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Hunting $2 bank notes at Tet   2010-02-01 - VietNamNet/TP

Many are offering gilded and silver-plated dollar bank notes on the Internet, attracting special attention from the public. As Tet approaches, people are hunting for special dollar notes to give as gifts (li xi) to children and relatives at Tet.


The new fashion is to “li xi” people with special bank notes, making the recipients feel happier and luckier on New Year. Those who give the special money also show that they are “connoisseurs.”


The two dollar bank note is normally priced at 40,000-50,000 dong, but, as Tet nears, the price has increased sharply.


The dong/dollar exchange rate on the black market now is 19,000 dong per dollar.


Vu has some two dollar bank notes from the 2003 series. He is offering to sell the bank notes at 50,000 dong each on the Internet. Those who buy more than 20 will enjoy a discount of 45,000 dong. He reports that, since he advertised on the Internet, a lot of people have made contact to purchase the notes.


Two dollar bank notes from the 2003 series with “beautiful numbers” like 19666868 A,B 19688866 A,B 12225879A are being offered by Tai, the owner of website,  at 300,000-500,000 dong each.


Tai said that beautiful numbers can make the bank notes “invaluable.” Vietnamese people always love the number 9, believing it to be lucky. Tai observed that bank notes with suffixes 39 and 79 are selling like hot cakes.


He also mentioned that connoisseurs are hunting two dollar bank notes from the 1917, 1918 or 1928 series, because these are scarce. Tai is selling the rare two dollar bank notes from the 1976 series at 140,000-300,000 dong each.


Tien Phong reporters discovered from talking with Tai that Vietnamese Americans can find such bank notes and profit by sending them to Vietnam.


The two dollar bank notes from the 1928 series, according to Tai, are sold at 300,000-1 million dong.


Another dealer whom Tien Phong reporters contacted by phone offered to sell two dollar bank notes with 1918 and 1928 series at 3 million dong. If buyers want the certificate confirming that these are actual money, however, they must pay six million dong per note.


Money dealers have also advertised uncut two dollar bank notes (every 16 or 32 bank notes are printed on the same paper), saying that these are “hot” goods selling anywhere from 2.5 to 8 million dong. Buyers can frame the bank notes to hang or give as lucky gifts for business owners.


Money dealers also have other kinds of money on offer, from gilded and silver-plated bills to Zimbabwean notes with face values of 100,000 billion.


People are also seeking to purchase bank notes with values of one million or one billion. The bank notes have been introduced by some websites for collectors and do not have actual value. They sell for 70,000 dong.


Currency experts have warned the public to purchase all bank notes with caution, saying that they may be counterfeit. Tran Cong Ly Tao, a lawyer with the HCM City Bar Association, maintained that those who trade such bank notes could be accused of producing and trading counterfeit money.


Tai showed several two dollar bank notes with numbers and the gilded face of President Thomas Jefferson with a grey document. “This is the certificate that the money is real,” he maintained. Later he admitted that no one can 100 percent guarantee for certain.

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