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What is Pick Number?
Refers to Albert Pick, author of the "Standard Catalog of World Paper Money" published by Krause Publications on general issues. Nearly everyone who deals in world paper uses this system for identifying notes. Every note within a country has a number associated with it, often shown in the form "P-34" for general issues and "PS-34" for specialized issues (volume 1). PFX stands for foreign exchange; PCS stands for collector series, usually specimen or non legal tender; PR stands for regional issues. Some notes have signature varieties or serial number varieties, each variety is number P123a, P123b, P123c and so on. P123s would be a specimen of P123, and P123x would be an error note of P123. Since every country has the same numbers, a note is identified by country and Pick number. For example, USA P-504 is your garden variety series 1999 1 dollar bill.

Why do I not use the Pick number for the first series of RMB?
In Pick numbering scheme, the first series RMB banknotes are sorted by date, then by denomination. However, the editors failed to recognize the issuance dates of this series. All banknotes issued in 1949 are treated as if they are issued on the same date, which is far from true. In addition, all Chinese catalogs use a unified scheme, which sorts by denomination first, then by date. That is the numbering I use.

RMB1- Pick denom obverse
1 800 1 Labour and farmer
2 812 1 Factory
3 801 5 Chinese junks
4 802 5 Pastured sheeps
5 814 5 Bull
6 813 5 Weaving
7 803 10 Farmers, coal mine
8 815 10 Worker sawing lumber, farmer plowing
9 817 10 Railway station
10 816 10 Labour and farmer
11 804 20 Donkey, trains
12 824 20 Man pushing ore car
13 820 20 Longevity Hill (blue)
14 819 20 Longevity Hill (brown)
15 821 20 Grade separation bridge
16 822 20 Chinese junks, trains
17 823 20 Agricultural occupations
18 805 50 Donkey, coal mine car
19 827 50 Trains, bridge (red)
20 826 50 Trains, bridge (blue)
21 829 50 Railroad
22 830 50 Labour and farmer
23 828 50 Steam roller
24 808 100 Farmer plowing, factory
25 807 100 Factory, railway station
26 806 100 Longevity Hill
27 834 100 Factory
28 832 100 Beihai Bridge (blue underprint)
29 833 100 Beihai Bridge (yellow underprint)
30 831 100 Steamboat
31 836 100 Transportation
32 835 100 Chinese junks
33 841 200 Summer Palace
34 837 200 Palace of Parting Clouds
35 838 200 The Great Wall
36 840 200 Steel plant
37 839 200 Harvesting
38 842 500 Farmer, bridge
39 844 500 Zhengyangmen
40 843 500 Steam Shovel
41 846 500 Tractor
42 845 500 Farmer plowing
43 857 500 Zhande City
44 810 1000 Farmer plowing
45 849 1000 Harvesting
46 848 1000 Three tractor
47 850 1000 Man pushing ore car, farmer plowing
48 847 1000 Qiantang River Bridge
49 857A 1000 Pastured horses
50 851 5000 Tractor
51 852 5000 Factory
52 857B 5000 Camel
53 857C 5000 Pastured sheeps
54 859 5000 Wei River Bridge
55 854 10000 Steamboat
56 853 10000 Farmer plowing with two horses
57 858A 10000 Pastured horses
58 858 10000 Camel
59 856 50000 Xinhuamen (New China Gate)
60 855 50000 Tractor
RMB1- Pick denom obverse

What is the grading scheme on banknotes?
From the best to the worse, UNC (uncirculated), AU (about uncirculated), EF (Extremely Fine), VF (very fine), F (fine), VG (very good), G (good), Fair, Poor. Click here for detail explanation for those notations. Asian collectors may use another grading scheme. A numeric score from 0 to 100 is given according to its newness, 100 is equivalent to UNC.

What is my file naming convention?
Country(region)Pnumber-denomination-print year(issue year)
If the issue year is the same as the print year, the "(issue year)" is neglected
"_a" is appended for obverse side; "_b" is appended for reverse side

What is my banknote image source?
They are scanned by Epson Expression 836XL directly, or from colour catelogs, if I don't have them. The resolution is 150 dpi on regular scans, 300 dpi on post-1999 notes, and 800 dpi on details such as microtext.

What are curvy 3 and flat 3?
Curvy 3 and flat 3 refer to the font variation on some of the earlier notes (both RMB and TWD). is an example of curvy 3, and is an example of flat 3 (look at the top portion of the 3s). Notes with such variety are priced differently with curvy 3, flat 3, or w/o 3. I have never seen an English website/book that distinguishes the difference, I guess I am the first. The Following notes have curvy 3 / flat 3 variation.


What are curvy water and straight water?
If you speak Chinese, it will be a lot easier to explain this. Curvy water and straight water refer to the seal variation on some Taiwanese notes. There is two seals below which both read "General Manager of Bank of Taiwan". The second word on the seal is "wan" as in Taiwan. The left part of wan is a radical which means water. Flat 3 notes are usually curvy water; and curvy 3 notes are usually straight water.

The following notes have such variation

Why is a 5 dollar worth more than a 10 dollar in the same period sometimes?
This is true for other Asian countries, where banknote denominations are 1, 5, 10, 50, 100... i.e. no banknote bears a denomination that starts with 2 or 25 (Netherlands has 25 Guilder notes, and the US has 20 Dollar notes). If you do the statistic, you will find out that the number of prefix-5 notes is 4 times less then the prefix-1 notes.

Expected number of prefix-1 notes = 0.2*0 + 0.2*1 + 0.2*2 + 0.2*3 + 0.2*4 = 2
Expected number of prefix-5 notes = 0.5*0 + 0.5*1 = 0.5
(Assumption: each cash transaction amount is equally likely to be any number)

Why is revision so frequent?
Sometimes for more sophisticated security features. In some other cases, it is because they ran out of serial numbers. For example TaiwanP1979a-10Yuan-1969(1970) and TaiwanP1979b-10Yuan-1969(1970)

What does RMB stand for?
Renminbi, or people's currency. RMB is used in mainland China

Was there any monetary reform on RMB or TWD?
Yes, in 1949, 40,000 old Taiwan Dollars = 1 new Taiwan Dollar; in 1955, 10,000 old RMB = 1 new RMB

What if the proportion of banknote issuance of the three banks in Hong Kong and the two banks in Macau?
Hong Kong Dollar
HSBC 64.4%
BOC 22.5%
SCB 13.1%

Macau Pataca
BNU 50%
BOC 50%

What is "hell banknote"?
Chinses people burns these notes at ceremonies so that their ancestors can have some income in the afterlife. Chinese people also burn paper cars, paper house, or paper version of some other goods. Although some westerner collect them, most Chinese collector don't because they are intended for dead people. They probably have less value than monopoly money.

Do I sell my collection?
As of now, I do not wish to sell any part of my collection. I'm a collector, not a vendor.


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