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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

01 August 2023

...Abkhazia - 25 Apsars 30th Anniversary of the Victory in the Patriotic War 1992-1993 (Against Georgia)

Аҧсны Аҳәынҭқарра
(Republic of Abkhazia)
Аԥсны Аҳәынҭқарра Амилаҭтә Банк
(National Bank of the Republic of Abkhazia)
Currency - Apsar (Apsara)
This 25 apsars (apsaras) note was issued on 22.05.2023, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Victory in the Patriotic War 1992-1993 of the people of Abkhazia. A 500 apsars banknote was issued back in 2018 for the 25th anniversary of the Patriotic War 1992-1993.
The design for this 25 apsars note is completely different from the previous 500 apsars commemorative note issued. 
The Republic of Abkhazia is a disputed region and was once controlled by the government of Georgia. Georgia lost control of the territory following the 1992-1993 war in Abkhazia. Despite both Georgia and Abkhazia signing a ceasefire agreement in 1994, and following years of negotiations, the dispute remains unresolved. Georgia was once a member of the Soviet Union and became an independent state following the breakup of the Soviet Union. Georgia became fully independent from the Soviet Union on 26.12.1991.
The Republic of Abkhazia is situated on the western side of Georgia and shares a common border with Russia. It has a land size of 8660 km2 or about 12.5% of the whole of Georgia. Despite Georgia losing the control of the Abkhazia territory, the majority of the international community still considered Abkhazia as part of Georgia. Today only five countries recognise Abkhazia as an independent nation and these five countries are Russia, Nauru, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Syria.
Like the previous commemorative issue, this is also a limited edition, and with only 15,000 pieces issued reportedly. Whilst many coins have been minted since declaring independence in 1992, this is the second banknote ever issued by this disputed territory.
The National Bank of the Republic of Abkhazia was established on 28.02.1991. The bank's head office is located on Leon Street in the capital city of Sukhumi. While the official currency is Apsar, Russian ruble is used in this region. This Apsar commemorative note is dated 2023, and is predominately printed with green-beige colour. This banknote is printed on white cotton based paper. A total of 15,000 pieces issued, and according to the issuing authority, this note may not be used as a means of general payment in the retail system, just like the previous 500 apsars commemorative note issued in 2018. I am not sure if anyone has tried this. It would be very unlikely if this note was issued with a premium over its face value.
The official exchange rate for the Apsar currency is 1 apsar equals to 10 Russian rubles. I honestly doubt that the Apsar currency has any real face value outside the Abkhazia territory, even in Russia if presented, apart from its collectible value to Notaphily around the world. In the real world, this apsar banknote may not be worth the paper it has printed on, but may have great potential collectible value in the near future, given that this is a limited edition and banknotes issued by disputed territories are one of the many favourites among collectors.

It appears that this commemorative note is also issued in a folder. However, I have no details as to how many have been issued in a folder nor I have one either. I do not believe the entire 15,000 pieces of notes are released in a folder.
Twenty Five Apsars (Apsaras)
A flying hawk with wings fully stretched out heading west, a hawk head facing east.
Front: A State emblem on the left, a sailboat, a soaring flying hawk with wings fully stretched out heading west, a hawk head facing east. Images of Seven Stars from the state flag of the Republic of Abkhazia are also located on top of a semicircle surrounding the hawk's head.
Signature - Beslan Baratelia (Chairman since 2014)
Series - AA23 (2023)
Watermark - Basket weave pattern
Dimensions - 151.5mm x 65.5mm
Back: Two Abkhaz warriors standing and facing each other. One is holding a sword and a handgun, and the other one with a rifle and a sword. The image of seven stars is duplicated and the background is printed with traditional Abkhazian ornament. Like the previous 500 apsars note, this note is also printed with the Quick Response (QR) code on the bottom right corner containing a link to the web page of the Bank of Abkhazia with a description of the security of this banknote.
Two Abkhaz warriors facing each other
Footnote: - Apart from Abkhazia, Georgia has also lost control of the region called South Ossetia when it declared independence in 1991. As per Abkhazia, South Ossetia is also recognised by only five countries, namely Russia, Nauru, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Syria, but the majority of the international community do not.

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