The secret messages hidden in banknotes

The secret messages hidden in banknotes
PHOTO: Pixabay

One day in 1967, 12-year-old Rezwan Razack was nosing through his grandfather's iron safe in Bengaluru, India, when something unusual caught his eye. It was a wad of banknotes with the word 'cancelled' stamped on each.

Amongst the bundle were a few Reserve Bank of India notes with a portrait of King George VI on the front. They had been cancelled with a rubber stamp reading "Pakistan Note Payment Refused". The little boy's find triggered a lasting curiosity about paper money that couldn't be used as legal tender.

"I always used to wonder how Reserve Bank of India notes could be Pakistan money," said Razack, who later learned that India's central bank printed money on behalf of Pakistan for some time after Partition cleaved British India in to two countries.

Soon after, while visiting his cousin's house, he found some British India banknotes, India's pre-independence currency. These became Razack's starter collection and sparked a lifelong passion.

"I pestered my grandfather to give me the antique banknotes that were in his safe," he said. "Sensing my enthusiasm, he readily parted with his treasure."

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