Starting a banknote collection? How?

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Collectors can focus on specific types of banknotes or collect a wide variety, acquiring them from local banks, currency merchants, antique shops, auctions, foreign exchange dealers, and specialist currency dealers. Some collectors trade banknotes to complete their collection. Bank employees may provide specific banknotes, and collectors can find obscure banknotes online or through directories.

Government agencies around the world have been issuing various types of banknotes for hundreds of years. Anyone wishing to start a banknote collection must first decide whether to focus their collection on a specific type of banknote or to collect a wide variety of currency. Many people start building a banknote collection by purchasing different types of banknotes from local banks. Expired banknotes and foreign banknotes are more difficult to acquire, but many people are able to increase their collection by connecting with currency merchants located both domestically and in overseas locations.

An individual with a general interest in currency may decide to build a banknote collection that includes bills currently in use, foreign currency, and bills that are no longer in general circulation. Other collectors try to create a collection that contains only one type of note such as English banknotes printed before decimalisation or banknotes printed in states that no longer exist such as Yugoslavia. By narrowing the collection, a collector can acquire banknotes that do not fit into their collection and trade these banknotes with other collectors for currency types that fit into the rest of the collection. After completing a collection, an individual may decide to start collecting other types of notes.

In many countries, some types of banknotes are readily available while other types of banknotes are printed in smaller quantities. Someone looking to build a collection of national currency notes can go to a local bank and require tellers to order certain types of notes from the central bank. Additionally, bank employees may be able to provide a collector with banknotes printed in specific years or banknotes produced to mark historical or political events.

Banknotes that are no longer in circulation can sometimes be found in antique shops, and some shops occasionally hold auctions where large quantities of collectibles such as banknotes are sold. Additionally, someone looking to build a collection of foreign currency can easily obtain a large number of these items by purchasing cash from a foreign exchange dealer at an airport or travel bureau. Obscure and outdated banknotes can be purchased from specialist currency dealers who often buy and sell banknotes from other merchants or from museums. Despite the many options available to a collector, some people acquire most of their banknotes by arranging exchanges with other collectors who can be found online or through directories of local enthusiast and collector groups.

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