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Total commemorative banknotes issued is under 1,500 pieces. If you have achieved any figures close to this, then you are doing extremely well, as many of the older commemorative notes are hard to find even in poor conditions.

Opinion: Many collectors of commemorative banknotes would have come across with those Somaliland sets overprinted with gold and silver texts with the following wordings - 5th Anniversary of Independence 18 May 1996 [Sanad Gurade 5ee Gobanimadda 18 May 1996]. I believe these are "home made" (or fake) and not authorised by the central bank. My argument is simple. No central bank would have issued an overprint commemorative banknote that the texts are so large that it would cover the two signatures on the note as well as part of the serial numbers. Even if these are genuine notes, then these could be issued as souvenir sheets and not as legal tender. As I said before, this is my opinion. If you have paid top dollars for these, please think about my argument. There is always a sucker around the corner, including me of course!

All comments are most welcome but it has to be subjects related to banknotes or banknotes collection. If not, it will not be approved. Thanks

08 February 2022

...Cambodia - 30,000 Riels 30th Year of Signing of the Paris Peace Agreements Commemorative Hybrid Note

(Kingdom of Cambodia)

(National Bank of Cambodia)
Currency : Riel (KHR)
This commemorative banknote of 30,000 riels was reportedly released on 18.10.2021, to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the signing of the Paris Peace Agreements, which officially ended Cambodia's second civil war, which started in late 1978, following the invasion of the country by forces backed by the Vietnamese government.

The Paris Peace Agreement was signed on 23.10.1991 between Cambodia and Vietnam that officially ended the war between the two neighbouring countries. The war officially started on 21.12.1978, when the army of Khmer Rouge attacked the southwest border of Vietnam, resulting in the death of more than 3,000 Vietnamese civilians. Four days later, Vietnam launched a full-scale war against the Government of Khmer Rouge. Although the two communist regimes were once in partnership to fight against the west, it was the Khmer Rouge that distrusted the Vietnamese communist party and started this conflict. The Vietnamese army successfully overran Khmer Rouge army in just 14 days and on 08.01.1979, thus started the 10 years occupation of Cambodia by the Vietnamese forces. Despite the victory, fighting continued between the two conflicting parties in rural countryside and this went on until 1989, as the western world/United Nations continued to recognise the Khmer Rouge as the legitimate government, even this brutal regime murdered up to 2 millions of their own people. The signing of the Peace accords in Paris finally ended the conflict. Apart from the two nations of Cambodia and Vietnam, the agreements were also co-signed by all the members of ASEAN (except for Myanmar), Australia, Canada, China, France, India, Japan, Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Yugoslavia.
It should also be noted that on paper, there was no way the Khmer Rouge could have won this conflict in the first place. The Khmer Rouge had a much smaller army size than the Vietnamese, ill trained and ill-equipped with weapons and not to mention the low morale of it's people too, when so many of their own people died under the Khmer Rouge regime through executions, exhaustion or starvation. In addition to this, the Khmer Rouge never went out and bought the hearts and souls of the ordinary people, but rather treated them like dogs, killing them at will.
It is also interesting to know some of the brief history of Cambodia and also the life of the late King, Norodom Sihanouk.
Cambodia started as the Khmer Empire and existed for more than 600 years until the French came and made the country as a protectorate of France in 1863. The country was briefly occupied by the Japanese during the second World War and in 1945, it was then returned to the French, even though the French could not protect them during the war. Independence was achieved in 1953. Between 1953 and 1970, the country was known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, then Khmer Republic from 1970 to 1975. From 1975 to 1979, it was known as the Democratic Kampuchea, then to the People's Republic of Kampuchea from 1979 to 1993 and again from 1993, it became the Kingdom of Cambodia again.
I can't say Norodom Sihanouk has had a hard or tough life. As a Prince or King, life is usually good. Despite already being a King in 1941, he stepped down in 1955 and decided to run for political office and this is when things all went pear shaped. I am sure his intention was good but it just didn't work out the way he was hoping for, and also not to mention foreign interventions into Cambodia's internal politics. During his lifetime, he had married six times. He even married two different women one after the other within 48 hours. One of his wives died from childbirth and four ended up divorced. In all, he had produced 14 children with 5 of them believed to have been murdered by the Khmer Rouge regime he once headed (with no faults of his own). I believe the official records for these 5 children disappeared between 1975 to 1976 in Cambodia.

Coming back to this banknote, the denomination of this is a Hybrid note of 30,000 riels. It's a bit odd, but this denomination is selected for the obvious reason. Nowadays, many issuing authorities have released new banknotes with odd values like $3, $7, $40, $150, 60 and 600 ringgit, 75,000 rupiah and so on. However, nothing can beat those issued in Myanmar in the mid 1980s with denominations of 15, 35, 45, 75 and 90 kyats. If you look on the bright side, this may help you to improve your simple mental mathematics skill too. 
This new note is printed with the year date of 2021.

Thirty Thousand Riel
King Norodom Sihanouk giving his speech in Paris in 1991

Front - The late King Norodom Sihanouk (b.1922-2012) giving his speech during the Paris Peace Agreements. During his lifetime, he was King of Cambodia twice (1941-1955 and 1993 to 2004). In addition to this, he also served as Prime Minister, Head of State and President too. The late king, through his mother's side, was the grandson of King Monivong (reigned 1927 to 1941), and he was succeeded to the throne at the age of 18;
Back - the late King Norodom Sihanouk and Hun Sen clasping hands both parading on an open car during a public procession welcoming Norodom Sihanouk back to Cambodia in November 1991, thus ending his exile after the Paris Peace Agreements were signed. Image of the Cambodia Royal Palace Throne room, Paris Eiffel Tower and the Independence monument built following the gaining of its independence from France (09.11.1953).
Signatures - Governor Chea Chanto
General Cashier - Tha Yao
Watermark - Independence monument
Dimensions - 170mm x 74.5mm
King Norodom Sihanouk returned from exile and was welcomed home by the PM Hun Sen


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