Paper Money

Asian notes strong in Hong Kong

Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ biannual Hong Kong auction, conducted April 2 to 5, had 533 lots divided almost equally between world and Chinese categories. The auction attracted strong bidder participation, and it reinforced the popularity of Asian paper money with a series of standard-setting prices.

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Graded Very Fine 25 by Paper Money Guaranty, a Hong Kong 1941 $50 note of the Mercantile Bank of India Ltd., estimated at $2,000 to $3,000, realized $12,600. A 10-kopek note issued during the Japanese occupation of Russia during World War II in PMG VF-35 doubled its estimate to sell at $12,000. A British administration of Malaya 1942 $1,000 note assigned a grade by PMG of Very Fine 20 Net, Annotations Lightened, Foreign Substance realized $15,000. A Malaya and British North Borneo $10,000 specimen note from 1953 brought $36,000 in PMG About Uncirculated 50. A high-denomination Singapore $10,000 note of 1973 from its “Flower Series” and graded AU-50 by PCGS Currency realized $24,000. 

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The auction house says the Chinese paper money section also saw much activity. A 13th century Yuan Dynasty 2-kuan note printed on mulberry paper realized $43,200 in PCGS Currency VF-25. The scarce 1913 Fungtien/Mukden $5 note from the Bank of Communications, projected to go for $5,000 to $7,000, sold for $13,200 despite a grade of PMG Choice Very Fine 35 Net, Ink Stamps, Previously Mounted. Finally, a popular Peoples Republic of China 1953 10-yuan note with a working farm couple on its face realized $33,600 in PMG Extremely Fine 40. 

The entire auction can be viewed at

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