Collectors bid a fortune for ‘worthless’ notes

An old Rs. 5,000 note that was demonetised in 1978.

An old Rs. 5,000 note that was demonetised in 1978.  

Well-preserved notes from another era are favourites among collectors.

For those who saved some high-value currency after the 1978 demonetisation, it has been a rewarding experience. The Rs. 1,000, Rs. 5,000 and Rs. 10,000 denomination notes that were scrapped that year, and remain in good condition, are fetching several lakhs of rupees from collectors.

These notes were not even worth Rs. 100 soon after they were demonetised in January 1978, an enthusiast recalls.

The Rs. 1,000 notes of old have come up for auction a few times, including this July in Bengaluru, when one fetched Rs. 2.4 lakh. The Rs. 5,000 and Rs. 10,000 notes have never come under the hammer, says Rajendra Maru of Marudhar Arts, an auction house. Well-kept old Rs. 1,000 notes can fetch up to Rs. 5 lakh, he estimates.

About 200 auctions have taken place since 2000, when auction of currency notes was legalised. “I know that Rs. 5,000 and Rs. 10,000 notes are sold privately. This has happened about 10 times in the last 15 years. They were sold for even up to Rs. 20 lakh,” Mr. Maru says.

He believes that if these notes are auctioned now, the base price could touch Rs. 30 lakh and finally fetch much more.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 1:43:40 PM |

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