Lucky 7? Man exchanges $2 banknote with fancy serial number for a stack of $50

Lucky 7? Man exchanges $2 banknote with fancy serial number for a stack of $50
Collector Cornelius Koh sold a $2 note with a unique serial number for $1,000.
PHOTO: TikTok/Cornelius Koh

Going cashless might be the new normal these days, but one man is cashing in on his collection of rare banknotes. 

Cornelius Koh, a collector in Singapore, uploaded a video to TikTok last Saturday (April 15) where he documented the sale of a portrait series $2 banknote to a fellow collector for $1,000.

The reason for the hefty price tag?

This particular banknote bears a fancy serial number — 777777, and seven is often considered a lucky number. 

In the video, he is seen walking up to a middle-aged man and passing him a single banknote in exchange for a wad of $50 notes which Koh later shows off in the clip. 

However, Koh mentioned that he sold the $2 note at a "relatively low" price compared to the note's market value of about $2,000 to $3,000 due to a rare error


Speaking to AsiaOne on Monday, Koh said that the buyer is actually his friend. 

28-year-old Koh, who has been a collector for five years, shared that he gets these rare notes from a collector's market on WhatsApp, and then resells them to other collectors. 

He revealed that his most expensive sale of a single note has fetched a sum of "up to five digits".

When asked about the most expensive item in his collection, he said that it's a bird series $1 note with the serial number 111111 — which he estimates to be worth about $30,000. 

For such banknotes to command high prices, Koh said: "Notes must be graded to preserve their value, and they cannot have any fold lines, or be circulated". 

A graded banknote is one that has received a rating from the Paper Money Guarantee, which uses a 70-point numerical scale to determine its physical condition. 

The $2 note that Koh sold in the video had a PMG grading of 64 out of 70. 

According to PMG's website, such a grading means that "the centreing is off on one or two sides. Some handling may also be present on the note, but there are no folds in the design". 

Some collectors tend to go for fancy serial numbers like 999999 (what he dubs "golden numbers"), while others may prefer collecting different generations of currency with different motifs, Koh added.

Other banknotes that are worth more than their face value include commemorative notes such as Singapore's Bicentennial $20 notes, or old notes, according to MoneySmart.

Commemorative notes also tend to come with well-designed folders, and the condition of the folders is also important in determining their resale value.

Other factors also come into play in determining a banknote's value, such as how rare it is and the quantity released.

ALSO READ: Commemorative $50 note featuring late Mr Lee Kuan Yew launched

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