Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Taxi passenger suffers heart attack after being given ‘hell bank note’ in change

A woman in northeastern China suffered a heart attack after a taxi driver slipped a worthless “ghost bank note” in her change, mainland media reports.

The woman, surnamed Sun, from Harbin, capital of Heilongjiang province, told local newspaper Life News that she paid the driver a 100-yuan bill (HK$126) late at night earlier this month. The driver, whom she described as “at about 30, with cropped hair, very thin face and weak voice”, gave her 85 yuan in change, including a 50-yuan bill.

It was dark and freezing so Sun quickly put the money in her purse. Later at home, she discovered the 50-yuan bill, which was green like the real things, was ghost money used as offerings to the dead.

Made of low-quality paper, ghost bills sometimes resemble Renminbi.

Sun, upset about by the deception, suffered a heart attack later that night and was admitted to hospital.

Heilongjiang TV reported two similar cases in the city.

Article courtesy Laura Zhou, South China Morning Post, Monday, 26 January, 2015

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Titanic Dollar Bill with Survivor Inscription Sold for $39,402 at RR Auction

The 1899 $1 Silver Certificate a survivor of the S.S. Titanic had in his pocket a century ago when he was rescued from the Atlantic Ocean, and then was later inscribed by him, has been certified by PCGS Currency.

“Given all of the anticipation of the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic and with news coverage of it nearly everywhere, it would be an understatement to describe our anticipation of seeing this note as tremendous,” said Laura A. Kessler, Vice President of PCGS Currency.

The dollar bill was carried by 50-year old August (Augustus) H. Weikman of Palmyra, New Jersey, a barber on the ship, who was helping crew members launch lifeboats from an upper deck when one of the ship’s boilers exploded and he was blown into the water.

But Weikman survived and later wrote on the back the dollar bill: “This note was in my pocket when picked up out of the sea by ‘S.S. Carpathia’ from the wreck of ‘S.S. Titanic’ April 15th 1912/A.H. Weikman/Palmyra, N.J.”

“The note is circulated as expected, but its historical significance far outweighs its grade,” Kessler explained. “This is the first time any Titanic-related paper money has been independently certified by one of the third-party currency authentication services.”

It was submitted to PCGS Currency by RR Auction company of Amherst, New Hampshire ( which is offering it in a public auction of Titanic items that closes on April 26, 2012.

“Just being able to handle this note that was carried by a survivor of this disaster through what must have been terrifying circumstances was as exciting as any moment in our company’s history. Examining the note brought to mind how much significance was involved in its survival. It was literally ‘history in our hands,’” Kessler stated.

Contemporary newspaper accounts captured the horror and drama of what happened when the Titanic struck an iceberg late on the night of April 14, 1912 and sank a few hours later in the dark on April 15. Weikman was quoted in some of those stories, and told how he survived.

The Camden (New Jersey) Daily Courier newspaper reported on April 20, 1912: “The barber stood with the rest of the brave men on the ship and expected to go down with the rest of them, when the explosion threw him into the sea with scores of other men.”

A story in the April 19, 2012 edition of the Camden Post-Telegram quoted Weikman on how he survived: “A bundle of deck chairs, roped together, was blown off the deck with me, and struck my back, injuring my spine, but it served as a temporary raft.”

“The water was too cold for me to swim and I was hardly more than 100 feet away when the ship went down. The suction was not what one would expect and only rocked the water around me.”

The newspaper also reported that Weikman “…was one of those who heard the ship’s string band playing ‘Nearer, My God, to Thee’ a few moments before she went down.”

He was on the make-shift raft for two hours until he was rescued by the crew of the Carpathia. He told a U.S. Senate committee on April 24, 1912, “While on the chairs I heard terrible groans and cries coming from people in the water.”

Weikman died in November 1924. The note he carried and later inscribed was sold at a 1999 auction conducted by Butterfield and Butterfield.

The PCGS Currency holder reads: Fr. 230 1899 $1 Silver Certificate, Contemporary Inscription from S.S. Titanic Survivor, August H. Weikman, 4/15/12, Serial #Z35824530, Plate #B7333/3382.

“PCGS Currency is honored to authenticate and grade this piece of history, but even more important we are delighted to be able to protect and preserve this note for future generations by sealing it in our fully inert and archivally safe holder. Whether it’s a note from the Titanic, a Disney Dollar, or a ‘Grand Watermelon’ worth millions of dollars, There is no safer way to store any collectible note than in a PCGS Currency holder,” said PCGS President Jason W. Bradford.

Article courtesy PCGS on April 25, 2012

P. S. The note was later sold by RR Auction for $39,402.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

New High-Denomination Banknotes to Circulate in Cuba

The Central Bank of Cuba (CBC) will put into circulation high-denomination banknotes from next February 1st with a value of 200, 500 and 1000 Cuban pesos (CUP).

All notes are 150 x 70 mm and dated 2010.

