Iran rare banknotes and collectible paper money

Overview

The first Iran collectible banknotes were issued in 1890, when Iran was still called the Kingdom of Persia. The banknotes used the unit toman. Notes from the first series are very rare; slightly less rare are notes from the second series, also in 1890. Persian banknotes from the 1890s can command a premium in the collectibles marketplace.

During World War I, German banknotes with Persian overprints were used for a short time and now these notes appeal to collectors of both German and Iranian banknotes. For Persia's 1924 series of banknotes, English was added to the Persian script to identify the denomination of each note — TWO TOMANS, for example.

The Kingdom of Iran was established in 1932, and the currency system was changed. From this point, Iranian banknotes were in rials. Several series were issued, and by the 1970s each Iranian banknote featured an image of the Shah. When the Islamic Revolution was successful in 1978, existing banknotes were used with various ornate and carefully-shaped (and darkly printed) overprints obscuring the Shah's image. Different overprints on different banknotes are valued differently, as some were much more common than others.

In 1981 the Islamic Republic of Iran issued its own banknotes for the first time, and these modern notes continue to be bought and sold in the marketplace today. Inflation has necessitated the gradual introduction of higher-denomination notes into general circulation; in 2013, it was announced that a 200,000 rial banknote would be printed and issued in March, with a proposed 500,000 rial note coming within two years.

Check the listings of some rare and collectible Iranian and Persian banknotes for sale here. Listings are updated daily.

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