. Instead, it turned out to be an unexpected boom. People had more time on their hands & as a result of so many Covid deaths, new material was brought to market. As a result (plus the crazy runs on bitcoin, housing, art & other frothy markets) it was as if the hobby had a shot in the arm. Collectors also got in on the action & placed some of their items on the block. Bottom line: it's very tricky to make accurate predictions these days. Who knows? Maybe it will carry on, business as usual & remain frothy.

  • In the process of looking over coinsandcanada I discovered coinsandaustralia. If you are interested in banknotes from down under then this would be an excellent site for you to explore. The new site has been added to my SITES & FORUMS page & I do hope to complete some much needed site maintenance in the next week.

  • 01/22/22 The long QEII banknote thread (see below) is now complete. I hope you will take a moment to look through it. I have also added some observations for the Money Market page. I am hoping collectors from Reddit, Facebook & other social media platforms will take the time to visit some of the helpful forums linked on my SITES & FORUMS page. Remember that at the beginning of each year it is good idea to take stock of your collection. A well documented inventory on a spreadsheet is the least you should do. While it may be helpful to use NUMISTA or other online resources, a hardcopy is essential. Try your best not to hoard & develop an eye for what is collectible. This should mean that your banknote (or coin) is a) in great uncirculated (or lightly circulated VF-AU) condition or b) is tough, hard to get or even scarce & c) desirable (beautiful/ visually appealing) or special for some reason. These are the 3 typical reasons people build a collection. You don't need all 3 conditions but notes/coins that meet all the criteria are really desirable to everyone. It is much different than hoarding wads of bills stuffed in envelopes "somewhere safe" as some people do. I truly hope you will take stock in what you have & consider your collector's goals. If you have a vague notion of what you like (or wish to keep it open) then I urge you to start checking out the many online resources mentioned earlier.

  • 01/15/22 Once again, I want to direct you to the thread on QEII BANKNOTES on CCF that I have been working on since 2021! We are finally on the S nations so it will only be a few more days & it should be finished. See the following page for QEII Countries & World MOTIFS. I have also been tinkering on the site (fixing up pages like the WORLD MOTIFS page) and working on a single price list page for extras I have for sale. Stay tuned.

  • 01/08/22 Yikes! I nearly forgot JERSEY! For the last couple weeks I've been trying to add to a CCF thread on QEII Banknotes. I just discovered (today) that I added Jamaica but forgot Jersey when moving on to Malay & British Borneo. I will correct my mistake today. Please follow along as I contribute to a thread on QEII BANKNOTES for CCF.

  • See the following page for QEII Countries & World MOTIFS.

  • 01/01/22 Happy New Year! Many of us are hoping we can leave the pandemic behind us despite what has been happening with the latest surge of Omicron. I am hoping that it will diminish despite the stubborn selfish behaviour of a few individuals. It is also important for us to remember those less fortunate. Hopefully, the governments of wealthy nations will lend a helping hand to those nations who are in need.

  • I am still contributing to a thread on QEII BANKNOTES for CCF. I will be adding an entry on the Rock of Gibraltar soon. Please tune in & comment or add your own QEII notes!

  • 12/25/21 Merry Christmas & happy holidays to all of those collectors out who follow Notaphylic Culture's "Collector corner." At the moment I am busy working on the QEII BANKNOTES thread for CCF. Today I will add my "Fine" Ceylon 5 Rupees & discuss this nation, although quite honestly, I've only been learning about the former Sri Lankan colony recently. I am sure there are many collectors out there who know much more than I & if that's the case, please feel free to contribute to this thread.

  • 12/18/21 For the next month, or so, follow along with me on a thread I started on CCF as I examine some of the "look-fors" & past observations I have made in assembling QEII BANKNOTES. As a collector, I have not conscientiously pursued a collection featuring her majesty's portraits. That has never been my goal. However, I have a number of banknotes (nations) with her portrait on them & have learned a few things about trying to acquire some of the more difficult (& easy) ones.

  • PLEASE ADD COMMENTS TO THIS THREAD! [If you know me you will know that I enjoy hearing from other collectors' with their shared images, opinions & observations]

  • For a list of QEII notes or a number of possible motifs any world currency collector may pursue, please see my ongoing WORLD MOTIFS page.

