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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

19 October 2022

...Cambodia - 2000 Riels 2018 60th Anniversary Of Establishment of Diplomatic Relations Between Cambodia And China 1958-2018

(Kingdom of Cambodia)

(National Bank of Cambodia)
Currency : Riel (KHR)

This is a commemorative 2000 riels released in 2018, celebrating 60th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Cambodia and China 1958-2018. Cambodia obtained independent from France in 1953.
I have to say that initially when I first saw this note, the first thing came to my mind was that, is this a home-made item created for the purposes of financial gain, and as such is just another fantasy note, or it is a real deal? I have seen this similar note posted on a couple of websites, but on closer inspection, the two images on those two sites are the same (same serial number/same note). If this note is genuine, then my question is that why such a secretive on this issue? Was this issue not locally reported in Cambodia? Was it reported on the central bank website before or when it was released? If it was a genuine note, was it not meant for sale to the public? I am also unable to find this note mentioned on the central bank's website either.
Few genuine banknotes popped up on the internet over the recent years that many serious collectors were unaware of it existence prior. These were mostly commemorative notes, and were printed in limited quantity, and may not have meant to be released to the public, just like the Barbados $5 2002 celebrating the Bank's 30th Anniversary. The other one that came to my mind were the Mongolia 20000 togrog 2006 celebrating 800th Year of Great Mongol State 1206-2006; and Mauritania 5000 ouguiya 2013 commemorating Bank's 40th Anniversary. So, why such a secrecy on these notes? I have no answer for both Mongolia and Mauritania notes, but I do know why the Barbados notes were not known to many collectors until around 2010. Perhaps, some collectors knew about the Barbados note then but did not know how to share the information with the rest of the world, or did not border to do so. It turned out that the Barbados overprint commemorative notes were printed as gifts, mainly for the clients of the central bank. Some said that it was also presented as a gift to the bank's employees as well. Whilst only 1000 sets were issued, it was not all distributed, and around 2010 or 2011, the bank decided to release them and sold it as a collectible at a small premium over the face value. Were the Mongolia and Mauritania notes also just issued to bank employees only too?

Now, coming back to this Cambodia note, does it share the same or similar story as the Barbados $5 note? Perhaps it is for staffs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. After some investigations, it is my understanding that the over print work was done by someone in China. Was this a genuine banknote  provided by the National Bank of Cambodia, and the commemorative text was privately added, with the full knowledge or approval by the bank?

The design of this 2000 riels commemorative note is the same as the one that was released in January 2008. The note is printed with the year date of 2007. A reprint version of the same note was issued with the added year date of 2015 on the 2007 design.

This 2000 riels commemorative note is issued in a hard cover folder with a Collection Certificate. I have compared the image of this note with the 2007 print, and this is what I have noticed the following differences; -

1) There are no signatures printed on this commemorative note. The 2007 circulating notes series were printed with two signatures of the Bank Governor Chea Chanto, and the Bank's General Cashier Tha Yao;
2) The prefix for this note is printed with the two alphabets CC (presumably stand for Cambodia China). It is not sure if this is the only prefix printed. Those circulating 2007 series of notes were printed with two Khmer characters as prefix;
3) The commemorative note is only printed with one set of serial number, and not two like those normal issues;
4) The watermark for this note looks like flowers in diamond shapes on all over the note. The watermark for the normal circulating note is a Four Faces of Bodhisattva;
5) Unlike the circulating note, this one is missing the embedded security thread; and 
6) A Collection Certificate is included in the folder but not a Certificate of Authentication, and as such did not state that this is an authentic issue. This Collection Certificate is printed in English and Chinese languages but not in Khmer language. Isn't this is strange?

So, what's the story about Cambodia banknotes that do not bear the signatures of the Governor, and the General Cashier? Is this note still legit and legal tender, according to the Currency Law in Cambodia? According to the information printed on the hard cover folder, it stated that 6000 sets have been issued, but I am not sure if the 6000 sets are all referring to the single note folders, as it was also reported that a single folder containing 10 notes of the same are also available. In addition to these folders, I have also sighted an uncut sheet of 4-in-1 too. So what is the quantity of this note released?
I have now come to the conclusion that this note is not a legal tender banknote in Cambodia, as it is missing the official two signatures of the bank. Furthermore, the watermark on this commemorative note is not the same as the one that initially issued in early 2008. So, my next question is, was this overprinted note printed separately?
This is a beauty in banknotes collection. A picture may tells a thousand words, but it also raised many unanswered questions too.
So, what do you think about this note?
Two Thousand Riels
Presah Vihear temple

Front - Image of Presah Vihear temple. This temple was built in the 11th or 12 century, and is located on the top of Preah Vihear mountain, north of Cambodia, not far from the border of Thailand. This temple is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The commemorative logo is printed on the right with the numeral 60, and followed by Khmer writing, presumably stating the commemorative text for this issue.

Signature - none
Watermark - Diamond shape flowers
Dimensions - 146.5mm x 68.5mm
Quantity - 6000 sets

Back - Rice harvesting by field workers. On the background is the image of world famous Angkor Wat, built in the 12th century, and located in Siem Reap, the second largest city in Cambodia. Commemorative logo printed on the watermark area with the following text in both Chinese and English:

一九五八 - 二0一八
(transaction from google;
Warmly celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Cambodia and China
1958 - 2018)

Limited Edition
Rice harvesting by field workers, Angkor Wat
Front folder cover

On the back of the cover, it says that - "Printed and issued by the National Bank of the Kingdom of Cambodia", in Chinese and English, but not in Khmer. This folder is printed with the Chinese and English languages more than the Khmer language! 

Below is the circulating note that was released in January 2008 for comparison purposes.


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