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Pillar of the Community
United Kingdom
2431 Posts
 Posted 09/18/2019  10:20 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add DavidUK to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
While my primary motivation in collecting is not to flip items or get rich I have always wanted not to lose my shirt... To be able to get as much money out of items in the mid to long term as I put into them.

I have always liked to pick notes out of circulation too if good examples can be found.

So obviously this can be a winner or loser. In the case of my domestic currency (Great British Pounds) managing to aquire all the signatures at face value for the last 25 years would certainly prove profitable... Perhaps I should have saved multiple notes.

French Francs from the 1990's I think cost similar at the time to what they would sell for now but since in real terms money goes less distance they would be at a small loss.

Some currencies from obscure countries would be almost a complete loss... Especially those that are non-redeemable due to complete cancellation.

Yet my intention to aquire a 500 litas banknote from Lithuania (a denomination that evaded me on my visit) seems rather expensive (these notes still are honoured by the banks) and I wonder if I can warrant the expense just for completeness when presumably from a collectors point of view it would be an unexceptional note with little demand.

Then of course there are your desirable notes like the US educational series with high demand and low supply whi h are difficult to source outside the US and prone to import duty if brought across the pond.

Sometimes it is hard to know what to buy if one wishes to not buy simply with the heart.

If I wait will I get that missing note for a pittance at some later date? Should I be collecting sets out of circulation or buying older retired notes?

Will you complete a set at any price?

How can I aquire the trickier more costly aquisitions and get some value? Also considering grades the decision to get the cheaper note or the better condition one always troubles me. For myself I am happy if it is intact and has no horrible marks/tears but if money retention is the aim surely digging a bit deeper to achieve higher paper quality is the thing to do despite it appearing you spend a lot more for minimal improvements.

It isn't one specific question but what would your opinions and considerations be on such matters.
Bedrock of the Community
United States
17350 Posts
 Posted 09/18/2019  11:06 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add moxking to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The majority of collectors have goals they hope to complete. It doesn't matter if it's cards, coins, currency, or comic books.

Having a self imposed direction gives pleasure for most collectors.

I myself like to keep my want list in the 50-60 range. I can become intimate with that smaller group to learn and research each item.

Some have no goals and just buy what they like when they see it. For those exploring types that is more fun.

I do not believe in upgrades. They are foolish and costly. It is very rare that an item you are replacing will garner the return of your original cost.

The exception to that is from circulation snags. I'm sure you do replace not-so-nice with better examples.

I save money as long as I need to get what I want. I would MUCH rather add 12 superb items that I absolutely love than to buy 100 items per year just because.
Pillar of the Community
United Kingdom
2431 Posts
 Posted 09/18/2019  3:46 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add DavidUK to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I agree, a large quantity of rubbish was how I started with coins... Eventually I learned quality is better than quantity. Would I prefer 5 very decent to one absolutely fantastic though?

There are a lot of tricky decisions to take... I just don't know if it is worth spending some of the money these items cost. Obviously as you get further in the gaps are more tricky and expensive to fill.
Pillar of the Community
Canada
570 Posts
 Posted 09/18/2019  6:59 pm  Show Profile   Check walk2dwater's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add walk2dwater to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
You have raised a LOT of great questions which I'm sure many world paper money collectors have asked themselves time & again.
- I agree with "moxking" in that most advanced collectors (like seasoned coin collectors) set realistic goals and try to stick to them. Ultimately all goals are great guidelines. It is very difficult to make a big buck on collecting banknotes- more like a break-even proposition if you have the patience to keep some collectible ones for a bit of time and resell in order to upgrade one's personal collection.

I have collected CDN paper for about 40 years and over that time kept some UNC examples but I can honestly say -they never were worth much. In the past 20 years I've found less than 5 truly collectible notes out of circulation (& their condition is "borderline"). I have bugged the tellers from my local bank branches for periodic spells over the past 2 decades to withdraw large amounts and still find it amazing how seldom I score a special serial number. It has happened but I find it quite rare, time-consuming, and barely worth it. Keep in mind I'm taking out 100-1000 notes at a time- and there's been plenty of times I've come up empty handed.

I am a big fan of eBay and other avenues (mainly networking with other collectors) to acquire collectible banknotes- mainly in quantity so I can acquire them for a little less than BV.

This past spring a few collector friends urged me to create a website so I thought I'd give it a shot- and you can find that at:
https://sites.google.com/view/notap...culture/home
I try to address some of the questions you have raised on the site & on some short videos included on the site.
Valued Member
United States
371 Posts
 Posted 09/18/2019  11:34 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Dave L to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I completely agree with moxking and Walk2dwater.
You state that "Sometimes it is hard to know what to buy if one wishes to not buy simply with the heart." If you do not buy what you like when you like it, then you are the type of collector that is that moxking stated as Having a Self Imposed Direction. Setting realistic goals for saving and finding notes is then key. Having a number of goals set, you can then watch and wait and pounce when you see something that is in your area of collection and price.

