Something a little different, Hong Kong colonial notes


Jr. Member
Jul 12, 2015
Hong Kong
Detector(s) used
White beach ID 300
Primary Interest:
Beach & Shallow Water Hunting
Hello, new member here, never had a chance to show my little collection to anyone so this'll be a first for me.

A little history lesson, Hong Kong used to be a British colony until 1997 when it was returned to China due to a treaty signed 140 or so years ago. All the money up to about 1993-4 had the Royal treatment, crests and British symbols on it.

Oddly, even though it's a different government, because of the 'one country, two systems' that stops us being overrun by the commies :P the money I'm showing you is still legal tender, however the government is doing their best to take them out of circulation for reasons too long to explain here haha! It's like getting a little slice of history when someone from the shop gives you one of these as change. My collection is pure circulation, just stuff I've been given. My next purchase will be unc for sure. :icon_thumright:



The HSBC ten dollar note, used until just before the handover. Oddly when they did change it, first it was in coin form only, and then they re-released the bill as a plastic eco-friendly purple nightmarish looking mess. Today, the rest of the currency is the usual paper stuff but for some reason 10s aren't. All these bills I'm showing are paper.


In Hong Kong, even though our national treasury or "Monetary Authority" is in charge of cash here, the 3 major banks actually design and distribute the notes by themselves. This is also a 10 dollar note, but done by Standard Chartered. I just found out today the SCB notes are more valuable because their print runs are smaller.


The 20 dollar note, HSBC. Notice how it differs completely in design, no colour matching even from the $10 of the same branch. It's a re-occurring theme for all the old notes to have no colour co-ordination. Now there is.


The Standard Chartered note.


The $50 note, I don't know why it looks black here because it should be purple.


Like this :) This one has the royal crest...1992


This one doesn't, 1998 ! You can see the graphical changes, slowly moving away from royal and British symbology as the handover date approaches and passes.


This I just picked up today, 1983. It's a lot larger than even a bill from 1987. All 100 bills are bright lucky red, even today. Today, we have a colour code to help people with poor eye sight to tell the difference, or back in the day when literacy for the Chinese wasn't the best. The first colour is colonial, the second colour is current.

$10 - green/purple
$20 - grey/blue
$50 - purple/green
$100 red
$500 brown
$1000 orange

Fun fact about the red and browns! Macau $10 and $50 notes are red and brown respectively and also the same size. People have been tricking the elderly or hiding Macau notes in stacks of money. So you might ask for $1000 HKD some from one, but end up with $200 (one $100 note on the top and bottom of a stack) and everything in the middle is $10 Macau Patacas. Really sad :(

Hope you enjoyed this little look into the east. I hope to grow the collection, get a colonial 500 and 1000 dollar bill, our largest denominations and a few more modern uncut notes.

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