Saturday, June 29, 2013

Friday, June 28, 2013

Myanmar 1958 10 Kyat

This 10 Kyat issued by the Union Bank of Burma in 1958 was quite popular as it had the elephant at the reverse of the note.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Gold Dinars and Silver Dirhams in Brunei

Last Thursday I attended a nikah ceremony at As-sallehin Mosque. My wife's cousin's daughter was betrothed to her chosen love one. As usual part of the ceremony was a 'mas kahwin' where the groom has to pay to the bride a sum of money. In Brunei, that sum is usually around $200 to $300. I know of one state in Malaysia, Johor, which makes it a mandatory $22.50. Lately many have been following the practise of old where the sum is a gold dinar coin.

I was quite intrigued when the imam announced that the 'mas kahwin' for that wedding was also one gold dinar coin. I could not wait until the end of the ceremony to see for myself what one dinar coin looked like. It looked like this:

I was told that the value of this gold dinar coin was around $300. After the ceremony, I decided to ask around and posted the question on my fb. I got all the answers. Apparently there are several companies selling the dinar gold coins around the region. This one in particular was actually sold by a company which had branches in all over the Muslim world including Brunei. Dealers called this the Brunei Gold Dinar. This dinar is made up of 999 purity of gold. Currently it cost about $330 or thereabouts.

Another company is Malaysian based but their dinar gold coin was slightly impure which is 916 around 22 karat. The price of that gold dinar varies according to the market. Since the pricing was listed, it was easy to see. When I first looked, the price was M$591, today it was M$570.

The State of Kelantan apparently got into the act and produced their own at 917 purity. The market price for today was $270 and the listed price for the Kelantan Gold Dinar today on their website was M$665 which is around $266 which is quite close to how much they are selling here. The Kelantan gold dinar looks like this:

These gold dinars all weigh 4.25 grams. They weigh the same but their thickness and sizes vary slightly. Another version is the silver dirhams which are very cheap at around $6+ for 1 silver dirham. They come in 1 silver dirham, 2 silver dirham, 3 silver dirham and 10 silver dirham. The gold ones also have various values similar to the silver dirhams.

These are indeed interesting times for coin collectors to be able to collect something valuable and perhaps can be used as investment tools.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Myanmar 1958 20 Kyat

This is a close up of the obverse and reverse of Myanmar's 1958 20 Kyat note. This 50 kyat note together with the 20 kyat notes were introduced in August 1958. The 1, 5, 10 and 100 kyat were issued earlier in the same year. This 50 kyat together with the 100 kyat was demonetized in May 1964.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Malaya British Borneo $10 1961

I received this note today together with a number of other notes that I bought. This is my fifth or sixth note and I still enjoy buying them. There is nothing really striking about this note except that it is the first ten dollar note which did not have either the King or Queen of England. Instead it had a buffalo and hence it is better known as the duit kerabau. Kerabau meaning buffalo.

In the reverse, Brunei's crest is shown. The crest is obviously a complete one as by 1959 Brunei already had its written constitution already mandated by then and so was the crest. The note was signed by Tun Tan Siew Sen. The interesting about this note was sometime in November 1967, the note lost value. Originally it was convertible to the new currency notes issued by all the three countries Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei. But this note was linked to the British pound and in November 1967, the British pound was devalued. The value of this note was by then around $8.75 or thereabouts. Nobody wanted to keep it. Everybody ran to the bank to exchange it.

Now the note is worth around $300 and above. So much for an unwanted note.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Myanmar 1958 50 Kyat

This is a close up of the obverse and reverse of Myanmar's 1958 50 Kyat note. This 50 kyat note together with the 20 kyat notes were introduced in August 1958. The 1, 5, 10 and 100 kyat were issued earlier in the same year. This 50 kyat together with the 100 kyat was demonetized in May 1964.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Myanmar 1958 100 Kyat Note

This is a close up of the obverse and reverse of Myanmar's 100 Kyat note. Wikipedia described this note as the third kyat series. The first kyat was coins only and the second kyat series was immediately after the second world war. The second kyat was issued by the Currency Board under the Union Bank of Burma in 1952. Those notes are quite rare.

In 1958, the Union Bank of Burma introduced these third kyat series. This 100 kyat was issued with the 1, 5 and 10 kyat notes. The major difference to this series and the seond series is the introduction of General Aunh in the obverse of the notes.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Myanmar Kyat 1958 series


On February 12, 1958, the Union Bank of Burma introduced the first kyat notes, in denominations of 1, 5, 10 and 100 kyats. These were very similar in design to the last series of rupee notes, issued earlier.

Later on August 21, 1958, 20 and 50 kyats notes were introduced. The 50 and 100 kyat notes were demonetized on May 15, 1964. This was the first of several demonetizations, ostensibly carried out with the aim of fighting black marketeering.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Malaya $5 1941

I saw this note on eBay the other day. It has indeed been a while since I owned a few pieces of this note. I was not exactly on the market for it. However it had a nice price and it was quite close to the end of the bidding. It had this very tiny tear at the top right hand corner and so the corner was not square. I guess that's why nobody really wanted it. My final bid was around USD$69.99 for this note.

