A rare banknote per series
During the night of September 12 to 13, 1943, 109 men of the 1st Parachute Shock Battalion were transported to Corsica by the Casabianca submarine and disembarked in the port of Ajaccio. This massive delivery of materials and troops between Algiers and Ajaccio is accompanied by 4 banknotes to serve as occupation currency in the future territories recaptured from Nazi Germany: the 500 francs Algeria overprinted, the 1000 francs Algeria overprinted, le 5000 francs Algeria overprinted and this 100 francs Marianne Type 1943 (Fayette-Dessal: # VF.06, Pick: # 105a or Schwan-Boling: # 116). A little less famous, less rare and less expensive than the other three banknotes, the 100 francs still deserves your attention. Indeed, for 18 years (1), we have carried out a systematic score of the banknotes encountered for sale and we have so far reached a provisional total of 549 copies in inventory (2) with a breakdown for the 6 known series (PG, PH, PK, PL, PM and PN) which we detail in the table below:
|Series||Number of copies||smallest note||biggest note|
|PG||184||PG 000,781||PG 999,494|
|PH||27||PH 058,668||PH 831,573|
|PK||38||PK 559,247||PK 882,459|
|PL||117||PL 001,119||PL 999,779|
|PM||94||PM 016,077||PM 849,621|
|PN||89||PN 024,685||PN 884,803|
A find of at least 190 "PG" series banknotes has now been identified for several years. We regularly observe for sale (3) banknotes located between the numbers PG 788,086 and PG 788,272 and all in AU to UNC grades. The "PH" series is rare ... until a possible find always possible for these war notes. However, no banknote is known in a grade greater than VF+. The "PJ" series has never been found! The "PK" series is rare and no banknote is known in a condition superior to XF/AU grade. The finest copy is currently PK 643.963 (the only copy sold for € 195 by cgb.fr, during the auction Paper-Money # 7 of 2005 (lot # p07_0410). For the "PL" series, you must look for a copy in very good grade because they are very rare! The most beautiful copy would currently be the PL 952.227 (seen in the book "WWII, Military Currency", page 29). Finally, for the "PM" and "PN" series, only a few rare banknotes are currently known in aUNC to UNC grades. We report a recent find of 50 banknotes in March 2017 (4). Mintage: Each letter was printed in 1,000,000 copies, for a total of 5,999,999 issued notes.
One copy is known in the private collection, numbered PG 000,000 and overprinted twice "SPECIMEN." in red and obliquely. This banknote (photo below) was first observed in a photo on page 98 of the book "World War II, Remembered", by Schwan and Boling. A second copy is known annotated "13765/16337" in the right margin on the back. In October 2010, a third horizontally perforated “SPECIMEN” copy numbered PG 000,001 and PN 1,000,000 was sold for £ 650 (€ 951) by the British auction house Spink, Auction # 1022, World Banknotes (lot # 613). By its numbers, this copy also justifies the known series and the overall circulation of the 100 francs Marianne Type 1943!
2014, the year of unpublished banknotes!
We report the existence of a banknote "without series and without numbers", sold for £ 245 (including fees) in July 2014 at Spink, Auction # 14009, World Banknotes (lot # 683) with the following description: "Note specimen in superb condition with surface dirt. The note does not have a serial number or double letters! A manuscript dated 14.12.1943 and the written in black ink signature, are present in the top margin of the note. A letter (c.) is also printed in the upper right".
Finally, a single-sided proof of the back appeared in December 2014 and sold by the company Antika at a price of € 900 (see photos below).
We find that this note is particularly sought after in perfect grade by collectors. Some recent sales indicate that the prices achieved greatly exceed the current estimations (5). Thus, in October 2020, during the last “Live Auction Banknotes” of cgb.fr, a note in UNC grade from the most common series numbered “PG 788,171” established a new sales record at € 450, ie with fees more than double its estimate (lot # 4410259).
(1) Scoring work started in 2002 and presented regularly in the inventory of the FBOW website.
(2) Inventory at October 31, 2020.
(3) 50 copies sold between 2011 and 2020 among professionals.
(4) 26 banknotes of the letter PM (PM 531,231 to PM531,262), 3 banknotes of the letter PN and 21 banknotes of the letter PG (PG 512,331 to PG 512,117). All these copies are in minimum XF grade.
(5) Price for a note in UNC grade: series PG at € 250, series PH at € 600, series PK at € 500, series PL at € 300, series PM at € 300 and series PN at € 270.