Monday, June 20, 2011

I'm Going To Pay My Doctor With These

The Chinese sure can make pretty money when they want to, can't they? A peaceful sea with old style junks on one side and a modern steamer on the other, all watched over by a dragon which effortlessly blends into the clouds above, done in dollar green with a businesslike border.

Hang on; what's that guy doing with his hands?

Turns out that it's a 1938 One Yuan Federal Reserve Bank of China note. Among collectors, there is minor controversy as to whether engravers in occupied China inserted ;-) hidden propaganda messages in their banknotes or not. The Chinese must have anticipated such discussions because this one is blindingly obvious. The only point of contention is how the Japanese authorities let this one get by.

Happily, it's reported the engraver made a clean getaway.

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