Paper Money - General

The first known paper money originated in China, where it was a technological side effect of the development of block printing. Paper money was relatively unknown in the West until Sweden issued banknotes in 1661. Prior to Swiss banknotes, the only mention of paper money in Europe was a brief mention from Marco Polo several centuries earlier.

Most paper money today is fiat currency, which means it is based on a promise by the issuing government that it will always be redeemable. Before the widespread adoption of this system, paper money was backed by either a gold or silver standard. In the United States, silver certificates circulated from 1878 to1964. These certificates were and still are legal tender, but until 1968, they could also be exchanged for silver $1 coins.

An interesting trend in paper money has been the evolution of anti- counterfeiting techniques. Although paper money was originally considered very challenging to falsify, this changed as printing methods became more accessible. There is an astonishing plethora of security features present on various paper currencies worldwide. One of the latest trends is to replace the paper in the money with a plastic polymer, which lasts much longer and is much more difficult to counterfeit, although it is somewhat more expensive to produce upfront.


Quick Facts

  • In the '30s, a $100,000 gold certificate was issued to facilitate the transfer of money between American Federal Reserve banks. Adjusted for inflation, that bill would be worth just shy of $1.75 million today
  • Although Sweden is credited with formally introducing paper money to the West, they are also likely to be among the first nations to abandon it. Many of Sweden's leading banks offer limited cash transactions
  • The most expensive paper money ever sold at auction is the Grand Watermelon, a $1,000 Treasury note that sold for a record $3.29 million in 2014

Recommended Items at Auction

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2 Australian paper $5 Bank Notes, Coombs / Randall
Oct 25, 7:00 PM AEDT
2 Australian paper $5 Bank Notes, Coombs / Randall
by Bargain Hunt Auctions
Est: AUD0- AUD0
AUD903 Bids
Group of 6 Hasbro The World of Love Fashion Dolls
Oct 23, 9:00 AM CDT
Group of 6 Hasbro The World of Love Fashion Dolls
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $30- $300
$201 Bid
Lothar Fischer - Germersheim 1933–2004 Baierbrunn bei München - «Sitzende auf Bank mit schmalem Kopf» − 1987
Oct 23, 10:00 AM CEST
Lothar Fischer - Germersheim 1933–2004 Baierbrunn bei München - «Sitzende auf Bank mit schmalem Kopf» − 1987
by Galerie Gloggner
Est: CHF1,800- CHF2,500
CHF1,8000 Bids
Michael Jackson – We Are The World Framed Picture Sleeve Gold 45 Record Display
Oct 23, 10:30 PM EDT
Michael Jackson – We Are The World Framed Picture Sleeve Gold 45 Record Display
by Gold Record Outlet
Est: $0- $0
$100 Bids
WORLDS COLUMBIAN EXPOSITION FANCY SOUVENIR GLASS
Oct 30, 10:00 AM EDT
WORLDS COLUMBIAN EXPOSITION FANCY SOUVENIR GLASS
by Milestone Auctions
Est: $200- $400
$500 Bids
Group of 3 World Doll Gone with the Wind dolls
Oct 23, 9:00 AM CDT
Group of 3 World Doll Gone with the Wind dolls
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $30- $300
$200 Bids
Fun World Lets Pretend doll
Oct 23, 9:00 AM CDT
Fun World Lets Pretend doll
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $30- $300
$200 Bids
2017 Cook Islands Skyline Foil Silver Note (Tokyo)
Oct 22, 12:00 AM PDT
2017 Cook Islands Skyline Foil Silver Note (Tokyo)
by Papps Family Liquidation.com
Est: $100- $150
$300 Bids
THE WORLD BOOK ENCYCLOPEDIA SET – 47 VOLUME SET - 1958
Oct 19, 3:00 PM EDT
THE WORLD BOOK ENCYCLOPEDIA SET – 47 VOLUME SET - 1958
by The Rug Life Auctions
Est: $500- $700
$1500 Bids
§ SKELETON CARDBOARD (BRITISH) & 616 (BRITISH)
Nov 03, 2:00 PM GMT
§ SKELETON CARDBOARD (BRITISH) & 616 (BRITISH)
by Chiswick Auctions
Est: £350- £550
£300 Bids
14 FOREIGN CURRENCY NOTES:
Oct 28, 11:00 AM EDT
14 FOREIGN CURRENCY NOTES:
by Silver City Auctions
Est: $150- $200
$100 Bids
1988 Michael Jackson Bad World Tour Book
Oct 23, 10:00 AM MST
1988 Michael Jackson Bad World Tour Book
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$100 Bids
Original Vintage 1900 Paris Expo World's Fair Poster
Nov 06, 11:00 AM PDT
Original Vintage 1900 Paris Expo World's Fair Poster
by PosterConnection Inc.
Est: $600- $900
$3000 Bids
THE WORLD BOOK ENCYCLOPEDIA SET – 20 VOLUME SET - 1970
Oct 26, 3:00 PM EDT
THE WORLD BOOK ENCYCLOPEDIA SET – 20 VOLUME SET - 1970
by The Rug Life Auctions
Est: $300- $500
$1000 Bids
BRITISH No4MK2 SMLE .303 FAZAKERLY ARSENAL 1955
Nov 04, 9:00 AM PDT
BRITISH No4MK2 SMLE .303 FAZAKERLY ARSENAL 1955
by Grant Zahajko Auctions, LLC
Est: $600- $900
$4000 Bids
1954 BRITISH FAZAKERLEY No4 MK2 (F) 303 BRIT RIFLE
Nov 04, 9:00 AM PDT
1954 BRITISH FAZAKERLEY No4 MK2 (F) 303 BRIT RIFLE
by Grant Zahajko Auctions, LLC
Est: $350- $500
$2500 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Paper Money - General


Matthew Bullock Auctioneers

Matthew Bullock Auctioneers

Grant Zahajko Auctions, LLC

Grant Zahajko Auctions, LLC

The Rug Life Auctions

The Rug Life Auctions

Cheffins

Cheffins