Collecting stamps according to a specific topic is popular among philatelists. It isn’t quite as popular among numismatics but it is still done, and it isn’t that hard to do. But when it comes to collecting banknotes of a certain theme, your journey might prove a bit more difficult. The number of banknotes available is virtually limitless. Therefore, you will need to put forth a little more effort if you want to add a thematic collection of banknotes to your currency holders.

If you are collecting stamps, there are specialized catalogs available categorized by themes. If you are collecting banknotes, unfortunately, that is not the case. When thematically collecting banknotes, you will want to pay close attention to the vignettes. Banknotes are often designed to include specific information, security features, and colors to grant it an appealing look while still feeling like money. The vignette is the area with an engraved picture. For example, on the American five dollar bill, the vignette would be the picture of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC.

Generally, currency printers like the American Banknote Company and Thomas de la Rue conceived these vignettes before designing the actual banknote. In the early 1900s, these printing companies had books filled with hundreds of different vignettes for banks and governments to choose from. That is why you may see the same vignette appear on multiple banknotes from time to time. For example, an obsolete U.S. banknote could have the same vignette as an obscure note from a small Colombian bank for that very reason.

Your best bet is to conduct a search of what you’re looking for online. For example, if you want to find banknotes with trains on them, simply type “banknotes trains” into a search engine. Otherwise, get in touch with a local banknote dealer and ask them for help.

Whether your thematic collection consists of different modes of transportation or famous locations, make sure it is properly protected in currency sleeves and banknote albums. If you want to know more about our banknote, stamp, and coin collecting supplies, contact SAFE® Collecting Supplies. Give us a call at 877-395-SAFE or continue to browse the rest of our website to see our full catalog.