World History and Culture Through Banknotes


The Banknote Den presents "The Many Faces Of Money", a collection of short essays by David Lok describing different aspects found on the face of banknotes from all over the world. The focus is mainly on the primary feature of each banknote and includes articles on:

  • Biographies of persons whose portraits are shown
  • Explanations of uncommon objects such as tribal masks
  • Informative histories of strange buildings
  • Retelling of legends on commemorative issues
  • Explanations of unusual practices depicted
  • Common yet unfamiliar design elements
  • History of people and places around the world
  • Links between North America, South America and European liberation symbols
  • An explanation of different security features found on many banknotes
  • A list of many superstitions concerning several aspects of money in general

These essays will focus on the main feature of who and what is actually depicted on the banknotes. Each article is designed to maintain interest and arouse curiosity by being short, yet informative. Just click on the links to begin reading stories about "The Many Faces Of Money".


Enjoy a few articles online -

Then get the full book, with over 75 chapters, here: The Many Faces of Money




Also Published in the IBNS Journal 50-3

Explore the legends and mysteries of Gyz-Galasy, the Maiden Tower, an ancient and mysterious building in the port city of Baku.


Haiti - NEW!

Sanite Belaire, the revolutionary heroine of Haiti.


USA 20 Dollars -1914

Discover the wonderful Transportation Vignette on the back of this classic banknote - and find out which vehicles were used as the inspiration for the engravings!


Banknote Serial Numbers

Not all serial numbers are quite so boring. Errors, radars, repeaters, etc are often sought after by collectors for their uniqueness and value.


Cook Islands

Read the entertaining legend of Ina and the Shark, shown on this three dollar banknote.


Fractional Currency of the United States

Did you know the USA had banknotes in denominations of less than 1 dollar? Here's why.


Georgia - NEW!

The female King, Tamar, beloved ruler of ancient Georgia.



The story behind the famous "Vampire Banknote" of the German Weimar Republic.


German Notgeld from Oberammergau

A promise to God, kept continuously since 1634!


Micro Printing

Hidden printing as a method to thwart counterfeiting.



Hendrick Witbooi's rise to power and his fight against German colonialism.



Tupac Amaru II and his fight against the Spanish in the 1700's.


Tea Brick

What's this have to do with the price of tea in China? Well, for one, tea was money.


USA Portraits

A simple list of who is pictured on modern US currency.


USA 10 Cents

William Morris Meredith, on the ten-cent fractional currency, held many political offices, including Secretary of the Treasury.


USA - Token

The token commemorating John Dix, and his many legal and military posts.


Ultraviolet Printing

Hidden images on banknotes to thwart counterfeiting.



More hidden images used to thwart counterfeiting.