On November 11, 2018, I posted on Facebook a medal issued by the City of New London, Wisconsin inscribed to Theodore Schaller who was the only resident of that community to die in WWI. A few people who saw that post suggested I make other numismatic related posts. Rather than post them on Facebook I have started this blog.
This is the first time I have used WordPress. I am learning the site as I go so do not expect much in these early posts. I hope you enjoy reading these posts as much as I do writing them.
In the Beginning . . .
For my first entry I thought it appropriate to highlight the item that started it all. Note number 1, so to speak.
The note is a Central Bank of China 10 customs gold unit (CGU) note. These notes were originally issued in 1930 to pay customs duties. The notes insulated importers from changes in the dollar/yuan or pound sterling/yuan exchange rates. The initial value was 1 CGU = US$.40.
CGU notes had limited circulation prior to WWII. The original purpose for the notes was eliminated in 1941 when customs duties were changed. CGU notes began to circulate as regular currency in Nationalist controlled China at a rate of 1 CGU = 20 CNC (Chinese National Currency or yuan). Increased government expenditures for the war against Japan and then the Chinese Civil War led to rampant inflation and a dramatic increase in denominations of both CNC and CGU notes.
The pre-war CGU notes were issued in denominations of 10 and 20 cents, and 1, 5, and 10 CGU. During WWII, 20 and 50 CGU notes were introduced. After the war, values up to 250,000 CGU were printed.
All the CGU notes were of similar design. A portrait of Dr. Sun Yat Sen appears on the face and the customs house in Shanghai is on the back. Several printers were used for the notes. All except two varieties are vertical format. It was the vertical format thethat first drew me to the note.
I acquired the 10 CGU note pictured above on December 7, 1975. I know the date because it was my first communion. I bought it and a partially filled Lincoln penny book from one of my brothers using the $5.00 my grandmother gave me that day. He got the better end of the deal.
My interest in coins and paper money waxed and waned over my teenage years based largely on the availability of material. Flea markets were the only source in the late 1970s and then it was very limited. I had no access to reference books and felt my way through hobby darkness until 1987. But I will save that story for another day.