PHOTO MOMENT: Armenian tax stamps by Vachagan

For the past few weeks I have corresponded with a cigarette pack collector in Armenia by the name of Vachagan. He and I have set up a swapping exchange whereby I will send him empty cigarette boxes in return for excise tax stamps from his home country. You may remember a previous Photo Moment of excise tax stamps for tobacco based on my exchanges with the renowned Russian collector Andrey Vasiunin. It was through Andrey’s collection website that Vachagan contacted me. Vachagan recently sent me an email with attachments of the stamps he will allow me to choose from and … Continue reading PHOTO MOMENT: Armenian tax stamps by Vachagan

PHOTO MOMENT: The 5 paise coin of India

Vijay Shah Our second photo moment takes us from Mauritius to India, a land famed among numismatists (coin-collectors) for its array of peculiarly shaped coins. Like Mauritius, the Asian subcontinent has produced scalloped coins but even more strangely, until recently, diamond-shaped coins could be found in the spare change. Until inflation saw their eventual extinction from everyday circulation, India, as well as the neighbouring countries of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Sri Lanka used diamond or square coins. India in particular has had one of the longest usage of these coins going back centuries.  From 1965 until 1994, the country’s government-run … Continue reading PHOTO MOMENT: The 5 paise coin of India

BIG MONEY: Becoming a Zimbabwean trillionaire

By Vijay Shah I have been collecting banknotes for many years, ever since I was an acne-ridden student at secondary school. What first lured me into the exciting realm of notaphily, to use the official name of the hobby, was a magazine called Money of the World, which if I remember correctly was published by a company named De Agostini Publications. Every fortnight, an issue would arrive at my local newsagents via special subscription, and with my mother’s £2.50 pocket money weighing down my pockets, I would walk briskly to the shop to pick up a copy. Every two weeks, … Continue reading BIG MONEY: Becoming a Zimbabwean trillionaire