Notaphily: I Collected Lots of Banknotes for Souvenirs and Thought It Was Impractical



Instead of buying souvenirs from the countries I've been to, I would keep local currencies and not just a single bill but all of the available (different) banknotes I can find. I was not a fan of buying ref magnets and I consider the pictures I take as postcards and they are more than enough as souvenirs.




    How I started with notaphily

    Notaphily is the hobby of collecting banknotes. I started doing it when I traveled to Scotland in 2013 when I sort of forgot to get some souvenirs (other than a theater pamphlet). So on my last day in Aberdeen, I decided I'd keep all the banknotes of different denominations. I even kept different issues of the same value. 

    Then I started to collect old bills from Saudi Arabia, as it was a time when new banknotes were being introduced, and it was fun to see old banknotes and they were rare. Again, I tried to collect all the denominations. 


    Growing collection 

    My collection grew but I only kept banknotes from the countries I've been to, but would also accept bills from colleagues who were willing to give. I got the Thai baht, Hong Kong dollar, UAE dirhams, UK pounds/sterling and a couple more. The total value in Philippine peso reached up to 80,000 (I track them on a spreadsheet).




    The momentary fun

    I was enjoying it not because it made me feel rich but because they reminded me of my time in those countries. As I said, they were souvenirs. The thing is, I rarely looked at the album and I began to think it was impractical to keep them. I thought I could have used the money for something else.



    I stopped collecting and started to use them

    Then I started to find ways to "liquidate" them. I first got rid of the UAE dirhams during my second trip to Dubai in 2017. Then, a colleague went to England and I traded my pounds for Riyals. I also started spending my old Saudi banknotes which included a few old 500 SAR bills before they become totally unusable.


    Not Impractical After All


    Since I collected more than one banknote from a country (as opposed to others who collect one from every country), they can be traded easily as opposed to having a single paper bill. As mentioned, I was able to use some of them during a second visit to the country, although this is not a reason to hold on to banknotes, thinking to use them in the future, but it saved me somehow.




    Recently, during our trip to Japan, we chanced by a money changing machine in a store and I decided to exchange my Thai Bahts and Hong Kong Dollars to supplement our trip allowance. Unexpectedly, our flight back to Manila was cancelled and we had to extend our stay in the hotel. The exchanged money saved us from getting short of funds.

    But overall, I intend to liquidate my remaining currencies to usable ones and stick to ref magnets and photographs for souvenirs.


    Conclusion

    I wanted to make a post about this collection a long time ago, when it was at the peak and thought it was fun, but I believed it was a bit ostentatious to do so.

    My way of collecting was impractical because I kept too many banknotes from one country instead of just keeping one or two. I guess I'll just keep the smaller denominations that won't be accepted by money changers.

    1 comment:

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