Old collectible banknotes are full of surprises for anyone who takes the time to take a closer look. Rarities can sometimes come to life from a closer observation of very common banknotes which pass through our hands and which we disdain to pay a few seconds of attention to. This is the case of the Banknote of the National Bank of Belgium of 100 francs - 20 belgas type 1933 (1944) French front (1). Please note, the original vignette, drawn by Émile Vloors, was used for four different types of denomination: Pick # 107, Pick # 112, Pick # 113 and Pick # 114. These references are practically identical except that the texts on the fronts are either in French or in Dutch! The last two references are also distinguished by their predominantly orange color. The 100 francs - 20 Belgas type 1933 (1944) French front (Pick # 113) was issued in 28,600,000 copies between September 20, 1944 and November 4, 1944. The known series are currently between 11926 to 13525.
Above: front of 100 francs - 20 belgas type 1933 (1944) dated 23.09.44 with texts in French.
Above: back of the 100 francs - 20 belgas type 1933 (1944) with texts in Dutch.
A Numizon employee sent us a note dated 24.10.44 numbered 12133.K.577. To his astonishment, he found no trace of this date anywhere else ... This question was the trigger for our research. We therefore consulted our archives and past internet sales (2). The result of this first survey made it possible to collect a total of 51 copies that we present to you by date of issue known in the detailed table below:
|10.10.44||1||12040 M 370|
|13.10.44||2||12059.G.941 et 12063.Y.599|
|03.11.44||3||12219.J.568, 12247.A.261 et 12255.Z.924|
With 80% of copies (41/51), the banknotes dated November 1944 are overwhelming. With only 8 copies found, or 16% of the score, October notes are already rarer. With only two copies found, i.e. 4% of the score, the banknotes issued in September are the rarest: the copy numbered 11926.B.858 which illustrates this article, sold in 2017 for € 60 in VF grade at cgb.fr (lot #b76_0328) and copy 11970.E.862 dated 30.09.44 sold for $ 47 in a set of 4 100-franc notes - 20 Belgas type 1933 (1944) at Heritage Auctions in 2018 (lot #83550).
Unlike all the other banknotes collected, the copy numbered 12040 M 370 of 10.10.44 does not have the dot on each side of the letter between the 5-digit series and the 3-digit number! We do not yet have an explanation to give to this discovery ...
In conclusion and taking into account the low prices currently observed for all the dates of this note, it does not seem that the 100 francs - 20 belgas type 1933 (1944) is still searched by month or by date of issue. The future will tell us if the denominations of September 1944, and to a lesser extent those of October 1944, will become essential rarities in the collection of Belgian banknotes!
(1) Known catalog references: Pick # 113a, The Banknote Book # B561a and Eyckmans-Morin # M062.
(2) The catalogs of paper money are still to be examined. Thank you in advance to future contributors to send us the photos of the banknotes that they may find in their archive documents!