Rare and Unique Qatar Paper Money Brings Big Money at Spink in Conjunction with NYINC

A group of proposed Qatari banknotes brought unexpectedly big money from eager collectors in a recent auction held in New York.

by Patrick Ian Perez l Published on January 18, 2023

A never-seen-before set of proposed banknotes for the nation of Qatar shined in a recent New York City auction. The notes, dating from 1979, are composed of front and back printer’s models of designs that were not adopted for circulation. Often during the banknote design process the contracted security printing company will produce multiple models or proposed designs based on the theme provided by the note issuing authority. The authority (usually the central bank) will then choose and approve the designs used for production and circulation. The unadopted designs are then archived by the printer and/or the country and rarely see the light of day or are available to the collecting community. They often end up in museums.

The eight notes sold by London-based Spink far outpaced their pre-sale estimates, selling from 11,500 British pounds (GBP) or $14,216, all the way up to 70,000 GBP ($86,527). The most expensive model banknote to sale was a 1,000 riyal denomination featuring the ruler of Qatar at the time. One of the reasons the proposed design reached such a high price is due to the fact that Qatar has never issued a 1,000 riyal note for regular circulation.

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Author: Patrick Ian Perez

Patrick Ian Perez image Patrick Ian Perez began as a full time numismatist in June of 2008. For six years he owned and operated a retail brick and mortar coin shop in southern California. He joined the Coin Dealer Newsletter in August of 2014 and was promoted to Editor in June 2015. In addition to United States coins, his numismatic interests include world paper money, world coins with an emphasis on Mexico and Germany, and numismatic literature. Patrick has been also published in the Journal of the International Bank Note Society (IBNS).