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Soviet & Imperial Russian Notes - Prices shooting up??

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So I've been away from my collection for about 2-3 years now, and decided to come back and see what was available on ebay and how some of the prices were looking these days... and I noticed a serious increase in price for all grades of Soviet banknotes (1940s, 1920s) and Imperial notes (especially the less common signatures for all denominations). Also, it seemed that very very few auctions are now from sellers in the US, everything is being sold abroad... are the supplies drying up? Are European collectors sucking up these notes and driving the price up? Any ideas about what's happening? I mean, it's great to know that my collection's value went up significantly if I were to sell, but it makes it harder to keep building it...


Hopefully there are some other Russian banknote collectors here :read:

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Up until the fall of the USSR Russian and Soviet banknotes were largely overlooked. I can remember when Tsarist notes like the 500 ruble sold for pennies. It was possible to complete type sets like the 1947 series really easily, even the 16 ribbons variety of the notes that were only issued for a short time. Now that Russians can legally collect the notes the prices reflect that. I am glad I collected when I could. Even some of the money that went quickly worthless in 1991 and that I was tossing off the balcony of the Intourist hotel to watch kids scramble for when it fluttered down 17 stories is now worth a little bit of money.

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  • 1 month later...

Rhino - I've noticed the same thing in recent years. Though I started collecting Soviet banknotes just some 6-7 yrs ago, the prices back then were still reasonable - today the prices seem to be skyhigh and constantly rising. And I've also noticed that the supply seems to be drying up, also here in Europe, which leads me to believe that Russian collectors have been VERY active in recent years.


There seems to be a lot of interest towards Soviet era notes within Russia too, as I frequently browse the supply in Molotok.ru and even there the prices have gone wild. So, sad to say, but it really seems that there really is not that much supply anymore outside Russia. Which makes collecting a bit more challenging.


But also, it makes one think, if I should consider selling my personal collection... LOL!



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Yeah, it's definitely cheaper here in the States, although you are absolutely correct that the prices have SOARED in the past 2-4 years. Check out the December auction from Aurea (in Prague) and you'll see what I mean.


I think this is a function of new Russian wealth (I've heard some stories about the new wealthy sending agents to buy no matter the cost) as well as renewed nationalism from "the Putin effect." Scottishmoney's correct about even the worthless currency. The 1000 ruble notes, for example, from 1993 are even selling, in unc condition, for $5-$10 in some places. It's crazy. Even the 1991 1000 ruble note, in UNC condition, catalogues (in the Russian catalog) for $140 (5000 rubles).


The rarest stuff, there's no telling. If you have two titans, the sky's the limit.

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