Foreign currencies: coins and notes

Uninspiring colour-scheme, but the gleeful elephant is a winner

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Not foreign but look at the size of this!

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Episode 14: Belgian Franc

Following independence from the Netherlands in 1832, Belgium introduced its own currency: the franc, initially equivalent in value to the French franc. Later it was tied to pound sterling and the Reichsmark during the German occupation. Between 1944 and 2002 the franc was also legal tender in Luxembourg. In 1999 the franc was replaced by the Euro.

100 Franc


Red and orange, with a portrait of the 19th century architect Hendrik Beyaert and some National Bank architectural drawings on the front, and a three dimensional geometric multi-faceted design on the back.
Estimated value: £2.16

500 Franc


Blue, with a portrait of Constantin Meunier, a 19th century painter and sculptor, and a mining conveyor tower on the front and geometric circular industrial and scientific multi-faceted designs on the back.
Estimated value: £10.78

How do we rate the Belgian Franc?

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Episode 15: Zimbabwean Dollar

The Zimbabwean dollar was introduced in 1980 to directly replace the Rhodesian dollar. Over time, hyperinflation reduced the dollar to one of the lowest valued currency units in the world, with denominations up to a $100 trillion banknote issued. By 2009 the Zimbabwean goverment gave up and abandoned the currency completely. Instead, everyone used foreign currencies like South African rand, Botswana pula, pound sterling, Indian rupee, Chinese yuan and US dollar. In 2019 the government tried to reintroduce the Zimbabwean dollar, but failed again.

5 Dollar


Blue, brown and pink, with Chiremba Balancing Rocks in Matopos National Park on the front and some terraced hills on the back.
Estimated value: £0.01

10 Dollar


Green and marroon, with Chiremba Balancing Rocks in Matopos National Park on the front and the Chilojo Cliffs in Gonarezhou National Park on the back.
Estimated value: £0.02

50 Dollar


Dark green and red, with Chiremba Balancing Rocks in Matopos National Park on the front and the conical tower inside the Great Enclosure at The Ruins of Great Zimbabwe near Masvingo on the back.
Estimated value: £0.10

100 Dollar


Brown, with Chiremba Balancing Rocks in Matopos National Park on the front and the Kariba Dam on Zambezi River on the back.
Estimated value: £0.20

How do we rate the Zimbabwean Dollar?

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Banknotes: the results

The DiS hive mind has spoken, and these are the 10 greatest banknotes in the world:

  1. Dutch Guilder
  2. Yugoslav Dinar
  3. Indian Rupee
  4. Colombian Peso
  5. Italian Lira
  6. Swedish Krona
  7. Cambodian Riel
  8. Irish Pound
  9. Danish Krone
  10. Romanian Leu

Some other stats:

  • 16 bank notes featured a man
  • 2 bank notes featured a woman
  • 5 bank notes featured one or more animals
  • largest denomination: 5,000 Spanish peseta
  • smallest denominations: 1 Romanian leu and 1 Cuban convertible peso
  • most valuable bank note: 5,000 Spanish peseta (=£26.14)
  • least valuable bank note: 5 Zimbabwean dollar (=£0.01)

Tomorrow we will move on to my collection of foreign coins, which will be equally fascinating.

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Episode 16: Singapore Dollar (coins)

The Singapore Dollar was introduced in 1967, after the monetary union with Brunei and Malaysia broke down. Initially the dollar was pegged to pound sterling and later on to the US dollar. Since 1985, the Monetary Authority of Singapore tries to regulate the value of the dollar using an undisclosed basket of major currencies as reference.

10 Cents

IMG_1538

IMG_1537

Multi-ply nickel-plated steel, with the Singapore Coat of Arms on the front and a depiction of social housing on the back.
Estimated value: £0.05

How do we rate the Singapore Dollar?

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