The oft-heard theorem that the first counterfeit is not more than a few days older than
the money it replicates was proven once again in Hong Kong in June.
The new $150 bank note featured in Coin World last month seems
to be making news for all the wrong reasons, the latest being a
process called “banknote mounting.”
The Hong Kong Standard reported in its July 3 issue that
forgers are using this technique, described as similar to picture
mounting, to turn pedestrian notes into ones with fancy serial numbers.
RELATED: Hong Kong $150 note causes a mob scene
When the commemorative $150 notes were first issued by the Hong Kong
and Shangai Banking Corp., buyers were given the opportunity to bid at
auction for notes with attractive and lucky numbers, which in China
would include the number 8. Some creative soul decided he would become
extremely lucky if he could somehow increase the population of such
notes, so he went to work, delicately cutting numbers off one note and
somewhat indelicately pasting them on another. He probably should have
taken more care since under careful examination the old numbers could
still be seen underneath.
A local tabloid, Apple Daily, reported that a note numbered
HK688888 was on sale for upwards of $60,000 to $130,000 in Hong Kong
funds ($7,750 to $16,775 U.S.), and that one numbered AA368888 was
being offered online for $15,000 Hong Kong ($19,935).
According to the Standard, two people claimed to have the
real bank note with the same number. One said he bought it for about
HK$10,000 ($1,290) on June 10 in Hong Kong and sold it via the
Internet to a buyer on the mainland for HK$23,888 ($3,081).
However, a bank note dealer named Chow from just across the border
in Shenzhen said that his was the real one. He knew that was so
because he went to Hong Kong on the first day of issue and spent
HK$500,000 ($64,500) on a whole box of the notes. When he unpacked it,
lo and behold, there it was — number AA368888! He first tried to sell
it for HK$28,888, later lowered his price to HK$18,888, but still had
no bid. He claimed “the fake ones flowing into the market will have a
bad influence on sales.” He said he knew his was real after examining
it under a magnifying glass and ultraviolet light.
A stamp dealer in the Kowloon section of Hong Kong said he had been
offered seven of the notes with the fancy numbers, but he could tell
that they had all been “mounted.” The asking price was first HK$12,000
for the lot, but then was lowered to HK$9,000.
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