Monday, September 16, 2013

Singapore Portrait Series Specimen 10,000 Dollars (10K)

This banknote has one of the largest denomination (real value) in the world with a face value of 10,000 Singapore dollars which is almost USD 8000. As Singapore has a Currency Interchangeability Agreement with Brunei, the Brunei 10,000 dollars note ties for the largest denomination (real value). 

The note featured in this post has a mintage of 5000 pieces and is printed on real currency paper and has all the exact anti-counterfeit features on the actual note. This note belongs to the 4th set of currency notes issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). 

I have also featured the 2nd series Bird 10000 notes earlier in this post. In total, to date, Singapore has printed 4 designs of the 10000 notes, namely the Orchid, Bird, Ship & Portrait series.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

1941 Malaya / British Administration 50 Cents PMG Graded 67 EPQ Superb GEM UNC

This pair of 1941 Malaya / British Administration 50 Cents is one of the finest pair of notes that I have in my collection. For such old notes, especially the ones before the World War 2, to come in such a good condition is extremely rare. A grade of 67 EPQ from PMG is also rarely seen for graded notes.

1953 Malaya & British Borneo - Queen Elizabeth II 5 & 10 Dollars PMG Graded 55/58 EPQ

Singapore Orchid Series 25 Dollar Banknote - First Prefix PMG Graded 64 EPQ

A nice piece of Singapore Orchid 25 dollars with First Prefix A/1, with PMG 64 EPQ grade.

Singapore Ship Series Commemorative $2 - Prudence At The Helm 1967-1992

This note is issued in 1992 along with a book titled "Prudence at the Helm" for commemorating 25 Years Of Currency Issue 1967 – 1992 BCCS. There is also a spelling error as there is a missing “i” in the word “Commissoners” printed on the note. There are only 5000 copies of this book being printed, corresponding to the serial number of the note. 

This book is a very good read for all currency collectors and people interested in Economics. My favourite read is the short write-up by Dr. Goh Keng Swee, the deputy chairman of MAS back in 1992, where he explained the need for a currency board and the stand of the government with respect to Economic policies. He wrote briefly about how Singapore should not depend on credit creation and the cabinet did not believe in Keynesian economic policies as our economy is small and open. A preview of the book from NLB can be found here.

Monday, July 22, 2013

1936 British North Borneo 1 Dollar Banknote P.28

The above note is a 1936 British North Borneo 1 Dollar Banknote. This is a particularly interesting note as it was one of the notes without the portraits of King George issued in regions under British Rule. The mountain depicted in the front of the note is actually Mount Kinabalu. Several languages can be found on the note,  showing the cultural and racial diversity in North Borneo back in the 1930s.

North Borneo was a British protectorate under the sovereign North Borneo Chartered Company from 1882 to 1941. 

The North Borneo Chartered Company or British North Borneo Company was a chartered company assigned to administer North Borneo (today's Sabah in Malaysia) in August 1881. 

From 1942 to 1945, North Borneo was occupied by Japanese military forces, before they were driven out by Australian troops. 

From 1946 to 1963, North Borneo became a crown colony of Great Britain, known in this time as British North Borneo. It is located on the northeastern end of the island of Borneo. It is now the state of Sabah, East Malaysia. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Unique Vintage Sanyo 1960s Electric Phonograph & AM Radio Combination in Wooden Case

This is a Unique Vintage Sanyo 1960s Electric Phonograph & AM Radio Combination in Wooden Case that I have acquired recently from a friend's dad. It is still in working condition and plays vinyl discs very well. It also has a light indicator at the radio panel which gives off a orange back light when it is turned on. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Queen Elizabeth II Dollar Notes - Malaya 1953 & Canada 1967

Above are dollar notes bearing Queen Elizabeth II's portraits, the top being the Canadian Centennial Issue printed in 1967when Canada celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation. The bottom is the Pre-War Malaya & British Borneo (MBB) 1 dollar printed in 1953, when Malaya was still a combination of the current Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei under the British rule. 

Many Singaporeans have not seen the MBB notes before and are always surprised that we actually have a common currency with Malaysia and Brunei, forgetting that we were once together before separation in 1965. This note is particularly interesting, illustrating our history before the World War.

The reverse of the MBB note has the states: Pahang, Perak, Brunei, Malacca on the left, Singapore, Perlis, North Borneo, Johore, Kelantan, Sarawak in the middle and Penang, Trengganu, Negri Sembilan, Selangor on the right.

Singapore Orchid Series 25 Dollars Banknote - PMG Graded 66 EPQ

This is an Orchid 25 dollar note with a PMG Grading of 66 with Exceptional Paper Quality. This grade is also know as GEM Uncirculated and is one of the highest attainable grade a note can have. There are only currently 2 Orchid 25 dollars in the world with a PMG Grade higher than the piece above. To attain such a grade, a note apart from being Uncirculated, it must also have good eye appeal as well as centering. This is especially hard for the Orchid Series as the notes printed back then were more often off centre.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Dismantling the Sweden Ericsson LM Phone

The Sweden Ericsson LM Phone was a common sight in many Singaporean households back in the 1970s, normally found in the beige or gray versions. In order to clean up the fingerwheel, also known as the rotary dial, we would need to dismantle the phone. Dismantling the phone also enable us to clean up the inside as well as check for any damages in the wiring when the phone is not working well. 

