Finest Known Issued and Uncancelled Zanzibar 5 Rupees

In our official January
New York International Numismatic Convention auction, we are pleased to offer
an extremely rare, and well-preserved Zanzibar 5 rupees banknote.

This tiny geographic area
is a semi-autonomous archipelago off the coast of Tanzania. Microlithic tools
have proven that Zanzibar has been home to humans for over 20,000 years.
Zanzibar was formally under the control of the Portuguese Empire during the
exploration age, then the Sultanate of Oman, later the British Empire, and then
it was ruled as a constitutional monarchy under Sultan Jamshid bin Abdullah
before the Zanzibar Revolution. Currently it governs itself through the
Revolutionary Council and House of Representatives.

You don’t need to know
the entire history of Zanzibar to recognize how rare and special banknotes from
the region are. The country was a trading point between surrounding continents
for many different imports and exports ranging from spices to slave
trafficking. It didn’t print its own money until 1908. Denominations released
were 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 Rupees. Of the notes printed from 1908 until 1928,
only around 500 are known to have survived.

We are fortunate to offer
a very rare, first issue, 5 Rupees banknote. Of all the known uncancelled,
issued examples of this type, it is the finest known. The beautiful note
displays a very detailed ornate design on the front. A dhow (a lateen-rigged
ship with one or two masts frequently used in the Indian Ocean) with a sun on
the horizon is seen at left. Farmers at a fruit harvest are seen at right. The
note is uniface, and therefore has a blank reverse. A guilloche border outlines
the design and contains 5 counters in each corner signifying the denomination.
Some very minor toning, typical for the grade, is seen and mentioned merely for

This note will be offered
alongside other rarities in the live session of our official January NYINC
World Paper Money auction to be held at the Waldorf Astoria. We are currently
accepting consignments for our 2016-2017 auction season. If you are interested
in consigning or if you have a currency related question, please call
1-800-458-4646 or email Currency Specialist Aris Maragoudakis at

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