1,000 francs type 1945 "Arnaud"

This banknote kept in reserve for Algeria circulated?

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When this project of 1,000 francs type 1945 (Ref. Pick: # 96 or Kolsky: # 62) was developed for the Bank of Algeria, the country has been occupied for three years by the Allied administration, landed in North Africa in 1942 during Operation Torch. In this spring of 1945, the war is not quite over yet in Europe but the French metropolis is already released since a few months ... It is the printing press Arnaud (1) of Lyon which is in charge of printing the note on a paper from the Marais stationery (2). The issue is ultimately not allowed and the banknote is kept in "Reserve". The Pick catalog, however, indicates three dates of emission: 23-3-1945, 23-5-1945 and 23-3-1949.



Numizon statistics

But then, did this note really remain in "Reserve" or did it circulate in part? To be clear, we made a score of the banknotes seen in collection or proposed in past or current sales.

The conclusions of our research (3) are as follows:

  • 19 copies are perfectly identified,
  • all notes include the date of creation of March 23, 1945,
  • several consecutive series of numbers for the B.911, U.912 and V.1031 alphabets,
  • banknotes are almost always in an excellent quality,
  • 3 specimens are listed and all from the alphabet Z.1080,
  • 84 other specimens (alpha Z.1080-359 to Z.1080-444) according to MM. Muszynski and Kolsky,
  • 3 notes are slab: U.912-789, U.912-798 and V.1031-970,
  • 5 notes are currently on sale (4 on ebay and 1 at Christoph Gärtner, Auction # 45).

Score in detail

  • W.594-678 in F grade (N.I. Collection),
  • B.911-154 in XF/AU (cgb.fr, Archives banknotes (lot # b68_0063), € 2,400),
  • B.911-158 in AU (cgb.fr, Paper-Money # 18 of 2011 (lot # p18_0328), unsold at € 3,500),
  • U.912-789 in VF/XF (cgb.fr, Live Auction Banknotes December 2018 (lot # 4270207) - PMG 35 Choice very Fine),
  • U.912-794 in AU (cgb.fr, Live Auctions, e-Banknotes, November 2016 (lot # 4090592), € 1,800),
  • U.912-795 in XF (cgb.fr, Internet Auction Banknotes, November 2017 (lot # 4170116), € 2,300),
  • U.912-798 in XF (cgb.fr, Archives banknotes (lot # b78_0238), € 2,200 - PCGS 58 Choice AU),
  • U.912-800 in AU (cgb.fr, Paper-Money # 18 from 2011 (lot # p18_0329), € 2,218, in pictured above),
  • C.990-620 (unknown traceability),
  • V.1031-002 (photo view on colnect.com),
  • V.1031-236 (for sale at € 1,900 on ebay in September 2019, lot: # 253976051628),
  • V.1031-239 (for sale at € 1,900 on ebay in September 2019, lot: # 253976032332),
  • V.1031-330 (for sale at € 3,800 with the copy V.1031-331 on ebay in September 2019, lot: # 253976003737),
  • V.1031-331 (for sale at € 3,800 with the copy V.1031-330 on ebay in September 2019, same lot number),
  • V.1031-430 in UNC (Palombo house of Geneva, Auction # 14 of November 2015, lot # 76, CHF 3,300),
  • V.1031-944 in AU (cgb.fr, Internet Auction Banknotes October 2018, lot # 4250470, € 1,850),
  • V.1031-970 in XF (sold € 1,250 by Christoph Gärtner in October 2019 - WBG 50 About UNC (lot # 1025),
  • V.1031-972 (copy of the Muszynski/Kolsky catalog, page 99),
  • V.1031-973 in XF (cgb.fr, Paper Money # 18 of 2011 (lot # p18_0330 or b05_0702), € 2,295).


  • Z.1080-293 in UNC overprinted "specimen" in red (cgb.fr, lot: # b68_0064, € 2,000),
  • Z.1080-355 in aUNC overprinted "specimen" in red (cgb.fr, Paper-Money # 18 of 2011, lot # p18_0331, € 1,800),
  • Z.1080-367 in aUNC overprinted "specimen" in red (cgb.fr, Paper-Money # 18 of 2011, lot # p18_0332, € 1,800).


Hypothesis of series of banknotes stolen by the ALN?

The existence of these 18 issued notes questions us ... The banknote would have circulated? For MM. Muszynski and Kolsky, this is another hypothesis! The authors indicate in their book that "The text of the Criminal Code on the back, written in Arabic, begins with these words:" The traitors will be punished ... ".


This war wording on a text of law is quite unexpected ... and would have a link with the fight for the Algerian independence. Thus, the ALN (Army of National Liberation) would have "procured" a stock of these notes to finance the national uprising against France. The similar quality of the banknotes and the consecutive number ranges we found for the B.911, U.912 and V.1031 alphabets tend to confirm this hypothesis. Finally, for the four banknotes currently on sale on ebay, this is a single seller with whom we made contact to learn a little more about the origin of these lots, which are still almost a quarter of the referenced notes! We are waiting for his answer ...


(1) The nickname of the note sometimes called "1,000 francs Arnaud".
(2) Source Maurice Muszynski and Maurice Kolsky, page 99 of their book: "Les billets du Maghreb et du Levant", Victor Gadoury editions, 2002.
(3) These score are of course provisional and can be improved over time. Any collector with new information to present us can contact Numizon at this address: contact@numizon.fr.

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