Can these old currency notes still be used? Young cashier's question makes us all feel old

PHOTO: Facebook/complaintsingapore

Whether it's scratching your head over newfangled lingo or meeting someone whose IC number begins with a different letter, there's no denying that the generation gap is real sometimes.

For one Singapore woman, it was made apparent when she encountered a cashier who presumably had never come across an old currency note before.

In a post shared in Facebook group Complaint Singapore on March 30, a Pauline Lee shared a picture of a Ship series $2 bill, writing: "Young cashier ask me if this note can be used? I told her maybe you did not seen it before [sic]."

"It's sad people nowadays don't know the value of historical relics," said one rueful commenter.

Another joked: "Wait till you give them the Orchid and Bird series. They'll ask if that's for burning (as joss paper)."

While the Portrait series notes launched in 1999 may be more common nowadays, the Ship series remains instantly recognisable to many.

Young cashier ask me if this note can be used ? I told her maybe you did not seen it before . I thought it's crumpled note so not worth a lot .

Posted by Pauline Lee Mei Ling on Monday, 30 March 2020

But for the benefit of all the youngins who don't remember a time before polymer money: yes, the Ship series notes are still legal tender.

In fact, all four series of notes and three series of coins that Singapore has issued since independence can still be utilised, according to the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

These include the Bird series notes issued from 1976 to 1984 and the Orchid series notes issued from 1967 to 1976.

A Bird series $10 note. The birds signify a young Singapore soaring to greater heights.PHOTO: MASAn Orchid series $25 note. The Orchid series is the only one with a $25 denomination.PHOTO: MAS

Of course, these notes will only be worth their face value when used for payment, so it might serve you better to hold on to these 'relics'.

For example, a rare Orchid $25 is worth $105 (a 320 per cent increase in value), while a full set of Bird series notes may see a 95 per cent increase in value.

kimberlylim@asiaone.com