Paper money from the Far East surfaces in Hong Kong

More than 400 lots of rare Asian bank​ notes are being auctioned off on April 12th by Archives International Auctions in New Jersey. The lots include everything from Imperial Chinese bank​ notes to 20th century world coins, a wide selection for the avid collector. The lots will be up for bidding at a live auction in Hong Kong as well as online at iCollector.

Imperial China
The signature piece at this auction is the Ming Dynasty circulating note (lot #1616). Lasting from 1368 to 1644, this period of Chinese history is known for being one of the most stable. During his rule, Emperor Hongwu introduced one of the first systems of paper money in the world and this auction includes one of the last remaining examples. The bank​ note is printed on gray mulberry paper and prominently features an image of 10 strings of coins in the center denoting its value. This image is surrounded by Chinese characters that proclaim the authority of Emperor Hongwu as well as the punishment for forgery. This is perhaps one of the rarest pieces of paper money available on the market.

An 1855 bank​ note from the Ch'ing Dynasty is another prime example of imperial paper money that can be found at this auction (lot #1626). The ornate engraving on the border of the piece depicts dragons in blue ink. Various red stamps can also be seen on this very high quality item in VF – Choice VF condition.

Perhaps the most visually striking piece is a bank​ note from the Hupeh Province (lot #1870). Another piece dating back to the Ch'ing Dynasty, c. 1899, this bill is beautifully adorned with two dragons each holding a silver dollar. Printed in green ink with orange underprinting, the effect is truly remarkable for its aesthetic qualities.

Banque de l'Indochine
Bank​ notes from the French-controlled region of Indochina in Southeast Asia are known for their vibrant color. Collectors will be able to acquire a 1951 uncirculated specimen issue with the serial number 0000000 denoting its status as a proof print (lot #1506). This note is printed in French and includes a pastoral scene of workers in a rice patty. The item is a relic of the French influence on the area that includes present-day Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

The lots at this auction are not limited to these two fields, but rather encompass a wide range of historical periods and geographic regions. For more information, or to browse the lots yourself, visit