BELGIUM, WENDUYNE, 5 centiemen, 1916


BELGIUM, WENDUYNE, 5 centiemen, 1916, Face: black on light blue, Back: brown on light blue, VG

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During and after World War I most European countries issued some local emergency paper money. Belgian emergencies are scarce and rare.

Belgium got started with paper money early in the 19th century.

For organizational purposes, banknote collectors tend to make a distinction between national issues and local issues. The Standard Catalog of World Paper Money has a volume dedicated to “specialized” issues, where about 20,000 items are listed. A “complete” catalog would likely have at least 10 times that number. The Standard Catalog numbers for “specialized” notes are designated P-S. There are special catalogs for various series such as German and Austrian notgeld, former Soviet Union, etc.

Paper money, meaning the promise of a government to pay a set amount, and the paper promise allowed to circulate at will, was probably first used in China in the 12th century AD. At that time the merchants and governments of Europe were just writing letters to each other about what they owed.