You asked: "If I wait will I get that missing note for a pittance at some later date"? Well. hard to say. I have on some, and not on others. Those others I have generally done without, but keep on looking.
That leads to you other question: "Will you complete a set at any price"? No. Hell, no. I am certainly not rich. I'm not even 'Well-to-do'. If I was, I'd have a heck of a lot better collection. Knowing that I am not able to assemble a complete set of most things makes me better able to adjust my collecting focus. I only have a few of the higher cost notes, but I still enjoy my collection. Most of my 'sets' are of my own standards, which enables me to have a collection without having to live under a bridge.

If you are able to get notes from circulation, why not? You'll never get a better deal. Myself, I only look at the cash I get from the ATM and in change. If I think about it, I've get about 3 replacement notes, and one with a curious smudge that might be an ink error, but is so minor it wouldn't be worth more than face value. That's it. Not much luck for about 20 years of searching my notes for prizes.

When you ask about the trickier and costlier items, it's all about setting those goals. Grades are important if you are interested in resell, and you will find it easier to sell a note with a good grade that Look Good, rather than a lower grade, or even a better grade, that has a detractor such as a smudge in the portrait. This is the key area I think - what can you be happy with now, and be happy with should you sell later? I cannot remember who said it, but in some forum somewhere long were sage words that went something like: ".if, when talking about it, you have to day 'but' then pass on it". This will keep you happy personally, and keep you less worried about the resell possibility in future. Plus you won't ever have to consider upgrades. If it isn't good enough now, don't get it, unless it is dirt cheap - like from circulation. I avoid the graded note craze when at all possible though. I can't tell a 60 from a 68 and I'm not paying a hefty increase because someone else said they can and put it in a labeled holder. I can be happy with a less than perfect note, AND I have a collection I enjoy!
- Dave L
IBNS #9984
http://www.banknoteden.com
Pillar of the Community
United Kingdom
2431 Posts
 Posted 09/19/2019  06:39 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add DavidUK to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
OK well some good points raised.

I too avoid certified notes.

Thinking about politics at the moment I decided to fork out the 300ish to complete Lithuania because Brexit has the ossibility of seeing import duty placed on items from the EU (I think it would be a silly political decision but it is possible both sides could cut off their noses to spite their faces)

Likewise the possibility of a trade deal with the USA could see it possible to fill some of the more obscure US notes that I simply cannot source over here. (I am looking to complete a set of Hawaii notes, I have the $1 and the $20 and need other denominations, also I am missing some of the rarer fractional notes)

I keep everything, except if I end up with doubles somehow in which case I would keep the better. I imagine in retirement I will start to sell off all kinds of objects but I want my hard work to go as far as possible and I keep stock books as if my collection were a business. The statement "you will never get a better deal than from circulation" wasn't true in the case of the French notes now discontinued... it might not be true for the obscure nations with no demand - it certainly is the best way for the blue chip countries, the USA and UK notes are permanently redeemable at face value so no real loss can ever be taken.

I have never cared too much for serial numbers, if I can acquire the first or last prefixes at a good price or from circulation I will do (and before the internet this was easy to do but now many people know they can get more than face value) I really only care to get each type and signatory. Nor am I particularly fond of error notes, though I know there is demand in that area.

I enjoy my collection and am I proud of what I have assembled, the heart and head are often in conflict...it really make no logical sense doing the work that I do in order to place a piece of paper in a folder - but we must all be slightly bonkers I guess :) and I am not alone.
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Australia
13147 Posts
 Posted 09/19/2019  7:24 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
French Francs from the 1990's I think cost similar at the time to what they would sell for now but since in real terms money goes less distance they would be at a small loss.

Some currencies from obscure countries would be almost a complete loss... Especially those that are non-redeemable due to complete cancellation.

They don't need to be from "obscure countries" to be cancelled. Your French franc notes were all cancelled back in 2012; they no longer have any face value. Switzerland routinely demonetizes all of its obsolete banknotes; once a Swiss banknote has been obsolete for 20 years, it is demonetized and can no longer be redeemed. The money formerly represented by the note is then deposited by the Swiss government into the "Swiss Fund for Aid in Cases of Uninsurable Damage by Natural Forces". If you own any 1976 series Swiss notes, they will become demonetized in 2020.
Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise, you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. - C. S. Lewis
Pillar of the Community
United Kingdom
2431 Posts
 Posted 09/19/2019  7:49 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add DavidUK to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I understood that SAP, the fact is that the notes from obscure countries don't have the same sort of collectors demand though so once cancelled can have a very low value much less than face, a set of Bulgarian money costs a couple of pounds for the entire set. If the collectors value is more than face value the demonetization doesn't effect things too much. My example for France is that the large denomination notes like the 500 franc was worth 50 on the exchange rate when I picked it up and people are asking 45 for them on ebay (slightly less than they cost me at the time) That 50 at the time would fill my car with fuel 5 times and now would do less than a full tank.
Pillar of the Community
Canada
570 Posts
 Posted 09/20/2019  10:05 pm  Show Profile   Check walk2dwater's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add walk2dwater to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I have never cared too much for serial numbers,


-special serial numbers are extremely popular (especially amongst younger collectors). These are our future collectors. Watching how radars, repeaters & low # SN Book Value have soared has been the single most appealing aspect of this hobby for me.


