100 francs on 20 Piastres type 1939 "New Caledonia"

Discover a very rare note including a fake currently on sale!

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Support and warn collectors ...

One of Numizon's missions is to keep you informed. So let's start with some nasty news! We are informed of a scam currently on sale on ebay! This is ad # 274323765200, located in Leicester, England and entitled “#French Bank of New Caledonia colony 100 francs 1939 P-39 AF Athena”. The seller is unfortunately not at his first try because we had already denounced a sale of this man in November 2019 (1).

The object of this new false sale now concerns a counterfeit 100 francs note on 20 Piastres overprinted "Noumea" type 1939 (2) from the Bank of Indochina. The note is numbered "Y.197-657", which is important for the rest of our presentation. Eight auctions have already been carried out on the lot for a current amount of £ 31 (about € 35). Like the last time and probably for the sake of opacity, the auctions are of course private, which will certainly allow the seller to more easily "push" his sale using another nickname!


Editor's note: the photos of the sale have been cut out for aesthetic and layout reasons.

A 20 Piastres type 1936 tampered with!

Although oddly the seller does not mention it in the title and description of his ad, the counterfeit note for sale is supposed to be a very rare copy of the 100 francs on 20 Piastres overprinted "Noumea" type 1939. But this is not is absolutely not the case, because it is a copy of 20 Piastres type 1936 (3) on which have been affixed false overprints on a note identical to the one presented below.



The 20 Piastres type 1936 does not have a creation date. It was issued in September 1937. Its dimensions are 162 x 87 mm. The note also includes the signatures (4) of Marcel Borduge, The President and that of Paul Baudouin, The Managing Director. The banknote consists of 247 alphabets (A.1 to W.247), or 25,000 notes per alphabet representing a total of 6,125,000 copies issued.

But it turns out that the alphabets 83 and 84 are not included in this total at all. These were kept to be overprinted and give rise to the 100 francs on 20 Piastres overprinted "Noumea" type 1939! Discover the “TRUE” note below:



A precedent in 2015 ...

By carrying out additional research, we discovered the sale of a first counterfeit 100 francs note on 20 Piastres type 1939, but this time in an official sale, which is more embarrassing.

The auction house Christoph Gärtner is unfortunately and probably the first victim to have offered, certainly out of ignorance, a counterfeit note numbered "C.175-505" in the catalog of the 32nd sale in October 2015 (Lot # 38179). The note was offered at € 150 in F grade ... Hopefully this copy did not fail in a collector's workbook, because we found no indication of sale or withdrawal!


Numizon inventory

To help professionals, dealers and collectors to identify this banknote and to avoid in the future that this type of sale can be repeated, we communicate to you our inventory of known copies for the 100 francs on 20 Piastres overprinted "Noumea" type 1939. Our score currently has 40 copies, details of which are given in the table below. We also note two perforated copies "CANCELLED" horizontally and having served as "SPECIMEN". These two copies are to be considered very rare: "D.83-142" (5) and "N.84-916".

Series/NumberKnown gradeObserved price
D.83-142VFsold € 350 in 2004 by cgb.fr (Lot #p04_072). Perforated "CANCELLED" horizontally. Specimen w/ cashier number on front: "5"
D.83-929VFfor sale at € 500 in the La Malle du Gouverneur.com store
G.83-402VFsold $ 223,25 by HA (Heritage Auctions) in 2014 (Lot #31083)
G.83-417XFsold € 686,02 by cgb.fr (Lot #b17_0147)
G.83-495Fsold € 250. Monnaies d'Antan 2011 Auction sale.
L.83-080WBG 60 Uncfor sale at € 800 by Stamp Circuit in April 2020 (Lot #1398)
L.83-671VGsold $ 81 on ebay in 2020
M.83-134-photo of La Malle du Gouverneur.com store
N.83-027Ffor sale at $ 299,99 on ebay in April 2020 (Lot #193400172049)
N.83-838VFsold € 360 by cgb.fr in 2019 (Lot #43003777) and then for sale at 799$ on ebay in April 2020 (Lot #193400172049)
N.83-894VF-for sale at $ 500 on ebay in 2021 (Lot #154522148712)
Q.83-017VFSold € 430 in 2004 by cgb.fr (Lot #p04_073)
S.83-717VGsold $ 60 by LKCA in July 2021 (Lot #92999)
V.83-457UNCsold £ 1100 by Spink in 2010 ; The Tom Warburton Collection (Lot #720)
V.83-459PMG 58 Choice About Uncsold $ 1920 by HA (Heritage Auctions) in 2020 (Lot #28323). The most beautiful note graded by PMG!
V.83-768Fsold € 180 by cgb.fr (Lot #b29_0089)
Y.83-067VGsold $ 100 by AIA (Archives International Auctions) in 2014 (Lot #743)
A.84-545Ffor sale at € 150 on ebay in 2021 (Lot #294237074340)
B.84-074VGFor sale on ebay in September 2020
C.84-868Fphoto seen on the french multicollec.net website
D.84-769VF pressedfor sale at € 640 by Corné Akkermans Auctions in 2015 (Lot #654)
E.84-283VFsold £ 380 by Spink in 2018 (Lot #2661)
E.84-585XF+sold € 750 by cgb.fr (Lot #b59_0643)
E.84-842PMG 30 Very Finesold $ 252 by HA (Heritage Auctions) in 2020 (Lot #87076)
F.84-404Ffor sale at $ 250 on ebay in 2021
K.84-780-copy of the Pick catalog, page 904
L.84-431VF+sold € 535 by cgb.fr (Lot #b29_0090)
M.84-729VGsold $ 192 by HA (Heritage Auctions) in 2020 (Lot #88155)
N.84-916-« CANCELLED » horizontally. Copy from the PDF: "Banknotes issued between 1946 and 1969".
O.84-829PMG 25 Very Finesold $ 156 by HA (Heritage Auctions) in 2019 (Lot #87142)
P.84-837VGsold $ 30 on ebay in 2021
S.84-054Fsold $ 112 by LKCA in July 2021 (Lot #92998)
T.84-454VFfor sale at € 540 in the Catalog of Platt house in 2003 (Lot #2418)
T.84-607VFsold $ 264 chez Stack's Bowers en 2019 (Lot #31559)
U.84-145VFsold $ 239 by Stack's Bowers in 2011 (Lot #80351)
U.84-567VGfor sale at $ 89,99$ in ebay in April 2020 (Lot #254533782034)
V.84-963PMG 53 About Uncfor sale at $ 1699 on ebay in April 2020 (Lot #264459931962)
W.84-486-copy seen on the banknoteworld.org and colnect.com websites
W.84-509-copy of the « WWII Remembered » book.
Z.84-347PMG 35 Choice Very Finesold $ 280 by AIA (Archives International Auctions) in 2016 (Lot #838)


We can only encourage you to acquire a "TRUE" note for an amount undoubtedly lower or similar to the price that this "FALSE" will ultimately do!


(1) Read the Numizon news dated November 22, 2019 and entitled: "Counterfeit overprint on 20 francs Djibouti type Peacock I".

(2) References of 100 francs on 20 Piastres type 1939 "Nouméa":

(3) References of 20 Piastres type 1936:

  • Pick: # 56b,
  • Kolsky / Muszynski: # 152b,
  • The Banknote Book: # B101.

(4) The signatures on the two notes:


(5) The specimen “D.83-142” in our database:


Editor's note: article update in July 31, 2021.

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