More bang for about ten bucks
‘‘Money – it’s a gas!’’
It was satirist H. L. Mencken who quipped ‘‘We live in a world where money is valued above its present price’’.
The ‘‘price’’ of money has been refocused by a local entrepreneur who has auctioned two of the new $10 banknotes for more than their face value on Trade Me.
The new-look $10 banknotes were released into circulation along with facelifted $5 notes, on October 12.
‘‘Modeki’’, a Palmerston North trader, sold a pair of the new notes in pristine ‘‘uncirculated’’ condition for $34 last week, with the page attracting more than 21,000 views, and provoking a fair bit of comment.
The seller was offering the notes in ‘‘uncirculated condition’’ with ‘‘no creases from a teller counting it or scratches from automatic counting machines’’, explaining: ‘‘If you keep it in great condition who knows it could be worth more in the future but keeping it in that mint condition is the key. I can only guarantee that it will always be worth as must [sic] as someone else is willing to pay for it.’’
Which reinforces an observation by 19th century US philosopher Henry David Thoreau that ‘‘the price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it’’.
‘‘People seem to think this auction is odd,’’ the trader commented. ‘‘But people sell current banknotes on Trade Me and eBay all the time and they have to be at a small mark up to cover Trade Me fees and time. It is a popular hobby and has been for a long time in New Zealand with a large number of collectors being members of The Royal Numismatic Society of NZ.
‘‘There are a few full time dealers mainly in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch that deal with coins and banknotes to thousands of customer around the world.’’
The 70 per cent margin ‘‘modeki’’ made on each 10-dollar note doesn’t take into account Trade Me commission, or time that the seller spent acquiring the notes and answering a long list of questions.
As for a non-mint condition $10 note new or old – it’s apparently a really useful device for buying about $4.50 worth of something.
A new-look ‘‘Katie’’ (after Kate Sheppard) or $10 note. A couple of mint examples were hawked off on Trade Me last week.