Collecting Banknotes is a hobby, and like any hobby it can be limited, expanded, stretched, or exaggerated to no end. It all depends how wide your interests are, how long your patience is, and how deep your pockets go. Following is a selection of the "Etceteras....", which are listed as a reference and for your viewing. THESE ITEMS ARE NOT FOR SELL.  



Take me quickly to: | Specimen Banknotes | Color Trials | Replacement Banknotes Error Banknotes | Fancy Serial Numbers | Cinderella | Checks | Bonds | German Overprints | Catalogs | Democratic Azerbaijan Banknotes |


Specimen Banknotes
Banknotes with Zero Serial number and stamped or punched Specimen are an interesting, but expensive, derivation of collecting banknotes.

Click on the banknote to enlarge

Usually "Specimen" is printed on the face of the banknote in Persian and on the back in English.


Most Specimen banknotes are given to the Central Bank for distribution to other banks. A few are kept at the Printer's archives, and are usually stamped with the Oval "Thomas de-La Rue" seal.


Some Specimen banknotes could be proof printing or test printing. There is no explanation why this banknote has two different serial numbers.


Commemorative banknotes are printed in limited quantity and Specimens are extremely rare, especially if they are hand signed by The Central Bank Manager.


Naturally high denomination Specimen banknotes are worth more. The example on the right shows two 1000 Rial Specimens, the lower one is hand signed by Samii himself




Color Trials
Some banknotes are printed in different colors and presented to the Central Bank for approval. It is interesting (and rather odd) to see a banknote which is different from its standard color.


Some Color Trials differ very slightly from the standard banknote...


But others are totally different.




Replacement Banknotes
A small quantity of banknotes are printed with a totally different prefix. These are Replacement banknotes and are used when error notes are discovered and removed from the regular packs. This is done so the bundle count is consistent. It is a challenge to find what the Replacement Code for a certain issue is, and even more challenging to collect them with different signatures. The prefix of early Iranian Banknotes begin with primary numbers (1,2,3,4,5, etc.), whereas
the Replacements begin with 01, 02, 03...


The later issues of Iran, have fractional prefix (1/1, 2/1, 3/1 etc.), and the Replacements are 99/9, 98/9, 97/9 etc.


One can even go to the extreme and try to find Replacements for every signature variety. On this pair of banknotes, the top one with a serial number of (99/9) 016180 is Pick 103d, the bottom one with serial number of (99/9) 489416 is Pick 103e.




Error Banknotes
This is a wide area as errors can range from tiny differences to major varieties. Naturally the price of an error will depend on the nature of the error, and the availability. Perhaps one of the most common errors is error in cutting, where all 4 margins are not equal.


Sometimes printing is shifted, such as the serial number on this banknote, which is on the watermark area.


Some errors are quite scarce, perhaps unique, like this 100 Rial printed on one side only.




Fancy Numbers
Each banknote has a serial number, and in one way it is a unique banknote, however, certain numbers are more interesting, attractive, and certainly worth collecting. Among them are serial numbers 000001, solid numbers such as 333333 where the same number repeats, ladders such as 456789, repeat sequences, 141414, or 753753 or even RADAR such as 108801, and so on. Once again it is a hobby, it is the love of collecting something different, something odd. Here is an example of a set of banknotes of the same denomination, with solid numbers from 111111 to 888888,

Who has got the 999999?


Which came first, the 1 or 01, and what is the difference?

Maybe you want to check the Replacement notes???


It is not easy to accumulate Solid Numbers, especially with the older banknotes, however, with the current banknotes, the task is possible. We do have some solid numbers from most current banknotes of Iran, but certainly such lovely pieces won't stay long.
Here is a set of current Iranian banknotes, all with the solid 222222 serial number.


The End and the Beginning

Prefix 60, that is where P-103a (Yeganneh/Ansary signature) ends
Prefix 61, where P-103b with Mehran/Ansary starts.




Propaganda labels printed to resemble banknotes, for political purposes.



 Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi




Collecting banknotes gradually expands to checks, although not very popular, there are collectors who show interest in these financial documents.

The first is a "Certified Check" issued by Bank Melli, the second; a Traveler's Check.



If you ever see a check from the Imperial Bank of Persia, you can't resist but to start collecting checks!




Collecting Bonds is a whole world by itself.

The only Iranian Bond I have see is this one signed by Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh, Prime Minister of Iran, 1951.




German Treasury

During the First World War, the German Military overprinted Reichsbanknotes and distributed them through their agents in Hamadan and Kermanshah. The denominations are 12.5 Kran, 25 Kran, 5 toman, 25 toman, 250 toman. The most common - but still scarce - is the 5 toman overprint on 20 Mark, blue. It is recommended to have an example from this issue in your collection.


Sometime in the early 1920s due to a fire all the notes stored in the Hamadan warehouse got burned. It is nice to have an example of a burned banknote.


Be aware of the counterfeits. Since the actual German banknotes are very common, counterfeit overprints have been seen. Research by several collectors has revealed two important factors that the authentic banknotes should have. Please contact me for further info, or go to the site:
Nidermayer Notes.




Catalogs &
Reference Books


If you are a specialized collector of Iran, then you need this 160 page Color catalog of Iranian banknotes only, please contact us for availability and price.


You will see the different overprints on the Provisional issues.......


......and the Imperial banknotes in full color.




Democratic Party of
Azerbaijan Banknotes


After the World War II, while the Soviet Army was still in Azerbaijan, a rebel group calling themselves "Democratic Party of Azerbaijan" issued 6 different banknotes.
Denominations are: 5 Kran, 1, 2, 5, 10 and 50 Toman. Some denominations are available with hand signatures, some as Remainders.


Note: This Etcetera section is not complete yet.......... I will appreciate hearing from collectors and dealers who can share their knowledge, images of their banknotes and related financial documents. Please let me know if you find mistakes, or can add to the explanations on the above items.
Thanks: Armen Hovsepian Youssefi.

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For additional information, please contact us:

Armen Hovsepian, P. O. Box 15204, Lenexa, KS 66285-5204, U.S.A.

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Life Member: International Bank Note Society