Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Imperial Germany 5 Mark 1917

Hello again everyone, today we will be profiling the Imperial German 5 mark note of 1917.  What makes this note particularly interesting is that there are two versions of it, one with a "long" serial number and one with a "short" one.  The short serial note contains seven digits, while the long version contains eight.  Of the two, the short serial is slightly more valuable but still affordable even in uncirculated condition.  The front of the note is shown below and depicts a young woman on the right side and the imperial eagle on the left.  The coloring of the note is largely purple with blue and black accents. 

The back of the note is shown below and is largely green with black lettering.  This particular example is of the long serial type and is in about uncirculated condition. 

Thanks again for reading and as always please feel free to share any questions or comments!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

1905 3 Ruble Imperial Russia

 Hi all, Jay here with a new note from the Russian Empire:

The 1905 three ruble issue is another inexpensive and attractive note from the late imperial period and was first issued in a very significant year in Russian history. 1905 marked Russia's defeat in the Russo-Japanese War and the occurrence of the  Russian Revolution of 1905.  Combined, these events marked the beginning of the end for the Czarist government.  Although it took the strain of World War I to finally topple the Czar, the 1905 revolution and ignominy associated with the wartime defeat, the first of a European 'Great Power' by an Asian nation,  created tensions in Russian society that proved overwhelming. 

The front of this note is shown below and depicts the imperial coat of arms.  The coloring is mostly green with underlying pink and red accents.  A series of repeating watermarks of the number '3' cover much of the note and can be seen most distinctly near the borders below.  Also on this image, note the Shipov signature on the left.  This note comes in three signature varieties: Timashev, Konshin, and Shipov.


The back of the note, shown below, also depicts the Imperial coat of arms along with two large numeral threes.  The elegant border designs around the main features of the note, both on the front and back, were designed to be both pleasing to the eye as well as a deterrent to counterfeiters.

This note measures 98 by 152 mm and is a relatively common specimen even in higher grades.  As always, feel free to post any questions or comments!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Banknote Links

Hi all, just posting again to give you a few details regarding the banknote links along the right-hand side of the blog.  These sites are ones that I have examined and found useful to the banknote collector and researcher.  While these sites do not have the exact same focus as this one, all deal with world banknotes.  I suggest you visit them as well, and who knows, maybe you will discover your next collecting interest!

If you would like your site included on the list, please send me an email at and I will review your site/blog for inclusion.  Also, if you would like to add a link to 'Imperial Banknotes' to your site please do not hesitate to ask.  The world banknote community is small and specialized enough that we could all stand to benefit from the increased availability of hobby resources. 

As a disclaimer, I have not been paid to include any links on the blog nor have I purchased products from any of these sites.  As such, I can only vouch for the quality of the information provided on the sites. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Back in Business

Hi all, I've been busy with other things and have been away for awhile but plan to be updating more frequently in the future.  Please leave comments with requests for post topics or any interesting notes that you have come across. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Imperial Germany 50 Marks 1918 Part 1

This entry is the beginning of a two-part series on the 50 mark issues of 1918, of which there are two major varieties.  Both of these notes have been given nicknames over the years, and today I will focus on the so called "Mourning Note".  The name is likely in reference to Germany's 1918 defeat in the first world war.  Overall, this note seems to have a relatively basic design and reminds me personally of the notes from the Weimar Republic of the 1920s more so than it does of the issues of Imperial Germany.

In any case, this note comes in three varieties, which are differentiated by the watermark.  Variety one has a watermark 'J', variety two has a watermark 'A', and variety 3 has a watermark 'B'.  All three of these varieties command substantially higher prices than the notes I have previously discussed, with the first variety having an approximate retail price of $100 in 'very good', $200 in 'very fine', and $350 in 'uncirculated'.  The second and third varieties should be available at about the same price as one another: $80 in 'very good', $150 in 'very fine', and $300 in 'uncirculated.

 I need barely say that the price of these notes means that only the collector knowledgeable in grading should consider purchasing; there are plenty of other, cheaper, notes for inexperienced collectors to hone their grading skills on. 

As always, here are the pictures:

Obverse (front):

Reverse (back):