Fancy Number Banknotes : 8 Popular Categories

Lucky number 8
Lucky 8
Numbers has been as source of fascination in many different cultures around the world. Believers will tell you that certain numbers mean certain things, in different cultures and numbers make people do very strange things.

Take the number 13 for example - it is considered an "unlucky" number in most Western cultures. This belief has different origins depending who you ask. Some say that 13 pence was the hangman's pay; while Judas was the 13th disciple of Christ and the list goes on. Somewhere along the line Friday 13th is also regarded as a bad day and triska-deka-phobics (i.e. people who fear the number 13) will refuse to drive or go out on those days.  Buildings in the West do not have level 13 as well.

But if you are an East Asian, especially a Cantonese, you will regard 13 as an auspicious number!  That's because the number 13 in spoken Cantonese sound like "birth or life, synonymous to being lively". Similarly the number 8 or "八" in Cantonese is pronounced "fatt" ("發") which sound like "prosperity". The number 14 however is regarded as a very bad number, the number 4 is associated with death. So in East Asia, buildings will have a 13th floor but not a 14th.

As you might have guessed, this belief has also found its way into banknote collecting public and manifest itself in the form of "fancy number collecting". Most banknotes around the world today will have serial numbers on them, they range from 6 digits for Indonesia, to 8 digits for US Dollars, right up to 11 digits for the Euro.

For Malaysian banknotes printed from 1967 to 1983 (1st to 4th series) the prefix is a single letter with 2 digits and the serial number is 6 digits e.g. B/33 123456. From the 5th series (1983 onward) they are 2 letters with 7 digit serial numbers or "2L+7D".

Singapore banknote is similar but with 6 digit serials for the early years i.e. 1L2D+6D. The 2L+6D  was used starting 1991 with the S$2 ship series. Recent issues also have 3L+6D and 1L2D+6D. Some commemorative issues did not have any letters at all.

There are several category of numbers that the collectors go after and here's the list :

* Frequency / Rarity – base on 7 digits = 10 million pieces per prefix

Type Name
Frequency *
Low Number
Some collectors regard low number as those with 100 or lower, while others say 1000 or lower. For a 7 digit serial, there is 0.001% for number 100 and below and for number 1000 and below, it is 0.01%.

0000001 to 0000100
0000001 to 0001000
100 or 1000
High Number
For high numbers the last 10 pieces will also command significant value as well. Most collectors and dealers will pair 9999999 and 100000000 and sell them at a premium.

9999990 to 9999999
100 or 1000
Solid Number
Solids are where all the digits are the same. Most collectors like to collect a set of 10 pieces from 1111111 to 9999999 with the same prefix.

1111111, 2222222 to 9999999. 
Super Solid
Same as the solid number  but goes in tandem with the prefix. A full set of 10 piece from 1 to 9 will be one of the most difficult to get since the pieces runs across multiple prefixes i.e. AA1, BB2, CC3, DD4, EE5, FF6, GG7, HH8, JJ9. The II prefix may not exist because the II looks like the number 11.
AA1111111, BB2222222, CC3333333
1 per prefix
A sequential increase or decrease of the numbers in the serial. Most people will regard 1234567 and 7654321 as ascending and descending ladder respectively. So are 0123456 or 6543210. Local collectors seem to regard 1234567 as a full ladder but not 0123456, do you agree?

Reading the numbers form left to right, is the same as right to left

A series of digits that are repeated across serial number. For 7 digit serials there can be 2 or 3 digit repeaters : 3DR, 2DR 

2DR (Binary) : 
1010101, 2323232

3DR :  
12312312, 7897897

Trailing Zero
Numbers will a string of zeros after the first digit. Collectors and dealers will usually pair these with the preceding number and call it "cross over" and sell as a premium e.g. 0999999 and 1000000.

2000000 ... 9000000

If you happen to collect fancy numbers or know of other combinations please email to so that we can add to this list.

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