Old money

I know that these 5- and 10-yen notes are old because they feel dry, crackly, and thin to the touch, like an autumn leaf or a pressed flower. I also know they are old because my half-sister’s great-grandmother, who was from Japan, gave them to me to use in a gradeschool presentation.

In fact, they are from 1930 and have a collector’s retail value of 25-40 USD, according to this numismatics catalogue. Hmm, good to know! I am still curious as to why there would be two different versions of the same bill–maybe one is counterfeit?

Anyway, you can enlarge the scans by clicking on them. The multiple layers of delicate floral and abstract patterning create a lush presentation. Makes me imagine that there must be a whole world of pecuniary artistry that I am not aware of, but would like to become aware of.

What are the most aesthetically-designed currencies you have seen?

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