Hyperinflation Collection of World Currency, Set of 11
Hyperinflation Collection of World Currency, Set of 11 Hyperinflation Collection of World Currency, Set of 11 Hyperinflation Collection of World Currency, Set of 11 Hyperinflation Collection of World Currency, Set of 11 Hyperinflation Collection of World Currency, Set of 11 Hyperinflation Collection of World Currency, Set of 11 Hyperinflation Collection of World Currency, Set of 11 Hyperinflation Collection of World Currency, Set of 11 Hyperinflation Collection of World Currency, Set of 11 Hyperinflation Collection of World Currency, Set of 11 Hyperinflation Collection of World Currency, Set of 11
Hyperinflation Collection of World Currency, Set of 11

Hyperinflation Collection of World Currency, Set of 11

  • This one-of-a-kind collection of world currency represents the extremes of hyperinflation
  • The coins and bank notes cover a time period of nearly 2000 years and span the globe
  • Their inflated denominations reveal the risk of the devaluation of currency through time
  • A remarkable piece of monetary history, the set of 11 contains some of the rarest notes ever printed
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Item No. 30-7971
$54,500
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History’s most significant examples of hyperinflation are represented in this one-of-a-kind collection. Taken together, these historic notes offer a remarkable, eye-opening glimpse into the history of paper currency, as well as a warning about its potential downfalls. Assembled by a former financial manager, the coins and bank notes cover a time period of nearly 2000 years and span the globe, from ancient Rome to China and Europe to South America. Their grossly inflated denominations reveal the risk of the rapid devaluation of currency through time.

The first instance of inflation occurred during the Roman Empire, over a century before the advent of paper currency. The Roman denarius was originally created as a nearly 100% pure silver coin, but over a 67-year period, its purity was diluted until it was instead crafted of solid copper – an estimated 98% decline in value. The denarius is believed to be the earliest example that even hard money could be devalued by governments.

However, the effects of inflation on paper currency would prove far more devastating. While earlier forms of private paper currency were used to facilitate trade between merchants, the earliest known mention of a government-issued currency dates to 9th century China. The Ming Dynasty One Kwan note is the oldest surviving example of these early notes. Yet, the One Kwan note was short lived; issued during the reign of Emperor Hung Wu (1368-1399) at a value of 1,000 copper, its value declined to just 3 copper by 1448.

Due to the failure of the One Kwan note, China outlawed paper money for nearly 500 years. It wasn’t until 1851 that the paper currency was reissued in the country in the form of the wen. Like its predecessor, it proved a failure as its value declined 97% after just 10 years.

The most legendary early European example of fiat, or government-backed, currency emerged in France in the form of the livre in 1716. It was introduced by John Law, a Scottish adventurer who would become France’s first central banker, and thus one of the most powerful man in international finance. Law’s invention of the Reserve banking system in France would later form the basis of the United States Federal Reserve and other fiat systems. Yet, ultimately, he was unsuccessful, as the currency collapsed after just four years following a bank run in 1720. The economic crisis that followed is believed to have contributed to the French Revolution.

France tried again in 1791 with the assignaut, which was not a true fiat currency. Instead, France expropriated the lands of the French Church, using the value of the property to back the new currency. Still, after 5 years the assignat declined to less than 1% of its original value before being demonetized in 1796.

The remainder of the collection follows much in the same vein; following an economic, political or military crisis, paper fiat currency has proven to devalue time and time again. The United States was not immune to the effect, as evidenced by the Continental Congress’ currency. Issued and printed by Benjamin Franklin, Continentals were the first ever paper money to use anti-counterfeiting measures, and they were used to help finance the Revolutionary War. In spite of his efforts, the British successfully waged economic warfare by counterfeiting Continentals on a large scale, effectively devaluing the Continental to one-fortieth of its original value.

The German mark, Hungarian pengö, Yugoslavian dinar, Argentine peso and Zimbabwean dollar are all 20th-century examples of similar hyperinflation phenomena. The Hungarian pengö in particular stands out as boasting both the largest denomination note ever issued (the 50 quadrillion note), and the largest denomination ever printed, but not issued (the 100 quadrillion note).

Taken as a whole, the collection not only represents an extraordinary piece of monetary history, but also the frailty of economic markets and financial systems. Many of the notes – particularly the Ming Dynasty One Kwan note - are remarkably difficult to find today outside of museums. Due to paper’s fragile nature, few have stood the test of time. This one-of-a-kind collection brings together the rarest and most significant of these notes.

The collection includes:
Roman Denarius: 193-260 AD
One Kwan Note: 1368-1448, Ming Dynasty
French Livre: 1716-1720
Continental Congress Issued Dollars: 1775-1781
French Assignat: 1791-1796
Chinese Wen: 1851-1861
German Mark: 1922-1924
Hungarian Pengö: 1941-1946
Yugoslavian Dinar: 1971-1994
Argentine Peso: 1975-1994
Zimbabwe Dollar: 1980-2015
specifications
Period: Other
Type:Historical Memorabilia
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