I have invited Abdullah Beydoun, the founder of Banknote World, to share some of his thoughts on collecting and identifying bank notes. Beydoun has developed a website, https://www.banknoteworld.com/ that includes an educational component.
Q: What inspired you to become a bank note enthusiast?
A: I have always been inspired by the culture and history that bank notes represent. Bank notes are more than paper money; they are memoirs of the past and can help educate people about the history of the countries they belong to.
Q: Do you collect bank notes? If so, what do you have a personal interest
A: I do have a collection; I love bank notes that have interesting images on them and intriguing stories. Bank notes with Queen Elizabeth II on them, Polymer bank notes, bank notes with animals on them and so much more. I’m always inspired when traveling the world and seeing the bank notes used in the countries I visit.
Q: What is the most interesting bank note you have encountered?
A: The 2008 Zimbabwe 100 trillion by far. I lived through the hyperinflation, so to see this bank note has always been interesting. Also, it has the highest denomination in the world and the fact that it is in English is interesting.
Q: Why did you decide to start Banknote World?
A: I wanted to enter the market as the company that connects Central Banks to collectors. I wanted to provide a way consumers could be confident that they were getting authentic bank notes with no hassle.
Q: What are the most popular types of bank notes buyers seek at Banknote World?
A: A lot of people want bank notes with higher denominations, depending on the country which has been the most popular. People love aesthetically pleasing bank notes such as Polymer, colorful bank notes or even bank notes with awesome images on them.
Q: What steps does your company take to document and authenticate items for sale?
A: Whenever possible, we source the bank notes directly from the Central Banks themselves, which is rare. Secondly, we examine the bank notes for security features and quality before listing them on our site. We developed the TAP (Trust, Authenticate and Protect) authentication process last year to standardize and guarantee bank note authenticity. Bank notes that go through the TAP procedure are protected in a tamper-resistant sleeve and each product will include authenticity information, a unique authentication number, and QR code.
Q: You have an educational component offered on your website, banknoteworld.org. What inspired you to offer that feature to your site users?
A: Part of the reason I began Banknote World was because, as a collector myself, I was fascinated with the history of bank notes. The educational site was started before the Shop website. I wanted to extend the passion I have for bank notes to veteran and new collectors alike. I thought the best way to do this is to bring together all collector’s bank notes into one location so that everyone can see and enjoy them. The educational website also offers a collaborative way for customers to contribute their own bank notes and create their own “collectors’ album.”
Q: What do you most want people to understand and appreciate about bank notes?
A: That bank notes are more than just currency; they are a piece of history and a window into cultures from around the world.
Q: How important is building a community to the hobby?
A: Extremely important. Not every collector has access to the rarest bank notes, but by creating a bank note collector community such as our educational site, we can let collectors view and find out about the rarest notes. We have also been focusing on a bigger presence in social media so that collectors can have more access to questions, answers, and bank note facts.
Q: What are the differences in building collections of circulated and uncirculated notes?
A: People are always going to want to start with the highest-graded bank notes. Uncirculated bank notes are always going to be first choice. If they can’t get their hands on that, then collectors will look for circulated bank notes to at least have them.
Q: What improvements have you seen in the ability of note owners to protect the condition of their bank notes?
A: Personally, for Banknote World, we sell bank note albums, binders and even dust resistant plastic sheets. We also have TAP where bank notes will come in a plastic sleeve to uphold their condition. We provide tips and bring awareness on how to handle bank notes as well.
Q: What should new collectors consider when starting a collection?
A: Buying the best grades possible. They should invest in the proper plastic to hold the bank notes’ condition and quality.