Sunday, August 29, 2010

(Malaya) New $1notes - minus the Queen's head

Can you imagine this was the headlines published on the front page of the local newspaper, The Straits Times , dated Tuesday May 26, 1959.

How crude!...................appropriately should have been 'minus the Queen's portrait'. Probably still suffering from the effects of the resentment of British rule and post-independence euphoria......

          Happy Independence Day to my fellow Malaysian Collectors and Friends!

Although the note is dated 1st March 1959, it was released to the Malayan public only in June of the same year.This note is one of the first series printed by Waterlow & Sons.

This is the reverse side of the same note.

 Termite eaten note with unique serial numbers.

                          My last A prefix piece of the Waterlow & Sons series.

In the same year, a similar design banknote was printed by another engraver Thomas de la Rue and subsequently issued to the Malayan public.

This pair of the later series MBB notes by Thomas de la Rue has a stuck digit error.

                            B prefixes of the Thomas de la Rue notes

According to a certain Malaysian publisher the prefixes of the Thomas de la Rue notes also starts with prefix A.
Can anyone confirm that this is correct?

About six months after the initial issue, The Straits Times dated December 27, 1959 published this report:

               Subsequently, more forgeries were discovered and reported in the press.

The following are some of the notes:

A modern day reproduction issued by Moneyworld during one of it's exhibitions. As good as the real thing, can you spot the difference?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Two of Malaya's Fractional Banknotes

These fractional banknotes were originally approved by the Board of Comissioners of Currency, printed in 1941 with further printings in 1943/44, held by the War Office and subsequently issued at the time of re-occupation.

                                                  Common Variety

Scarce Variety

They were also very unpopular with the Malayan people and prompted statement from the CCO, and a publication of this article from The Straits Times dated 3rd December 1949:                                

The 1 cent note was not the only unpopular one, the other low fractional was also the 10 cents note.
After reading this Straits Times article dated 10th December 1947, I wonder whether some of people still practise the water treament process? I shiver at such a thought that we as collectors sometimes smell old banknote. (Shiok lah! Wangi betul lah!)

                                                      Common Variety

                                   Common Variety but with rich inking of the central ornamental.

                             Common Variety but with light inking of the central ornamental.

                                                  Scarce Variety type II

Scarce Variety type III

By the way, only the Malayan low fractional banknotes 1cent, 5 cents & 10 cents are UNIFACE.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Malaya Saga continues with Five Cents........................

You sometimes hear people say " my five cents worth........." ( inflation! gone up from two cents)
Well, here are my Five cents "worth"..............

The King George VI series has 2 distinct Jawi script variation under the King's portrait vignette. 
Could our Jawi learned collectors care to explain the meanings of the Jawi variations?

                               Type I                                          Type II

The Type I Jawi variety:

As of date there has been no reported design varieties for Type I.

The Type II Jawi variety :

The common variety,

The rare variety,

                                                       The scarce variety.

This is a minor error note which I bought from an American dealer way back in the early 1980s.The error is in the lack of printing for the Jawi scripts and was only discovered many years later.

Close-up of the error:
                                 (ERROR)              (STANDARD)

All the notes are signed H. Weisberg - the signature of Hyman Weisberg, B.A., Financial Secretary of the Straits Settlements and Chairman of the Commissioners of currency, Malaya.
(excerpts from Coins and Coinages, F.Pridmore)

The following five cents notes are forgeries and I have seen some of them being passed off as the real thing and also on eBay.

As for most forgeries the printing are blurry and design patterns are not sharp.
Please examine them carefully before buying, be more careful if the seller does not allow you to remove the note from the plastic holder.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The saga of the Malaya 50cent Banknote................

 These notes were printed in England between 1941 and 1944, handed to the War Office to be held for readiness for issue upon re-occupation of Malaya.They were then subsequently released into circulation in September 1945.

However, the following article appeared in The Straits Times on 20 March 1949, three and half years later! Why?

Did you know that amongst all banknotes issued during the Straits Settlements and British Malaya era, the fractional King George VI series of 1st July 1941 has the most number of design varieties. To collect all varieties in UNC condition is a challenge!

The following are the 50 cents varieties:

This 50 cents note is termed as an error note because  it is missing the colour purple in the large central ornamental panel.

Fractional currency ceases after this series, as they being of low value, they seldom reach the banks after issue and hence cannot be withdrawn and replaced. Moreover, the notes were very widely  and heavily used and became filthy in a short time, making the mintage of coins more economical and practical.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Emergency 10-Cent Note 1940

Shortly after the outbreak of the Second World War there was a currency shortage created by the hoarding of silver coins because the value of silver was higher than the face value of the coins.Legislative action was taken to prohibit such practices, but although this had some slight effect, the shortage still persisted.
The Currency Commissioners then decided to print a new issue of 10-cent notes to defeat the hoarders and intending profiteers, while retaining in circulation a medium of exchange.
In view of the delay which would have ensued if the notes were produced in England, these were then printed locally at the Survey Department Office, Kuala Lumpur.An order was placed for 2,000,000 pieces on 17th July 1940.The 10-cent notes were printed and delivered to the Commissioners by 20th August 1940.The work has been executed in a remarkably short space of time through the services of some 20 European women who were engaged to examine the notes while still in sheet form, for the detection of printing errors and flaws.
(certain excerpt from Coins and Coinages, F. Pridmore)

Have you come across any errors and flaws? Share with us if you do.

The 10-cent notes were then released to the public in September of the same year. (My sincere apologies as I had previously mentioned it was issued 5 years later, this error was spotted by Owen Linzmayer, my thanks to him)

                                       (extracted from The Straits Times 6th September 1940)

According to a Malaysian cataloger, the prefix letters range from A to M.
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