Uncirculated 1,000 Baht Presentation Proof set headlines Asian rarities in Heritage's World Paper Money Auction

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Uncirculated 1,000 Baht Presentation Proof set headlines Asian rarities in Heritage's World Paper Money Auction
Thailand Bank of Thailand 1000 Baht ND (c.1948-53) Pick Unlisted Presentation Proof Uniface Printer Model Pair. Photo: Heritage Auctions.

DALLAS, TX.- The only known example of a presentation Proof set of 1,000 Baht Thai banknotes that never got issued into circulation will re-emerge when it is offered December 7 at World Paper Money Signature® Auction.

The highest denomination in the post-war series of Thomas de la Rue printer models was 100 Baht, so the Thailand Bank of Thailand 1000 Baht ND (c.1948-53) Pick Unlisted Presentation Proof / Uniface Printer Model Pair Crisp Uncirculated (2 Pieces) that will be up for grabs in this event was never put into production or into circulation.

“This is a remarkable item — so rare that even the Bank of Thailand, which commissioned its printing, doesn't have an example in its collection,” says Dustin Johnston, Vice President of Numismatics at Heritage Auctions. “The rarity is matched only by the aesthetic appeal of this prototype set, in which both sides are displayed.

“In a time when demand for world paper money, specifically from several Asian nations, continues to rise, this is a must-have item that will change immediately the status of any collection.”

Another artistic rendering by Thomas de la Rue in the auction is a Thailand Government of Siam 10 Baht 1.7.1926 Pick Unlisted Front Printer's Model PMG Choice Uncirculated 63, which shows a proposed design, which was an important part of the banknote design process. In a time when notes commonly displayed royal portraits, this note features a profile of Prajadhipok, also known as King Rama VII, whose portrait first appeared on notes in 1924. The portrait that appears on this printer's model was never employed on issued notes.

A China Empire Yuan Dynasty 2 Kuan 1264-1341 Pick UNL PMG Fine 12 Net is an early representation of paper currency, with a date range of 1264-1341, signifying that this 2 Kuan denomination was issued during the Yuan Dynasty. This rare note features the 2 Kuan denomination in the central box, represented by two strings of cash coins, each comprising 10 cash stacks.

A rare China & South Sea Bank, Limited 10 Yuan 1927 Pick A129cts1: A129cts2 Front and Back Color Trial Specimen PMG Gem Uncirculated 66 EPQ (2) includes the two highest-graded examples listed in the PMG Population Report. These notes hold significant appeal for local collectors and those who collect Waterlow & Sons printed banknotes. The depiction of five women symbolizes the five prominent ethnic groups of China: Han, Manchu, Mongols, Hui and Tibetan. Despite its status as a private banknote, its popularity was significant enough to merit inclusion in early versions of the Standard Catalog.

A China People's Bank of China 5 Yuan 1953 Pick 869a PMG Gem Uncirculated 66 EPQ features a color palette of brown, orange and lilac that signifies that it is the initial of two 5 Yuan note designs with this particular theme. This initial type is exceptionally rare today, especially in such exceptional condition, because the first type eventually was replaced by a deep purple and green version in 1964.

Another rarity in the auction is a Malaysia Bank Negara 1000 Ringgit ND (1976-81) Pick 18s KNB18S Specimen PMG Gem Uncirculated 65 EPQ, many of which were forcibly redeemed during the late 1990s during the Asian Financial Crisis. All $1,000 notes issued from 1967 to 1976 featured the A/1 prefix, which indicates how few of these issues were actually printed.

A Hong Kong Mercantile Bank of India, Ltd. 50 Dollars 1.7.1935 Pick 240a PMG Choice Very Fine 35 Net is an exceptional example of one of Hong Kong's most iconic banknotes, in part because it carries a five-digit serial number without a prefix, alluding to the limited issuance of the denomination. The note is celebrated for its rarity and the beautiful engravings by Waterlow & Sons. The Mercantile Bank of India, Limited, possesses a rich history in the colony despite not producing banknotes in large quantities. Only 40,000 notes bearing this date were ever in circulation.

The sole finest-graded Mongolia State Treasury Note 5 Dollars 1924 Pick 4r Remainder PMG Gem Uncirculated 66 EPQ features vibrant, eye-catching color and design elements that immediately capture the attention of collectors. Only 32 examples are registered in the PMG Population Report — none with a grade higher than the one on this beautiful 20th-century rarity.

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