Quote:
if I can acquire the first or last prefixes at a good price or from circulation

- I cannot, for the life of me, understand the appeal of a series first prefix (unless it was short, or a change-over). The only conclusion I can draw is that its a long-standing tradition amongst world paper collectors (but its completely illogical since there's far more significance to other prefixes that were short or part of a signature change-over). I can understand the last prefix being desired if it was short-changed.


Quote:
Your French franc notes were all cancelled back in 2012; they no longer have any face value

Specimens have no face value & yet several collectors still seem to seek them (& I see their BV remain strong). I agree that its best to avoid obscure countries since they simply lack a decent collector base (buyer's market).
Valued Member
United Kingdom
363 Posts
 Posted 09/23/2019  08:29 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add ScotsGreyhound to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Enjoyed reading the posts & replies here and find myself agreeing with everything to be honest.
I'm not collecting to get rich, if I get lucky on a nice note going cheaply I'm happy.
I have never bought a graded banknote in a plastic holder.
I do have a couple of almost completed 'sets', although I got to thinking they are a bit of a money maker for the seller, knowing that there are avid buyers desperate to complete their set.
I buy what I like now, within my small budget, I have maybe 30-40 UK notes from 1940 onwards, all 10 shillings or 1, again what my budget dictates, some are replacements which I like & can have more value too.
I started out quite naively thinking I could collect a banknote or 2 from every country in the world, as a result I do have a lot of World banknotes, but now I have found I am interested more in UK notes, Hungary, Germany pre-WWII, Indian rupees.
I have no idea why, but that's the great thing about collecting anything, whatever makes one happy is what matters to me.
There's nothing quite like flicking through your album & seeing some currency history.
My good lady just can't understand it

Pillar of the Community
Canada
570 Posts
 Posted 09/25/2019  8:26 pm  Show Profile   Check walk2dwater's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add walk2dwater to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
but now I have found I am interested more in UK notes, Hungary, Germany pre-WWII, Indian rupees. I have no idea why, but that's the great thing about collecting anything, whatever makes one happy is what matters to me.


I can certainly relate to this sentiment and it's clear you have certain preferences. You might not have questioned why you've developed biases towards the types you've listed but the fact remains that many like-minded collectors also tend to follow similar specific paths. Most collectors develop a predilection for certain nations, types, denominations, etc.


Quote:
I have never bought a graded banknote in a plastic holder.

Why is this? Is it because you believe that TPG notes are overpriced?

Not long ago I held a very dim view of TPG. Since investing in some higher graded 1935 CDN series, I quickly realized the prices were too dear to rely 100% on the sellers' ability to accurately grade. I quickly saw the advantages of TPG notes (an essential "peace of mind" for me). that I bought a few. I quickly got hooked. TPG (or slabbed) banknotes are ideal for high-end (rarer) specimens. In.a perfect world- we would all agree what banknotes are UNC (or less) but, alas, too many people over-grade so certification has become an essential precaution. (There are also many common TPG notes out there too- but that is another topic)

I have also discovered that TPG world banknotes aren't that dear/expensive. In the past year, I have bought several for 50-75% Book Value. (If I could buy CDN TPG notes for similar prices -I'd be quite a "happy camper!") I realize that Book Values are often overly optimistic but I have never experienced "Buyer's Remorse" over my TPG acquisitions. Perhaps I'm too serious a collector, but I must state that there's nothing quite like seeing the true vivid colors, embossing and overall eye-appeal that the printers intended with their original series.
Edited by walk2dwater
09/25/2019 8:35 pm
Pillar of the Community
United Kingdom
2431 Posts
 Posted 09/26/2019  12:30 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add DavidUK to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
TPG are not popular in the UK, most avoid them for coins or notes. I would always avoid if the option is available to.
Pillar of the Community
Canada
570 Posts
 Posted 09/28/2019  2:10 pm  Show Profile   Check walk2dwater's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add walk2dwater to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
TPG are not popular in the UK, most avoid them for coins or notes.


-Most of the collectors I used to hang out with (going back 15 years ago) were NOT impressed with TPG notes (including myself). So I am very familiar with the "pro-raw banknote" camp as I used to staunchly despise the arrival of certified banknotes.

Everyone I knew thought that most US TPG certifiers were too liberal in their grading. A few years later, I met a very few elite collectors of UNC asterisk Devil's Faces; 1937 Osborne/Towers, French 35's & the like. I saw these notes in their holders and discussed with these collectors how they preferred NOT to gamble on the purchase of a high-end trophy note. It made perfect sense to me & I have since taken the same route.

Also, around the same time, BCS (Banknote Certification Services) arrived on the scene and we immediately saw a very conservative approach to their grading. I decided to get a number of my private collection graded by BCS. I'm glad I did. However, its also been a hard lesson as a few notes I bought as UNC were actually appraised as either AU or lightly pressed (not original). Now I lean towards TPG on Internet purchases (unless its a private sale and I can inspect the note in person). I still buy a few inexpensive world notes as "UNC" from a very few trusted sellers who have delivered exactly as promised.
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