Rare Money Blog

Finest Graded GEA 500 Rupien with Excellent Embossing to be sold at ANA

By Aris Maragoudakis, Director of World Currency Auctions

Author: Aris Maragoudakis / Tuesday, May 14, 2019 / Categories: Paper Money of the Week

An amazing African paper money rarity is coming up in our August ANA auction in Rosemont, Illinois. This German East Africa 500 Rupien note, dated 1912, and graded Choice Uncirculated 63 by PMG is the single finest graded. Despite a minor restoration noted on the holder for a small corner outside of the design, it is by far the nicest seen of this classic banknote that only circulated for a few years prior to World War II.

This banknote represented a huge sum of money, about 170 US dollars at the time and only the largest transactions in the colony would have required a 500 Rupien note. Less than 1,000 pieces were reportedly issued into circulation, making this a great rarity in African and German numismatics.

Most of German East Africa would become the present-day country of Tanzania. Another former European colony, Zanzibar (under British rule until 1963), is located just off its coast and issued some of the most well-known rarities in African banknotes. No examples in issued form are presently known of the Zanzibar 500 Rupees. This German East Africa rarity that will be offered in our ANA World’s Fair of Money auction presents a similar face value and would make a great addition to any advanced collection of African banknotes. It will carry a very modest estimate of $30,000 to $50,000 USD.

For questions regarding this rarity, or to consign to our upcoming ANA or August Hong Kong Sales, please email Aris@StacksBowers.Com.