A new star!
During the Second World War, the region of Iraq, under British Mandate of Mesopotamia, suffered a significant increase in its expenditure linked to galloping inflation. To remedy this financial crisis, it is therefore necessary to transport more banknotes from Great Britain. But the conditions of war make the transport too long and too dangerous. An issue of emergency notes of small values (100 fils, 1/4 dinar, 1/2 dinar and 1 dinar) was then ordered and ordered from the Nasik Security Printing Press in India. The Indian printer will supply Iraq for 3 years in addition to the banknotes printed in England by Bradbury Wilkinson.
All the issued notes are very rare and too few copies are presented on the market ...
On August 25, 2021, during the sale of the Peter Boyer Collection of Iraqi Banknotes by Lyn Knight Auctions, a rare PMG 25 graded copy of 1/2 dinar type 1931 (lot #93222) achieved the incredible price of $ 210,000.00 (fees included). Originally estimated at between $ 10,000.00 and $ 20,000.00, the banknote finally exceeded all expectations by exploding more than 10 times its pre-auction estimate! This note is known under the nickname of “baby issue” because it presents on the front, a portrait of the young King Faisal II of Iraq at the age of 6. (1)
Rarity and inventory
According to PMG, the banknote is only known to 6 copies of which 4 units are graded PMG 25 in the Population Report, the copy sold at Lyn Knight Auctions being one of them. For our part, we found the photos of 2 copies:
This incredible result demonstrates real price dynamics on collectible banknotes around the world and reveals that collectors have no hesitation when real rarities hit the market. The guarantee of authenticity and quality provided by PMG undoubtedly contributed to the result of this sale. Not all the rarities of world banknotes have yet been identified, which is what makes this collection so exciting and this sale will go down as an essential reference.
In comparison, the rarities of the Bank of France are still a long way from these results. Our best sales capped at € 35,000.00 and the 9 most expensive banknotes were not even copies issued in the 19th century (2). This bitter observation will certainly have to be the subject of a reflection and a probable article on the “real prices” of rare French banknotes.
(1) Faisal II acceded to the throne of Iraq at the age of 3 and reigned for 23 years until he was killed during the revolution of July 14 in 1958. He was the last king of Iraq.
(2) Source: cgb.fr.
- Catalog references: Pick # 14, The Banknote Book: # B115.
- Issue: King Faisal II as a child.
- Dominant color: brown.
- Introduction: 1941.
- Texts in Arabic on the front and in English on the back.
- Dimensions: 145 x 86 mm.
- Signatures: Lionel Maynard Swan / Ibrahim Kamal.
- Printer: Nasik Security Printing Press.
- No security thread.
- No watermark.