Now accepting Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express

You can now purchase chapters or subscribe using Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express without ever leaving the secure checkout of The Banknote Book store. PayPal is still supported, but for those who prefer a streamlined checkout, the direct acceptance of these credit/debit cards should be welcome news.

Free chapter revisions for The Banknote Book for a full year

In the past, buyers of individual chapters of The Banknote Book were entitled to free downloads of any revisions published within one month of the date of purchase. I'm pleased to announce that access to revisions has been extended to a full year.

The new policy takes place immediately, and is applied retroactively to all purchases made in 2013.

I encourage everyone to take advantage of this new policy. Click the Login button below and download the very latest revision of your previously purchased individual chapter(s). Enjoy!

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Coin Week interview regarding The Banknote Book

Coin Week has posted a number of short videos taken during the Memphis International Paper Money Show during 13-16 June 2013, including the one below featuring yours truly talking about The Banknote Book.

Areas of Interest Survey

There are presently 165 chapters published in The Banknote Book and many more on the way.

Please take the time to complete this short survey to tell me what you are most interested in seeing published next.

I can't promise that I will be able to publish upcoming chapters in the order of popularity, but your input will definitely inform my decisions.

Thanks in advance for your feedback!

IBNS Banknote of 2011 voting open until 18 March 2012


Members of the International Bank Note Society (IBNS) are reminded to cast their votes for Banknote of 2011 prior to 18 March 2012.

The Nominations are:

  • Costa Rica's 1,000 Colones Note
  • South Sudan 100 Pound Note
  • Peru 200 Nuevo Soles Note
  • Kazakhstan 10,000 Tenge Note
  • Canada 100 Dollar Note
  • Bank of England 50 Pound Note
  • Denmark 500 Kroner Note
  • Sri Lanka Rupees 1000 Note
  • Brunei 10 Dollar (Ringgit) Note
  • Tunisia 20 Dollar Note
  • Cayman Islands 50 Dollar Note
  • Gibraltar's 100 Pound note

Click here to see images of the nominated notes and to cast your vote.

While everyone is welcome to view the nominees, only IBNS members may vote.

If you are not yet an IBNS member, I strongly suggest joining today. It’s a great organization and the subscription to the quarterly IBNS Journal alone is well worth the modest membership dues.

Latin American Paper Money Society auction is now online

The Latin American Paper Money Society is pleased to announce that the LANSA 2012 Auction is now online with 665 lots from which to choose. To bid, one need only become a member, and membership is free!

LANSA currently has members from 53 different countries or entities, all of whom share an interest in collecting the banknotes of Latin America, formally defined as the region of the Americas where romance languages (i.e., those derived from Latin), particularly Spanish, Portuguese and French are primarily spoken.

For more details, visit the LANSA web site, or write to LANSA’s president, Art Matz.

LANSA web site has been revamped

The Latin American Paper Money Society was established in 1973 and is popularly known as LANSA. Current president Arthur C. Matz recently sent me this announcement which I am happy to share with visitors to BanknoteNews.com:

“Since 1973, LANSA has been dedicated to the enjoyment of collecting the paper money of Latin America. Please visit our new web site at www.latinamericanpapermoneysociety.org. You will see a totally new look. Thanks to our webmaster, Garry Saint, we now have a web site that will prove enjoyable and worthwhile to visit often. Click the Login link in the upper right corner of the home page, then click the Register link to create a free account which will grant you access to the entire site and all the features offered. There are no membership dues or fees of any kind. Just log in and enjoy!”

Justine Smith uses banknotes to create art


Check out “The Money Sculptures of Justine Smith” on OddityCentral for a fascinating look at how artist Justine Smith is using real banknotes to create interesting art. Did you recognize the banknotes of Myanmar on the pistol above?

Krause publishes SCWPM: General Issues Volume II, 13th Edition


Krause Publications has released a new 13th edition of the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, General Issues, 1368-1960. I haven’t gotten a copy yet, but according to the press release, key features of the book include:

• 25,100 bank note varieties with current values in three condition grades.
• Enhanced note and color descriptions, allowing users to quickly identify varieties.
• More than 8,000 quality photographs to assist with identification.
• Historical details, grading definitions and numeral charts.

Like it or not, the SCWPM remains "the bible" for our hobby because its Pick numbers are almost universally used to identify notes. If you intend to get a copy despite its flaws, please support this site by buying the latest edition using this link.

Check out other book reviews and news on the Books page of this site.

Scan modern notes without CDS problems


Recently more and more collectors have reported problems attempting to scan modern banknotes. The problem is caused by newer hardware and software that contains built-in Counterfeit Deterrence System (CDS) technology foisted upon the public by the Central Bank Counterfeit Deterrence Group (CBCDG), a group of 31 central banks and note-printing authorities. Attempts to scan some modern notes using most newer scanners results in an error message like the one shown above.

I sympathize with the desire to reduce counterfeiting, but limiting the capabilities of new consumer devices punishes everyone while doing nothing to discourage determined counterfeiters. Anyone wishing to scan banknotes can easily do so simply by avoiding the latest generation in computer equipment. Instead of buying a cheap new scanner that performs poorly and is likely hobbled by CDS, buy an older used scanner that works on everything you throw at it. I highly recommend the Epson Perfection 2450 PHOTO which cost $400 when it was brand new, but now routinely sells for around $50 on eBay. This scanner is fast, has excellent color fidelity, and can even scan watermarks and security threads when used in film/slide mode.

If you already have a scanner that you like, but which refuses to scan some modern notes, you can likely replace the manufacturer's provided scanning software with VueScan. This third-party scanning program works with almost all scanners and doesn't prevent you from scanning troublesome notes. It costs $40, but you can try before you buy to ensure it meets your needs.