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Toman notes mark first public offering

World note collectors will be excited by the first public auction offering of a pair of rare early 20th-century Imperial Bank of Persia notes. To be sold by Stack’s Bowers Galleries as part of its Jan. 12, 2017 New York International Numismatic Convention World Paper Money auction, at the Waldorf Astoria, are an April 2, 1919 50 tomans and a June 1, 1923 100 tomans.


The first public auction offering of these two rare Imperial Bank of Persia notes is set. The 100 tomans (left) dates from 1923 and the 50 tomans from 1919.

The 50 tomans, payable at Teheran only, is in WBG “Very Fine Choice 25 Qualified. Pinholes, Probable Restoration,” and the 100 tomans features a rarer Kermanshah verprint and is graded WBG “Very Fine Choice 35 Qualified. Pinholes, Probable Restoration.” The 100 tomans is estimated at $50,000 to $75,000, while the 50 tomans is believed to be worth $40,000 to $50,000.

“These challenging notes were collected as part of Dr. Magid Al-Kimawi’s collection,” according to the auctioneer, and are the finest the firm has seen.


From Zanzibar is this attractive five rupees of 1908.

Another top auction lot is from Zanzibar. Offered is “the finest graded, uncanceled example of the 5 Rupees banknote from 1908.” It is in PCGS Very Fine-35.

“Only about 500 total pieces in any denomination were said to have survived of the first issued denominations. Nearly a century later, that number has surely dwindled significantly.”

Also included in the Stack’s Bowers catalog are two high-valued specimen albums with assortments of scarce specimens. One such lot contains a mixture of South American specimens that are individually holdered, and placed into three-prong sleeves. Another is a hardbound leather book with a range of 36 Iranian specimens that once belonged to a close advisor to the shah.


A Qatar and Dubai 25 riyals (c. 1960) note up for bid in PMG Very Fine 25.

Fully original uncirculated examples of the Rhino and Zebra notes from Burundi will cross the block. “These are the finest ever offered at public auction, and the only uncirculated examples in original paper quality that the firm has ever seen.”

Also up for bid is an issued Qatar and Dubai 25 riyals note widely considered the most difficult of the series. It is graded PMG VF-25.

For additional auction information, visit

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