Bojarski, the greatest of forgers!

Artiste ? Criminel ? (re)découvrez le Cézanne de la fausse monnaie, surnom donné par la police Française (épisode 1).

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You have surely followed the CGB sale of the Fayette collection. One of the most anticipated sales for all banknote enthusiasts out there!

During this sale, a pair of 100 new Bonaparte francs made by Bojarski ( lot 4610077 ) achieved a record sale on April 11, 2023 with a price of €20,600 (including fees)! This exceptional lot contained a pair of banknotes and illustrated the works of Mr Fayette in all editions.


This is an opportunity to introduce you to Czeslaw Bojarski! Here is his story:

For 10 years, thanks to his discretion, he managed to print and sell a huge quantity of counterfeit banknotes in France, without arousing the slightest suspicion! He was so talented that he even managed to deceive employees of the Banque de France.

Mr Bojarski is of Polish origin. He obtained both degrees in engineering and architecture the same year. He wanted to become an inventor, but the international situation of the time will quickly put an end to this dream.

He arrived in France in 1940 and settled in Marseille. Its first counterfeit was made in 1950 with the 1000 francs type 1945 "Minerva and Hercules". It was the following year that the Banque de France reported the trafficking of these irreproachable counterfeit "blue" notes in the Paris region.

Bojarski decides to build himself a house entirely designed for his illegal activity. He sets up in the cellar of his villa and by his own means, a secret workshop, composed of recovery machines and rudimentary equipment! Even the water needed for manufacturing came from rainwater harvesting. He uses Banque de France paper to create his own paper. He makes his own paper pulp using a machine of his invention using Odet Cascadec Bolloré (O.C.B.) brand cigarette paper and tracing paper in well-defined proportions. He makes his own ink as well as the press to print his counterfeit banknotes.

Once he creates his first counterfeit note (a Minerva and Hercules), he goes to the butcher's to see if the trader realizes the counterfeit note. It works ! He returns home with the change of his thousand francs and a small chicken. It was a unique moment for him, he couldn't believe his eyes when he got his first fake ticket and the discovery of his great talent.

He works at night so as not to arouse the suspicions of his wife. He was reputed to be a good husband and a good father, giving his children a perfect education. In the eyes of his wife, he was an honest man, a hard worker, quite secretive in his affairs and concerned about his peace. He underwent a psychiatric examination at Villejuif hospital, the findings of which portrayed him as a man of above-average intelligence.

For 12 years he drove the French police crazy: One of the biggest cases of counterfeit money! He was very careful not to get noticed by the police. Bojarski thought about how careful he should be. He did everything with great intelligence to avoid arousing suspicion. For example, leaving and entering the metro in a haphazard way and never buying in the same shops. It is thanks to his prudence and his precautions that Bojarski manages to sell his counterfeit banknotes discreetly one by one throughout the Paris region. He could buy pens in Reims, cigarettes in another city, buy newspapers in the south of France and thus all necessary equipment in a different village. It was also a way to sell each counterfeit note in a well-thought-out way so as not to be discovered. Faced with this strategy, the Banque de France remained powerless and the police believed that these counterfeits were made by a criminal organization.


The Cézanne had managed to manufacture alone for 12 years almost 300 million old francs. He was sentenced to twenty years in prison.

Today these fake banknotes are considered real little masterpieces, actively sought after by banknote collectors.

In 2008, one of them went for more than €5,500. Today with the sale of the CGB, the price has doubled!

Here is a list of some faults to recognize a Bojarski:

  1. Bonaparte's lock is thicker.
  2. The green leaf, above the 1 of 100 NF is badly closed.
  3. The first orange star at the top left is missing a branch. This is one of the easiest errors to recognize.
  4. The flowers and fruits of the upper frieze are hatched less finely. There is less ink, and it is less precise than on the real thing. With the naked eye, it is impossible to tell the difference between the fake and the real.
  5. The watermark is larger than the genuine.

Fayette editions has created an online toolto easily check if your 100 NF Bonaparte note is a fake Bojarski. This consists of a database that contains the references of the 7047 counterfeit banknotes listed between November 1962 and March 1975. All you have to do is compare the number of your banknote to those that have been registered, the answer is immediate.

Find the rest of this article in a few weeks. We will discuss the manufacturing process and the police investigation.

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