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New Indian rupee banknotes

India’s Banned Banknotes – Worth a Fortune?

  • 02
  • 01
  • 2017

India’s 500 rupee (USD 7.35) and 1,000 rupee (USD 14.70) bills are the largest banknotes in India.

Americans and Europeans might be amazed that there are no larger banknotes, but Asians probably think it’s just normal. After all, it’s the same in many Asian countries.

Demonetized 500 rupee banknote

Demonetized 500 rupee banknote and some Indian coins

Asians might be surprised, though, if one day the largest banknotes could no longer be accepted. That’s what happened suddenly in India in November 2016. Indians were taken by surprise when they were told that these notes would no longer be legal. Instead, they will need to change the old notes for new 500 rupee and 2,000 rupee notes.

Changing demonetized rupees

Indians waiting in line to exchange demonetized rupees for the new currency

“This step will strengthen the hands of the common man in the fight against corruption, black money and fake currency,” said India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

More than 90% of money transactions in India take place in cash. This practice makes it very difficult for the government to get taxes paid on transactions that should be taxed.

New 2000 rupee banknotes

New 2000 rupee banknotes

In this demonetization, criminals who have accumulated large amounts of cash will need to change it over to new banknotes. How will they explain where all their money came from? The government will be happy to hear their stories.

But Ramkumar, an Indian numismatist who lives in Dubai, has encouraged Indians to check the serial numbers on their banknotes before turning them in. He advises, “Check the serial numbers of the currency notes. Special serial numbers, fancy and royal notes could fetch several times its face value in future.”

Demonetized 1000 rupee banknote

Demonetized 1000 rupee banknotes – check the serial numbers!

Ramkumar claims that there is a worldwide demand for fancy notes. He himself has a collection of banknotes with the royal number 000001 from ten countries.

So who knows? Your rupee banknotes might be worth more than face value. Are you willing to hold on to them and take the risk?

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