I have not been checking on the catalogue for the price of this note lately. But I thought USD$70.00 was a nice price.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Japanese 2000 Yen

I bought this a few years ago from a dealer in Singapore. I can't remember what possessed me to buy it but I am glad I did. I didn't realise the uniqueness until after I came back to Brunei. This is the only 2000 Yen note that the Japanese Monetary authority has ever produced.

The 2000 yen note (二千円紙幣 Nisen-en shihei) was issued July 19, 2000, to commemorate the 26th G8 Summit and the millennium. Known as the D Series, it was the only 2,000 yen note design ever to be printed. The design was similar of that of the other Japanese notes in circulation at the time of issue.

The obverse has a serial number and shows Shureimon, a 16th-century gate at Shuri Castle in Naha in Okinawa Prefecture. The back shows a scene from a famous Japanese literary work called The Tale of Genji and a portrait of Murasaki Shikibu, the writer of the classic literature.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Chinese 10 Yuan Second Series

This Chinese 10 Yuan was part of the second series of the Renmimbi. It was issued in 1955. I am not very familiar with the Chinese currencies but I remembered when I was in Nanjing in 2008, this particular 10 Yuan note was the most elusive. I even found a shop which sold the complete set of the Chinese Renmimbi except this particular note was not in that box. The shop assistants told me that this note was not easy to get. When I came back, I searched for it and eventually found this one.

This one came as if it h as not been used. I am not sure whether this is genuine as most photographs I have seen of this note showed used notes. The only thing I can tell is that this one has a watermark which is visible when you hold the note to the light. Does that prove it is genuine?

Brunei $100 Hassanal Bolkiah B Series

This Brunei $100 Hassanal Bolkiah B Series is probably one of the harder notes to find. The B Series came out in mid 1980s to replace the Hassanal Bolkiah A Series which came out in 1972. However the higher value notes were prone to sophisticated counterfeiting. In fact when I was the Deputy at Tabung Amanah Pekerja in the early 1990s, I recalled during those early days we had not yet placed a currency violet light checker yet. One of the notes were received was actually a counterfeit. It was soon after that every single counter were fitted with the currency detector.

This particular used note (graded probably EF or XF) was sold to me at $130 by a local dealer. Since this is one of those those harder to find notes but at that price, it is not that bad. However on the internet especially on ebay the price would be much higher.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Azerbaijan's Manat


I have never been to Azerbaijan. The closest I have been probably is when I was in Russia and when I was in Iran. Then sometime last February I was informed that there will be a meeting on Intercultural in Azerbaijan and I was secretly hoping that I could go but it clashed with another meeting which I had to attend in Tehran.

However our Deputy Minister went to represent Brunei Darussalam and I asked her to keep all the Azerbaijan's money and exchanged with me. When she came back, she gave me the set and those six are currently the currency notes used in Azerbaijan. The back of the notes are standard - Azerbaijan's map. So only the front depicted the various cultural aspect of the country. The notes are all of different sizes from 1 Manat being the smallest and the 100 Manat being the largest.

The value of the Manat is also very high. This 186 Manat notes cost me B$299.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Brunei $25 stamp Japanese Occupation

When I saw this was coming up on ebay, I will bid for it but I doubt very much if I will ever win it. This is like super rare and when it does come up, the price was so scary that it was not even worthwhile to enter into the fray. This $25 note only surfaces every now and then. The last time I paid for this was a block of four which I paid almost $2,000 trying to acquire it. This particular piece is a Japanese overprint. That makes it even more valuable and super rare to acquire. But I tried and there was only one other bidder and today I got it and at a price I would not have imagine. This one makes my Japanese occupation only 1 short!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Russian 100 Roubles Note

I was in St Petersburg, Russia sometime last year to attend an APEC Meeting. As usual I managed to find the whereabouts of where to buy old money. I found this one. An old Russian 100 Roubles note. Judging by the portrait, this note was after the Czar period. Unfortunately I don't have enough knowledge about it other than this was one of the bigger Russian note which I found. I think I found another big one. I will have to blog about that other note one of these days.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Brunei Twenty Dollar Notes

The Brunei $20 notes issued together with the Singapore $20 notes are not that easy to find anymore. Issued in 2007 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Brunei-Singapore Interchangeability Agreement, these notes are getting to be rarer and not many use the notes preferring to keep them every time they come acros these notes. I was lucky enough to get these running 11 numbers.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Brunei Numismatic Club

I have not been very active with my numismatic collection lately. I have obtained quite a few sets but I have neither the time nor the energy to make an effort to post on this blog site. However lately, I was approached to be a patron of sorts to a facebook club called the Kelab Numismatik Brunei or the Brunei Numismatic Club. I missed out on their first outing but came out with them on their second outing and thoroughly enjoyed myself. For those who are interested in joining the club, here is the link:

I have managed to obtain a number of items from members and hopefully will continue to do so at a much more reasonable prices compared to the ones on EBay. The members are very helpful and of course being local we do know each other well. But there are also from other nationalities who are in the club as well.

Hope to see you there. And I hope to be able to keep this blog more alive from now on.