  • 12/11/21 On Numista, a number of collectors discussed their currency errors. One member talks about manufactured errors from England. If you are interested in finding out how you can avoid buying into rip-off scams, it may be wise to read this thread. It is important that one accept that there are many dodgy sellers out there who will cut sheets or use laser jet printers to manufacture errors. Be aware of these unscrupulous sellers. Also avoid fake Nazi ghetto (concentration) camp notes from Poland. It is really sad that there are such fruitcakes out there taking advantage of the unprepared buyer, but that is the case & another good reason to become active on these forums & always practice a "Buyer Beware" mentality.

  • 12/04/21 Please check out Notaphylic Culture's Money Market page where I have added observations for October and November 2021.


ALL previous weekly entries from December 2021 to August 2019 have now been ARCHIVED. Please take the appropriate links to access them. Thank you!

Iran p-100 20 Rials

For an example of the 50 Rial with an arabesque overprint see this link shared by the British Museum or scroll below for the 20 Rial.

The point of this website is to function merely as a REFERENCE point for my Youtube Channel & to stimulate interest in this gr8t hobby. If there are other "take-aways" bonus!

In 2018, I attended an excellent RCNA workshop in Mississauga on storing/preserving one's collection and grading paper money by Steven Bell of BCS. If you have been a collector for a few years and want more information- then I highly encourage you to try getting your feet wet at either a local chapter or at one of these great workshops! See the RCNA link on Notaphilyc Sites page.

Thanks for stopping by!

Scroll down for video tips on collecting, buying & selling banknotes, understanding what makes a note more collectible, etc. Take this link for observation on the Money MARKET.

This site could not have been put together without a multitude of reference material drawn from many sources. Please refer to the Notaphilyc Sites page if you wish to pursue more information (like I have) or see my Acknowledgement page to see who I am indebted to for info.

Iran P-110b 20 R

This is my all-time favourite example of an overprint.

"Cash is king"

This was my first foray into producing a video about collecting Canadian banknotes. In it, I explore why I collect, my favourites and provide an example of searching two bundles in search of a special serial numbered note. Hope you enjoy!

Introduction to collecting banknotes:

After some computer glitches from my old mac (purchasing a new computer) and some reflection on my first video, I realized it would be prudent to create a new series on two principles: focus & scope. After I finished this video, I realized one could employ these two principles to anything one collects. I consider how many of us typically get hooked and how we can refine our "keepers" by being more selective.

Part 2 (Today's society going cashless)

After exploring many media sources, it occurred to me that society is indeed headed towards more & more cashless commerce. See this video to determine why now is as good as time as ever to start collecting specific types of banknotes. As an added bonus, you can get to know my alter ego "Captain Currency" a little better ; - )

Part 3 (what should I collect?)

This video is what I like to think of as the "meat & potatoes" of the series. It uses the 4 "S" as a guiding principle (consider a note's Shape (grade or condition), Series (year it was produced), Signature combination & Serial number). View the video to explore more:

PARt 4: (which nations should I collect?)

This video takes Part 3 to the next level: examining what countries are popular enough to have a solid "fan base" or buyer's market. I consider pre-Euro, Euros and Commonwealth nations that have never cooled down in the world market. Check out what I believe are "hot" buys and what "not" to buy:

Video 5: Grading basics, references & how to source banknotes:

My guest, David Sykes, first looks at Third Party Graded (TPG) banknotes and how they've reached their designated grades. Then, using Charlton Guide to Canadian Government Paper Money, David continues to examine some circulated examples (VF and less). The point is: you should start trying to assess a note's condition asap! Don't just rely on TPG holders! Finally, I urge you to use Internet sources to familiarize yourself with examples of notes and how to acquire decent collectible banknotes.

video 6: the key to selling is buying selectively:

This video takes Video #4 to the next level, examining smaller nations, discontinued currency & how to acquire collectible lots for less. Keep your costs down and be super selective. Buy with the intent to sell & during world market instability. Sell those desirable extras when outlooks are more "bullish."

video 7:

This is my one year anniversary video. Essentially, I've boiled down most of what I feel is the essential stuff you need to know in order to collect world banknotes during these unprecedented times. I will cover other topics in my next video.

recent pick ups:


Stay tuned for more "Captain Currency" and Notaphilyc Culture videos. Episode 8 will at how to store your banknotes, how to preserve them (sleeves & desiccants), scanning them and pros/cons to submitting your raw notes for TPG (Third Party Grading). Stay tuned!

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Here are a few interesting articles on new banknote issues or other contemporary news affecting today's currency: