Spink Book Launch : Commemorating The Frank Goon Collection of Banknotes of British Malaya


For someone staying in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, it is a 5 hour road trip from here to the southern tip of the peninsular, Singapore. But is was well worth it, when one's goal is to get a much anticipated and perhaps this years' most important and significant book on numismatics - the 2nd edition of "Frank Goon Collection of Banknotes of British Malaya" published by Spink & Sons.

Spink Book - Frank Goon Collection of Banknotes of British Malaya
Image courtesy of Spink & Sons

This large format volume is no ordinary book. The book itself weighs in at close to 3kgs, contains 485 pages in full color, 28cm wide x 28cm high and 3.5cm thick. Most importantly, it contains high resolution photos of Mr. Frank Goon's personal collection of rare banknotes of the British Malaya, meticulously accumulated over the last 30 years. Incidentally, Mr. Frank Goon is the CEO/Managing Director of one the companies under the Kuok Group, which is owned by Mr. Robert Kuok, the richest man in South East Asia since 2002, with a net worth of more than US$10.5 billion.

The collection covers a wide time period of the colonial rule of the peninsular and its surrounding territories; from the era of the Straits Settlements to pre-war King George VI to the post-war Queen Elizabeth prints. That's from 1826 onwards.


This is perhaps the most complete, known collection of issued banknotes / paper money of the British era. And to top it off, it also contains un-issued specimens, trials and proofs used by the issuing authority at the time i.e. the Board of Commission of Currency. These un-issued banknotes provides invaluable information about the prevailing circumstances and gives an idea on what policy makers at the time were considering.



Spink Book Cover - Frank Goon Collection of Banknotes of British Malaya
Frank Goon Book Cover

Of particular interested are some photographs of the proofs being considered in 1958, before the formation of Malaysia. Base on what's inscribed on the obverse of the banknote, Sarawak, Brunei and North Borneo was at on time considering a union of its own. And the most surprising thing was that it was the Annigoni's portrait Queen Elizabeth II that was used! FYI, none of the British Malaya notes has this portrait of the Queen on it.

If you are a serious collector of British Malaya, Singapore and Brunei notes, this book is certainly a must have. The price? SGD$220 each. And I'm told that only 600 copies of these are printed. By the way, they are printed and bound in Latvia.

Now if you noticed, this is the SECOND edition of the book. Yes there is a FIRST edition that we printed in 2011 and I do have a copy of it. So what's the difference? About 80 pages of additional material.

Happy Collecting and enjoy the photos.


QE2 Photographic Proof $1 $5 for Sarawak, Brunei and North Borneo 1958
Fig 2. Sarawak, Brunei & North Borneo $1 and $5 note. But this is with QE2's Annigonni portrait! 

The unused portrait of QE2, this never appeared on any of the Commonwealth banknotes
Fig 3. The unused portrait of QE2, this never appeared on any of the Commonwealth banknotes 
Singapore $100 Ringgit note, unissued. Note the "SI-RATUS RINGGIT" on the reverse bottom right.
Fig 4. Singapore $100 Ringgit note, unissued. Note the "SI-RATUS RINGGIT" on the reverse bottom right.
Malaysia unissued 50 Ringgit note, 1982.
Fig 5. Malaysia unissued 50 Ringgit note, 1982. This design looks better than the current one.

Mr. Frank Goon & Mr. Frederick Yow
Fig 6. The gentlemen behind the book, Mr. Frank Goon (R) and editor Mr. Frederick Yow (L)
Fig 7. Numismatists from Malaysia and Singapore were all here for the event. 

Mr. Olivier D. Stocker, Chairman and CEO of Spink giving the opening speech at the book launch
Fig 8. Mr. Olivier D. Stocker, Chairman and CEO of Spink giving the opening speech at the book launch

Fig 9. Everyone listening intently on the story behind the book
Fig 10. Collectors queuing up to buy the book and have it autographed by Mr. Frank Goon. 
Mr. Frank Goon signing my copy of the book, I was the second guy in the queue!
Fig 11. Mr. Frank Goon signing my copy of the book, I was the second guy in the queue! Yessssss!
Fig 12. A very happy man with his book and a priceless collection of the region's numismatic history
Fig 12. A very satisfied Mr. Vincent Tan aka Mr. Banknotes
Fig 13 : Senior collectors, numismatists having a good time.
Fig 16. Lawrence and Ida from Malaysia
Fig 17. The next generation
Fig 18. If you find either one of these two, it is highly likely that you will also find the other one at numismatics events ..... 
Fig 19. The two gentlemen from Penang with Mr. Frederick Yow





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