Sometimes opportunities come along in quick succession and if you had taken advantage of the first you are then faced with the difficult decision, sometimes, of whether or not to "go in" on the second. A typical dilemma that all collectors face, and at its core is all about patience. Well, fortunately for me this recent dilemma required very little thought, or money, and I went "in" on my latest acquisition.
I've been on a shahiv kick recently and have been rewarded with some fun and unique acquisitions as of late. While searching ebay I saw 5 new listings for Ukrainian shahiv notes, each for a single note of varying denominations which if all purchased would make a complete set. Not having need of a new set, or even individual notes, I wasn't expecting much and was quickly scrolling past until the 40 shahiv note caught my eye. It looked terrible, printing wise, and deserved closer inspection.
Images from ebay seller.
Similar to the 50 shahiv note I purchased a week earlier, the design and printing of this note looked subpar and lacked all the detail and sharpness an actual 40 shahiv note would have. All the details were mushy, the edges of the ink were inconsistent and not sharp, the design was inaccurate with the shape, placement and size of the images off. The single line boarder on the back was crooked with no straight lines, messy corners and thickness variances all over, the text and trident, inaccurate. This looked like another contemporary counterfeit, the second one in two weeks that I had come across, after not having seen any for over two years. Well, I went ahead and spent the $11.99 it would cost me to purchase this note and patiently waited for its arrival.
Upon further inspection, once the note was delivered, it's not even close. Not that there was much doubt in the first place. A contemporary counterfeit of poor quality and a solid new addition to my collection.
That there was a need to produce these, I say need as I believe that these counterfeits were most likely produced out of a need to survive by people or as a means of disruption by an enemy at a time of war and not as a way of profiting from them, is interesting. As, to date, there are only known counterfeits of the 40 and 50 shahive notes, the largest denominations, and that counterfeiters didn't seem to waste their time with the lower denominations is an indication of the "value" of these at the time they were issued. Meaning they were almost worthless and were quickly replaced by higher denomination notes in short order.
A contemporary counterfeit is not listed in the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money but is listed in at least two other references in my library. Notes not listed in the SCWPM or by Pick is not unusual, especially for collectors of notes from less popular countries, but that's part of what makes collecting from countries that do not have a large base fun as you can find all kinds of "unlisted" notes or rarities with just a little effort, and they aren't going to break the bank. I imagen that this note will be listed as P 10x, similar to P 11x, and I guess would be considered a discovery note in the U.S.. Interestingly enough there are no images of a counterfeit 40 shahiv note in any of the references that list it, I don't know if it is because the author/s or publishers just didn't have any notes or images of a counterfeit or if was just known with no current examples.
Paper Money of Ukraine, 40 shahiv counterfeit listed with no image.
Ukrainian Paper Money, 40 shahiv counterfeit listed with no image.
This is a super fun series to collect with several varieties still out there waiting to be discovered, and you can bet I'll be looking for them. Even ones that ain't the real thing.