However, there are no manuals or instructions that can be found online to dismantle this particular model. After fiddling around with the phone, I have managed to dismantle it and below is a photo of all of the parts laid out. 

To remove the main housing, we will need to locate the screw which is located under the handset area. After unscrewing it, the top casing can be easily removed. The 2 holes on the number dial plate is actually a special type of screw and can be removed by turning it. To remove the finger wheel, we would need to unscrew the metal finger stopper by locating the screw behind the rotary mechanism as shown in the top left hand corner of the photo above.

Singapore 3rd Series Coins

The Singapore 3rd series of coins are already out for collectors to purchase from the Singapore Mint. The 2nd series of coins has been in circulation since 1986, a good 27 years. There are 3 different sets on sale by the Singapore Mint, you can find them in the online shop here. The set above contains the 2nd and 3rd series coins with the same year of mintage - 2013.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Singapore Orchid Series 10 Dollars Radar Number Pair (Hon Sui Sen)

As above is a pair of running Singapore Orchid Series 10 Dollars banknotes (Hon Sui Sen variety) with an interesting Radar number of 696696. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Malaya Uniface 1940 10 Cents Banknote

Prior to the 1941 Malaya series, there is also a 1940 Malaya series, with the iconic uniface 10 cents banknote. This banknote should be the lowest value banknote with a serial number being printed. This note might be graded Very Fine, due to the various folds as well as the rust and foxing marks visible at the edges.

PMG Graded 1935 Straits Settlement 1 Dollar Choice About Uncirculated

Above is an example of a PMG Graded Choice Almost Uncirculated note. In recent years, the EPQ grade is not easily attainable though paper quality is original. From observation of the grading trends, most original quality notes with foxing will rarely get the EPQ grade, though the number grade is high like the above note. Nevertheless, a PMG 58 1935 note is also a good collector's item.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

PMG Graded Singapore Orchid Series 25 Dollars

Grading of notes is actually a very subjective issue as it is an art and opinions do differ from one to another. Serious collectors sometimes do send their notes for a 3rd party professional grader to grade their notes. Notes which are graded professionally normally increase in value as they are verified to be authentic as well as given a grade. One of the popular graders that is being used currently is Paper Money Guaranty (PMG) which is based in the US.

The scan above is an example of a PMG Graded Singapore Orchid Series 25 Dollars, it comes returned in a plastic sleeve with a description, as well as with a grade. This particular note is graded as GEM Uncirculated 65 with Exceptional Paper Quality (EPQ) which is actually one of a very high grade. The highest grade on the PMG scale is 70.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Vintage Singapore Charcoal Clothes Irons

In the olden days, where most of the Singaporeans still lived in villages, clothes iron like the above were actually used. My mother vividly remembers using one of these irons to iron her school uniform. She described it as a very challenging task as most of the school uniforms were white and if any charcoal bits escape out of the inner compartment of the iron, the uniforms would be stained.

Authentic Charcoal Irons like these are getting harder to find and there are many replicas flooding the market. One good method, though not foolproof, is to look for a Company Stamp behind the iron. These stamps are signs of authenticity of the irons and are proofs that these iron are sold by Singapore Companies.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Vintage 555 Double Key Pendulum Windup Wall Clock

555 is another brand of clocks commonly seen during the olden days in Singapore, besides the Diamond (Chinese) electric clocks & the Smith's (England). 555 is also a brand from China and this particular model dates back to the 1970s. This is a double key pendulum windup model which chimes at every half hour.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Singapore Orchid Series Dollar Notes in 4 Varieties (1967-1976)

This is a set of the first series of Orchid dollar notes in all 4 varieties, signed by Singapore's first 3 Ministers for Finance.

Mr. Lim Kim San (Chinese林金山pinyinLín JīnshānPe̍h-ōe-jī: Lîm Kim-san)
Dr. Goh Keng Swee (simplified Chinese吴庆瑞traditional Chinese吳慶瑞pinyinWú QìngruìPe̍h-ōe-jī: Gô͘ Khèng-sūi; 6 October 1918 – 14 May 2010)
Mr. Hon Sui Sen (Chinese韩瑞生pinyinHán Ruìshēng; 1916 - 1983)

The first variation was signed by Mr. Lim Kim San, the second by Dr. Goh Keng Swee and the last two by Mr. Hon Sui Sen (with seal and without seal). The variety without Mr. Hon's red seal is not an error note but a less common note variety being printed. Out of all these notes, Dr. Goh's variety was printed with the least numbers.