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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 5, January 29, 2006, Article 15

VIETNAMESE BANKNOTE COLLECTOR MAKES RECORD BOOK

>From the Thanhnien News comes this story of the
Achievement of a Vietnames collector of world banknotes:

"A 33-year-old man has made it to Vietnam Guinness Book
Center (Vietbooks), which records Vietnamese records, for
owning currency notes from the most number of countries.

Ho Minh Hiep says he has collected paper currencies from
222 countries and territories, adding he only lacks a
Palestinian note to complete the whole global set."

"He has in his collection noted from territories which
no longer exist in their original form.

He is also a numismatist – a coin collector – with a
collection minted in 218 countries and territories. He
has coins made in gold, silver, and bronze and from as
long ago as the 19th century.

He has 200 Vietnamese bills, some of them narrating the
country’s history and ancient features. Others are so
old that Hiep has to go to great lengths to preserve them.
These include notes issued in 1948 by the French colonial
Indochinese government."

"Hiep says among his Vietnamese collection are several
bills issued by the Northern government during the American
War which are unique. Called Truong Son grocery notes, they
were used as food coupons by the military.

The notes were issued in 1962 and, unusually, have the
image of Ho Chi Minh on one side and nothing on the other
– they are blank on one side.

The bills are of 1, 2, 5, and 10 dong denominations.

Hiep also has notes that were printed but never saw the
light of day. The former Saigon printed batches of 5,000
and 10,000 dong notes in 1975 and prepared to issue them
when the regime fell. He says he found these rare notes
in Singapore."

"Hiep became interested in collecting currency bills by
chance.

In 1996, when he worked at the Tan Son Nhat International
Airport duty free shop, a tourist presented him a South
African note. “The unique feature of the bill set me off
on my quest to collect global currencies,” he says.

He adds that the regular opportunities to meet foreigners
helped him expand his collection day by day."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story

[Our intrepid Southeast Asia reporter Howard Daniel hadn't
seen the article, but he's now trying to contact the
collector.  -Editor]

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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