Most of Anything For Banknotes

Paper Money Trivia

Highest Denomination

Hungary 100 Million B-Pengo 1946

The world’s highest denomination note is Hungary 100 Million B-Pengo*, issued in 1946. That’s 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 Pengo. It was worth about U.S. $0.20 in 1946.


hungary 1 Milliard B-Pengo 1946

Hungary also printed a 1 Milliard B-Pengo* (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Pengo) note in 1946. Overtaken by inflation, it was never issued.


* The European number system differs from the American system for denominations above one million:
European 1 milliard = American 1 billion (1,000,000,000), and
European 1 billion = American 1 trillion (1,000,000,000,000).
Thus a B-Pengo or 1 Billion Pengo is really American 1 Trillion Pengo.


Highest Denomination Polymer Banknote

Romania 1,000,000 Lei 2003

Romania 1,000,000 Lei, issued in 2003, is the world’s highest denomination polymer plastic banknote. It’s no longer legal tender. Four zeros were dropped in the 2005 currency reform.


Lowest Denomination

Fiji 1 penny 1942

The lowest fractional note is Fiji 1 penny, issued in 1942. The old penny, being 1/240 of a pound, is a lower denomination than other fractional notes based on 1/100th of a basic monetary unit.


No Denomination

Tatarstan 1000 Rubles 1995

The notes with no denomination – Tatarstan issued a series of currency checks without any denomination printed.



China 30 Kuan 860 AD-834 AD

China was the first country to use paper money. Ancient paper money can be traced back to the Pai-Lu P’i-pi (white deer-skin money) of Han Dynasty (140 BC) and the Fei-Chien (flying money) of Tang Dynasty.
Shown here is the oldest surviving Tang Dynasty 30 Kuan, 860-874.


Largest Size

To commemorate the Centennial of Independence from more than 300 years of Spanish colonial rule in 1998, the government of the Philippines wanted to do something very special. It issued the world’s largest banknote, beating the previous record: China Ming Dynasty 1 Kuan.

Philippines 100,000 Piso 1998

The 100,000 Piso note, measuring 355.6mm x 215.9mm (about the size of a legal paper), is accredited by the Guinness World Records as the world’s largest legal tender note in terms of size. The front depicts the “Cry of Pugadlawin”, when about 1,000 Filipino patriots led by Andres Bonifacio gathered in Pugadlawin, on August 23, 1896. They tore up their Spanish-issued residence certificates and yelled “Long live the Philippines”, signalling the start of a revolt against Spain. The back features General Emilio Aguinaldo displaying the Philippine flag to the crowd below and proclaiming independence from Spain from the balcony of his house in Kawit, Cavite on June 12, 1898.

Only 1,000 of these notes were issued. It has a catalog value of $3500.


Smallest Size

Morocco 50 Centimes 1944

In times of war, coins are often in short supply. Gold and silver coins are hoarded for their intrinsic values. Other metals are appropriated for war efforts. Many governments resort to printing small denomination banknotes as temporary substitutes. In 1944, Morocco released into circulation a 50 Centimes emergency issue. Measuring only 41mm x 32mm, it’s the world’s smallest banknote.


Most Zeros

Zimbabwe 100 trillion dollars

The note with the most zeros is Zimbabwe 100 trillion (100,000,000,000,000) dollars 2009. The note has 14 zeros printed on both the front and the back.



Perfect Forgery

Bank of England Operation Bernhard 5 pounds 1935

The perfect forgeries, code named Operation Bernhard – Bank of England Pound notes produced by prisoners of war in a German Concentration camp. Circulated along with genuine notes.



Queen Elizabeth II

Great Britain 10 Pounds 2000

Queen Elizabeth II is the second longest reigning head of state after King Rama IX of Thailand. She has been Queen since 1952. Her pictures appear on banknotes of 34 countries. See Queen Elizabeth II Banknote Collection


Japanese Invasion Money

Burma 10 Rupees 1944

The Japanese Government issued bank notes, known as Japanese Invasion Money (JIM), during WWII in the following five occupied territories: Burma, Malaya, Netherlands Indies, Oceania and Philippines.


First “United States” Banknotes

The Bank of the United States $50 1801

The United States government did not print banknotes until 1861. However, almost immediately after adoption of the Constitution in 1789, Congress chartered the first Bank of the United States and authorized it to issue paper bank notes to eliminate confusion and simplify trade. The bank thus served as the quasi central bank of the United States.
This $50 note was issued in 1801, exactly midway in the bank’s twenty-year charter.


U. S. Highest Denomination

U. S. $10,000 1928

The highest denomination issued by the United States for public circulation is $10,000. The highest denomination currently in circulation is $100.


U. S. $100,000 1934

The highest denomination ever printed by the United States is the $100,000 Gold Certificate. They were restricted only for transactions between the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department.


U. S. Lowest Denomination

U. S. 3 Cents 1863

The lowest denomination ever issued by the United States is the 3 Cents Treasury Note. Known as the Fractional Currency, they were used during the Civil War when coins were in short supply.


Highest Price Paid

U. S. $1,000 1890

A world record of $2,255,000 was paid in a private transaction for a $1,000 1890 “Grand Watermelon” note in December 2006. It’s the world’s most expensive banknote.



U. S. $1 1957

The motto IN GOD WE TRUST was declared the national motto of the United States by the 84th U. S. Congress and was first used on paper money in 1957, when it appeared on the One Dollar Silver Certificates.


A Buck

animated deer

How “buck” became slang for U. S. dollar? The term originated from the Old West when buckskin was a common medium of exchange with Indians. Later as currency replaced the barter system, people still refer to a dollar as a buck (short for buckskin).


Monetary Unions

The five current monetary authorities which issue common notes for member countries are:

starCentral African States – Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
starEast Caribbean States – Antigua, Anguilla, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts, St. Lucia and St. Vincent.
starFrench Pacific Territories – French Polynesia, New Caledonia, and Wallis & Futuna Islands.
starWest African States – Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo.
starEuropean Monetary Union – Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.
Many other countries also use Euro or pegged their currencies to Euro. See Who Use Euro?

Source :


January 9, 2010 - Posted by | News of Currency

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