GREAT BRITAIN, 1 pound, (1934), demonetized in Guernsey


GREAT BRITAIN, 1 pound, no date (1934), Face: green, Brittania facing, o/p: WITHDRAWN FROM CIRCULATION SEPTEMBER 18th, 1941., Back: green, o/p: WITHDRAWN FROM CIRCULATION SEPTEMBER 18th, 1941 (no period after 1941), serial number R34 362514, overprint by Guernsey authorities to prevent conversion by occupying Nazis, P363f, RBG34a, F

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Just before the Germans invaded Guernsey the local government called in all of the British notes on the island and overprinted them so the Nazis couldn’t use them.

Several times in my career rare banknote types have become available in quantity and the question arises, are they genuine. The question is more urgent with overprints on otherwise common notes. Like this. Over time the market and the internet will typically reveal truths, or an approach to truth. It seems, then, that this is genuine.

England got started with paper money at the end of the 17th century with mostly handwritten corporate IOUs by the Bank of England. From there they went on, with assistance from private banks for a while, in an unbroken sequence until, for the moment, today.

Aside from China, other governments started using circulating “banknotes” starting in the 17th century AD. The practice became general in the 19th century. In the 20th century value of paper money in circulation far surpassed the value of coinage. In the 21st century paper money is fading and credit transactions are growing.

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.