(last updated on September 20, 2014)
I was on Amazon buying bulk cat litter for my ScoopAway litter tray, and stumbled across a merchant selling a “set of 100 different world banknotes” for $29.95. I have been thinking about collecting engraving and decorative papers as inspiration for making “productivity bucks” for an as-yet-to-be-determined use (“it would be cool!”)…
A few weeks later, a zip-lock bag filled with 100 different banknotes of various Eastern European, Southeast Asian, and Central/South American vintage arrived in the mail. I brought it to the Nashua Jelly, and a few of us spent the day identify the banknotes that didn’t have any English written on them. The most mysterious of all was the one with an old image of Jesus on it from the disputed enclave of Nargorno-Karabakh, which is somewhere near Armenia, which is somewhere, uh, well, I’ll look it up later.
I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to store and sort these notes, so maybe it’s time to browse archival library supply catalogs filled with wondrous odd-sized envelopes and indexing materials. And I actually need to collect examples of paper money that are from first world countries, which weren’t included in my 100 banknote pack because they actually have significant value. It’s a lot of fun to explore countries through their money, because a nation’s currency is in some sense its life blood and EVERYONE sees it. The oldest and most respected of traditions tend to be imbued into their design, and the level of craftsmanship that goes into the making of a banknote to deter counterfeiters makes them marvels of paper engineering and printing. What’s not to like about that?