I read a Singapore blogger posting who presumably works in a bank coming across the Brunei $10,000 note and posted the picture of the note up. I think she said something along the line that it was the largest note she has ever seen and she said that the money resembled 'hell money'. At first I wasn't quite sure what she meant by 'hell money' until I realised she was referring to the 'paper money' burnt by traditional Chinese giving offerings to their departed ones. This was taken up by Naz, a Brunei blogger who said that the size must have been the largest in the world. I think there were a few comments about the size of it as well.

Despite working in the financial sector, I don't come across the $10,000 note very much either. Most of the money we deal with come in figure forms and I am used to dealing with billions figures but have never actually seen them in real life. It would be interesting to see how much a billion dollars worth of money would look like. The last time I came across the $10,000 note was when I was asked to audit the board that issued our banknotes and that was while I was working in a different agency. I remembered someone joking that the one pile of $10,000 note that I was holding was worth millions. Yes, the size of the $10,000 note is large befitting its value but I don't think it was the largest in the world. Of course if you have never come across it and suddenly to see one, you would probably think it is the largest in the world too.

Just out of interest, the Brunei $10,000 note measures around 20 cm x 13 cm (8 inches x 5 inches), roughly about the size of an A5 piece of paper (or A4 folded in half). The Singapore banker who came across it of course thought it was big compared to its Singapore equivalent. The Singapore $10,000 equivalent is about 18 cm x 9 cm. The Brunei $10,000 note was produced under the 1989 series and so far there is no new $10,000 note under the new polymer series. I presumed if there is a new $10,000 polymer note, it will be much smaller than the current ones as most other Brunei notes have shrunk. If you want to find out more about Brunei notes, the best link is still the old Currency Board page under the old Ministry of Finance website. You can see all the notes plus all the security features and information on how to tell whether the Brunei bank notes you have is real or counterfeit. I am still trying to find out whether the Brunei note is the largest in the world in terms of being used as an active legal tender.

What surprised me is that the $10,000 banknote is currently available for sale at e-Bay for the price of US$8,499.99 (about B$13,600). I thought this was hillarious. All you have to do is bring $10,000 to the Brunei Currency and Monetary Board at the MOF Building and hand over that $10,000 and ask that to be exchanged for one $10,000 note and then sell that note on e-Bay and make an easy B$3,600 profit!

The title of the largest bank note in the world still belongs to the Philippines' 100,000 piso note which measures 35.6 cm x 21.6 cm (14.2 inches x 8.6 inches) - roughly the size of a foolscap paper which is about 2 inches longer than an A4 - which again is about the size of two of the Brunei $10,000 note. The Philippines' note however is only a commemorative, even though it is legal tender, they issued only 1,000 of these notes. It was to commemorate their 300th anniversary of independence from the Spanish and it was printed in 1998.

One of the best website that I have come across that deals with trivia in the world's bank notes is www.tomchao.com. It tells you what the highest denomination note in the world is (Hungary's 100 million); lowest denomination (Fiji's 1 penny); no denomination (Tatarstan's notes); oldest (China's notes - as far back as 140 BC); smallest (Ivory Coast's 0.10 Franc - 32mm x 46mm); and most zeros (Yugoslavia's 500,000,000,000 Dinara). It's a worthwhile surf.


Anonymous said…
A friend once told me that a guy tried to impress his mates by trying to pay for their meal at the JP Foodcourt with a $10,000 bill.
anakbrunei said…
Reminds me of the time me and a couple of mates went to Perth and we read in the paper on the plane that the then chief minister of Selangor was arrested for allegedly falsely declaring the amount of cash he was taking into and out of Australia. So this mate of mine got worried so he whips out five B$10,000.00 notes and hands us one each to keep in our pockets!!
Anonymous said…
Brunei released a polymer $10,000 note on the 28th December 2006 along with a polymer $500 note. You can view the picture of it at http://www.polymernotes.org/country_pages/brn.htm#BRNS8 because the Brunei government barely updates their website, they still havent added pics of the $50 and $100 note!

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