In an article originally y printed in Bank Note Reporter (and now available on Numismaster.con), Neil Shafer reviews
The Encyclopedia of the Libyan Banknotes by Dr. Ali Mehilba. Here are some excerpts.
The Encyclopedia of the Libyan Banknotes is its title, and it was written by Dr. Ali Mehilba, well-known numismatic scholar in Middle Eastern numismatics. With Libya so much in the news these days, the emergence of this particular book may have an added degree of interest as any possible change of regime would of course necessitate a new series of bank notes.
The book will be popular because the text appears in both Arabic and English. Proceeding by chapters, the first one deals with an historical perspective on the country and some of its leading personalities through the years. Chapter II takes a close look at grading standards using the International Bank Note Society as a guide, and giving comparative abbreviations for various grades as used in a number of countries. There is also some discussion about the effects of grading on the value of a note, particularly if the piece is desired for investment. The various signatures found on Libyan bank notes are listed with the years they appeared, along with some pictures of the individual signers themselves.
Chapter III, the heart of the book, begins the listing of bank notes, proceeding by issuer. After a thorough analysis of the issue as a whole, each note is presented; data given consists of its own list of specifics, a face and back illustration in color, and a catalog listing including values in five grades. Catalog numbers are based on those in the Pick references; values appear to be in U.S. dollars though this fact is not stated. Issues progress in the following order: Kingdom of Libya, United Kingdom of Libya, National Bank of Libya, Bank of Libya, and Central Bank of Libya.
When one observes the dates on the first two issues, it would seem that they are correctly listed in the Standard Catalog. Notes of the United Kingdom were made under Law No. 4 of 24th October 1951 as stated on the pieces themselves. But according to this new reference, the King Idris portrait notes with their date of Jan. 1, 1952 and issued under the Kingdom of Libya actually come before those with the 1951 Law date. Apparently there was agitation for the removal of the king’s effigy, so the next issue, United Kingdom notes with illustrations of some famous ruins in Libya, replaced those showing the king; they may have been issued under the 1951 Law date but certainly after the portrait notes of 1952.
After going through all government issues from beginning to end, this same chapter continues with two well-known World War II military-related emissions: British issue for Tripolitania in lire, and French occupation of the Fezzan.
Chapter IV deals with counterfeiting of regular-issue Libyan bank notes, followed by a detailed discussion of genuine pieces and forgeries of Fezzan overprints by world expert Joe Boling. A number of illustrations highlighting his presentation are provided to help clarify the problems involved.
To sum it up, collectors will find this reference a valuable tool in their pursuit of this series full of history amid notes of real rarity. While there are a few rougher spots in the English text, there is no problem with understanding it fully. The author is to be highly commended for a fine piece of pioneering work with the notes of Libya.
To read the complete article, see:
New Book on Libyan Bank Note
THE BOOK BAZARRE
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