Ever received these brand new and also inconveniently large SG50 commemorative money notes issued by The Singapore Mint in your angbaos and wonder to yourself, “Can I really use this money? Or am I supposed to keep them nice and straight, store them for years and eventually sell them to an antique store as a get-rich plan?”
What a dilemma isn’t it, have money but cannot use…
And why are people queueing for the new Singapore’s Bicentennial $20 commemorative note that just launched this year to mark 200 years since Sir Stamford Raffles first arrived on the island?
Is it really worth queuing at the banks and buying these “limited edition” notes and coins? Do they end up with a higher selling value than their face value? Let’s find out.
Are old money notes worth more than their actual value?
|Old Money Notes||Actual Value||Listed Value||Value increase|
|Full set of Singapore Orchid Series, issued from 1967-1976 ($25, $50, $100, $500, $1,000)||$1,675||$2,900||73%|
|Full set of Singapore Bird Series, issued from 1976- 1984 ($1, $5, $10, $20, $50)||$86||$168||95%|
|$50 notes from Singapore Ship Series, issued from 1984-1999||$100||$140||40%|
|(Rare) $1000 note from Singapore Ship series, issued from 1984-1999||$1,000||$1,085||8.5%|
|(Rare) Straits Settlements 5 cents note, old 1941 currency||5 cents||$10||19,900%|
Apart from the basic requirement that the money notes should be well kept in good condition, there are several other factors that affect the value of it.
A full set of money notes that includes all denominations in the series is worth more. If you landed a stack of notes in running serial numbers, that’s even better.
Old cash notes are generally of higher value the older they are. The really old ones issued before Singapore’s independence have the highest increase in value.
If you have an old note in a rare denomination, it probably can fetch the most value.
For example, the Orchid series consists of the only $25 note issued. This money note alone is already selling at $105 (320% increase in value compared to face value).
However, old money does not necessarily fetch more than the actual value if it’s hard to sell. For example, in the table above, there’s a $1,000 note from the Ship series that only has an 8.5% increase in value. Unless you’re a hardcore money notes-collecting fanatics, most people would rather spend that money on something else.
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Are Singapore Mint’s limited edition money notes worth more than their actual value?
|Limited Edition Commemorative Money Notes||Actual Value||Listed Value||Value increase by|
|Gold $50 note from SG50 with folder, issued in 2015||$50||$99||98%|
|$20 notes from Singapore-Brunei 40th Currency Interchangeability Agreement (CIA) with folder, issued in 2007||$40||$550||1,275%|
|$25 note from 25th Anniversary of the Monetary Authority of Singapore with folder, issued in 1996||$25||$140||460%|
|$50 note from the 25th Anniversary of the Independence of Singapore, issued in 1990 (without folder)||$50||$80||60%|
|$50 note from the 25th Anniversary of the Independence of Singapore with folder, issued in 1990||$50||$108||116%|
Limited edition notes are launched to commemorate special events and come in limited quantities.
So far, there has been 6 occasions when the Singapore Mint launched commemorative notes, including the Singapore Bicentennial $20 note released earlier in June this year. The first was to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Singapore’s Independence.
When it comes to commemorative notes, old doesn’t mean more value. It all depends on how rare it is, which depends on the quantity released. In the case of the commemorative note from Singapore-Brunei 40th Currency Interchangeability Agreement (CIA), only 12,000 sets were issued which explains its high selling value.
The SG50 commemorative note, on the other hand, turned out to be overprinted and thus has little value right now.
Another thing that racks up a note value is an auspicious serial number. If you managed to get a money note with a very auspicious serial number like 8888888, the value increases more.
Commemorative notes come in well-designed folders as they are meant to be kept as mementos. When selling, the existence of the folders and its condition are important. As you can see in the last 2 examples, notes with folders can fetch more.
Where can you sell or trade money notes and coins other than The Singapore Mint?
You can easily check online channels like Carousell, Gumtree, Ebay, Hardwarezone, singaporemint.com to see the value of your old or commemorative notes. Make sure you do meet-ups or use the CarouPay feature if it’s a high value item.
Physical currency trading outlets
The most legitimate ways to trade your old money notes and coins is to go to a physical shop. Here are some places you can sell or trade money notes and coins:
|Name of Shop||Address|
|Coins & Coins||1 Rochor Canal Rd #B1-02 Sim Lim Square|
|Fang Zheng Trading||60 Eu Tong Sen St #01-06 Furama City Centre|
|Golden Million Coin & Currency Agency||11 Collyer Quay #02-07 The Arcade|
|Han Dynasty Coin & Antiquities||390 Victoria St #03-56 Golden Landmark Hotel|
|House of Collectibles||101 Up Cross St #03-01 People’s Park Centre|
|Monetarium Pte Ltd||1 Coleman St #02-34 The Adelphi|
Have you seen this message “Hi, I’m an old money collector. Pls PM me if you have old Singaporean coin or note for sale.” on Instagram or Facebook’s comment box before? If so, please be aware that it might be a scam.
There are independent and legit old money collectors but you should check properly before committing to a business deal. The safest way might be to have a face-to-face meet up when dealing.
Is there investment value in money notes and coins?
Yes, there is – if they are either very old or rare, or if they have nice serial numbers. Even then, the actual monetary gain is not mind-blowing most of the time – unless it’s super rare, which only pros can tell.
Without that knowledge, you might stupidly sell it to others way below value.
If the money in your hands is neither outstandingly old nor rare, you can best hope to see it for double the price of the value. But think about the amount of time you have to keep it for and the care needed to ensure that it stays in mint condition and evaluate for yourself if it is a worthy investment option.
Most people simply collect notes like the old ship series and the SG50 commemorative note as a hobby rather than an investment.
If you have received them as gifts, but personally have no interest in collecting money notes and coins, maybe consider passing it down to your grandchildren or young nieces and nephews instead. Who knows what it could be worth in their generation!
Do you have experience selling old notes and coins and getting back more than its face value? Share with us below!