The front of the 200 Peso note features a portrait of Frank País (1934-1957), Cuban revolutionary who campaigned for the overthrow of General Fulgencio Batista's government in Cuba. The back shows City School 26 July.

The front of the 500-peso note features a portrait of Ignacio Agramonte (1842-1873), Cuban revolutionary, who played an important part in the Ten Years' War. The back shows an image of the Constituent Assembly Guáimaro.

The front of the 1,000-peso note features a portrait of Julio Antonio Mella (1903-1929), founder of the "internationalized" Cuban Communist Party. The back shows a view of the University of Havana.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Is this the world's worst fake banknote?

Police officers express incredulity that shopkeeper accepted forged £20 note featuring two colour photocopies stapled together.

Police have issued a photograph of what could be the worst ever counterfeit banknote.

Officers could hardly believe their eyes when a shopkeeper handed over a fake £20 note comprised of two colour photocopies, loosely attached with staples at the four corners.

The fake note is understood to have been copied on normal printer paper and then cut to size.

As a further clue to its dodgy provenance, the obverse face of the £20 features a distinctive pattern of white lines in a grid formation.

Police officers in Manchester said it was "hard to believe" that anyone would have accepted the forgery.

They declined to name the retailer "to avoid embarassment", but it is believed the note was accepted and the forgers used it to buy undisclosed goods.

Greater Manchester Police said in an official Twitter feed: "Hard to believe that this was accepted as legal currency. Won't name and shame establishment to avoid embarrassment."

It later added: "Not naming premises! It's a reminder for vigilance for all."

A Bank of England spokeswoman said: “Whilst this is a notable exception of a poor quality counterfeit many are more sophisticated, so always check your banknotes.”

Article courtesy David Barrett, The Telegraph, 07 Jan 2015

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Japan-funded bridges appear on new Cambodian money



The National bank of Cambodia issued new 100 and 500 Riels banknotes on January 14, 2015.

The front of the 100 Riels note features portrait of former King Norodom Sihanouk. The back shows image of Preah Tineang, the Royal Palace Throne Room.

The front of the 500 Riels note bears portrait of Cambodia’s King Norodom Sihamoni. The other side has images of two Japan-funded bridges, named Tsubasa and Kizuna.

Cambodia named the new bridge Tsubasa, which means a bird’s wings in Japanese, at the suggestion of the Japanese Government.

Construction on the Tsubasa began in February 2011, with Japan’s grant assistance amounting to $127 million, and it is set for official inauguration and use before the Cambodian New Year in April, 2015.

Once completed, the 2.2-kilometer-long Tsubasa will be the first suspension and the longest bridge across the Mekong River in Cambodia. The bridge is located at the Neak Loeung Ferry crossing point, which is about 60 kilometers southeast of Phnom Penh.

Tsubasa is the third large-scale bridge donated so far by Japan after the Cambodia-Japan Friendship Bridge built across the Tonle Sap River in Phnom Penh and the Kizuna bridge across Mekong River in Cambodia’s eastern province of Kompong Cham.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Products shaped like goats sell well for Lunar New Year

Many collection shops in Hanoi have begun taking orders for $US2 bank notes with the image of a goat issued by the US Treasury. On eBay and Amazon, the special version of the US $2 banknote is offered at $13-15, or VND300,000-350,000, which does not include the shipping fee.

In Vietnam, one banknote is sold for VND400,000-500,000. Nguyen Van Linh, the owner of, said he has taken orders from 300 customers and the first banknotes will be available on January 15.

Linh explained that the banknotes will be brought to Vietnam by the shop’s staff. However, as every traveler can bring only 100 such banknotes, the number will be limited.

“In general, customers have to wait two to three weeks to get deliveries,” he said. “I think I will sell 3,000 banknotes from now to Tet.”

The 2-dollar banknotes with the US President image have also been in high demand, offered at VND350,000. Meanwhile, a 2-dollar plastic gold-plated banknote is cheaper, at VND25,000. Nepali Ruppee with the images of goat and Mount Everest is sold at VND100,000, while one Australian dollar is VND250,000.

Hoang Lan, a currency collector, said she is thinking of buying an Indian gold-plated coin at VND1.2 million after seeing the coin on the internet.

“Currency collectors have many choices this year,” she said. “I have 15 banknotes of different countries with a goat image.”

The souvenirs, pictures and statues with a goat shape have also been selling like hotcakes. Vietnamese especially like displaying stone goat-shaped statues in their homes, because the goat symbolizes good fortune and luck.

At a feng shui gemstone product shop in Binh Thanh district in HCM City, a small product no larger than a hand sold for VND1.8 million.

However, the saleswoman there said the products priced at VND1-3 million have been selling very well, because they have reasonable sizes. Paperweights and small decorative items are also available for VND40,000 to VND200,000.

Meanwhile, painters owning galleries on Tran Phu Street in district 5 are very busy with goat pictures, fulfilling a large numbers of orders. A two sq-meter lacquer is being sold for VND4 million. A gold inlaid picture there was selling for VND22 million.

Article courtesy Chi Mai, vietnamnet