One of the oldest hobbies which is widely considered as a form of antique is banknote collection. Known also as currency collection, it also goes with the name Numismatics which essentially is the study or the collection of currency from around the world. This involves all types of currencies and denominations like coins and banknotes as well as any other form of money which have been used throughout history.
Traditionally, numismatics involved only the collection and study of coins but has since been expanded to include other forms and types of payments which are used for trade and the exchange of goods and services.
This hobby involves a variety of activities and such where it began as early as the barter trade years where today it is where collectors keep countless types of banknotes from different countries around the world. The unique element about collecting banknotes is that there are many versions and denominations and is very dependent on which country it originates from.
Essentially, as with any antique, the older the banknote, the more valuable they are considered to be. This is because unlike stamps, banknotes do actually have a value that it can be traded for. In Malaysia, the old RM1 and RM100 banknotes are still tradable in some situations although they are no longer in use.
However, if you keep thousands of the ‘Wang Pisang’, they are considered to be worthless as they naturally were even during the time when these notes were in use during the Japanese occupation. Today, many people are known to have still kept thousands of this currency but they are one of the least desired banknotes.
In most cases, the old banknotes would be more valuable in that you will have to pay more than the actual value of the currency. This means that if you have a RM0.50 sen coin which dates back to the 1950s, then it would cost slightly more than RM0.50 sen. In fact, if its kept in mint condition and is still kept in its actually commemorative casing, it could fetch up to hundreds or even thousands of ringgit depending on the demand and the buyer.
Most numismatists would keep a collection of their currency in a special place while some are known to keep them as precious items like diamonds and gold and would keep them in safe deposit boxes.
While most collectors would keep their currency collection for years knowing that it would be worth more in the future, there are certain elements that will make the currency more valuable. This includes the edition that it was produced.
There are commemorative editions like the coins that were launched during the officiating of the First, Second or Third Malaysian Plans which came with their own respective boxes and casings. Apart from that, certain banknotes that come with unique serial numbers too are known to be very desirable. This could involve the first numbers like 0000001 or those that have a unique string of numbers like 8888888 or 9999999 all of which are one-of-its-kind and truly very rare.