Papermoney Dictionary

I & J

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IBNS — International Bank Note Society.

imitation — An artificial likeness, not necessarily fraudulent.

impaired — Slightly damaged or mishandled, usually referring to otherwise uncirculated or new collectibles, as distinguished from normal wear.

imprint — The name of a printer, etc, on any paper document. (Not to be confused with overprint, inscription, or legend, qv.)

indented note — A note with an irregular or wavy cut on one edge, usually the left. The note thus could, at least in theory, be matched to a corresponding stub in a book to ascertain its authenticity, usually by first matching up serial numbers. This method was used quite successfully for at least a hundred years as a security measure to detect and hopefully prevent counterfeiting, and often also to concisely account for redeemed notes. When such notes appear unsevered from their corresponding stubs, they are described to be with stub.

India Portuguesa — Portuguese India, in Portuguese.

inflation note(s) — Notes issued during inflations. During hyper-inflations, the denominations are apt to become so high that it is expedient to use words as shorthand designations for zeroes, eg, B (for Billion) in lieu of writing out 9 (or 12) zeroes. Read also: billion.

inscription — The writing, including title and other text on a note or any paper document, but excluding denomination, signatures, design, date, imprint, watermark, etc. Not to be confused with imprint, or legend, qv.

interest bearing note — A note which bears interest while cirulating as money. Examples include certain US Treasury Notes and Confederate issues.

international — Common to or affecting two or more nations. At the time of this compilation there do not exist any banks which issue notes for two or more nations, ie, international banknotes. Conceivably, in the times of private banks, some banks may have had branches in two or more countries, but unless their notes were all identical, they still were not international banknotes. Colonial relationships are not international in the truest sense. Neither are occupier-occupied relationships.

intrinsic value — Value due to the constitution, nature or essense of a thing. Inherent value. A coin's intrinsic value, for example, is the worth of its metallic content.

introduction — The Introduction to the PAPERMONEY DICTIONARY is in the following table. Please read it carefully and thoroughly before reading anything else.



Welcome to the PAPERMONEY DICTIONARY! For best results, this dictionary should be read from cover to cover at least once. The rest of this introduction is divided into PURPOSES, GOALS, and HELP WANTED!


P1 To function as the basic reference for collectors, dealers and


P2 To help novice collectors with identifications. Papermonies, in

general, are easier to identify than stamps or coins because

they naturally contain much more information.

P3 To provide insight into our hobby.

P4 To settle arguments.

P5 To save pricelist dealers lots of TIME, EFFORT, and MONEY.

With PAPERMONEY DICTIONARY, they no longer need to

waste 5% to 25% of list space on "explanations". All they

have to do is refer to PD!


G1 To become bigger and better with each new edition.

G2 To possibly include pertinent illustrations.

G3 To possibly evolve into PAPERMONEY ENCYCLOPEDIA —

The Standard Encyclopedia of Syngraphics.

G4 To find a major publisher.


HW1 Your comments and suggestions are all welcomed.

HW2 Your input re words not in this edtion, which you consider


HW3 Your help with pertinent language entries. Currently

needed are words, found on notes, in Hungarian, Latvian,

Lithuanian, and certain other Eastern European


HW4 Your help with illustrations.

Future editions shall contain an Acknowledgment entry (table).


Mike Tiitus, P O Box 8, Forest City IA 50436 USA

invasion notes (or currency) — Notes issued by an invading authority, designed for the use of the population being invaded? Hardly! Where would the invaders find time to issue notes? Where would anyone spend them during an invasion? Once a country/area has been invaded, it is no longer being invaded, but occupied. A better term, therefore, would be: occupation notes, qv.

invert — A note or a stamp which has some part of its design or watermark rotated 180 with respect to the rest of the design. An inverted design occurs when a sheet is rotated 180 when fed thru the press for the next color run. A watermark may also appear reversed (qv), for example, when a portrait faces in the opposite of direction of normal. This occurs when the paper is fed in upside down. What if a spatially challenged retardo feeds in the paper both upside down and inverted, you ask? Well, the printing would end up on the wrong side of the sheet, and would be immediately caught by an inspector. But, a watermark which is both inverted and reversed could, conceivably, find its way into circulation. Of course, if the watermark has point symmetry, this discussion is meaningless.

investor(s) — Collectors and some dealers sometimes complain that investors (including hoarders) cause higher prices. Wrong, papermoney breath! Investors stabilize prices. If it weren't for investors, many high denom notes would be found only occasionally in places such as family bibles. Why? Well, remember Gresham's Law? Owners of high denom notes would almost always strive to spend them. Who really causes price increases? Surprise! It's the catalog publishers! Figure it out yourself, or stay tuned for the next edition of this, The Standard Unabridged Dictionary of Syngraphics.  [1994]

Island — Iceland, in Danish and Icelandic.

issue — That which is or has been issued. Technically, the entire quantity released into circulation at one time. Colloquially, a convenient albeit fuzzy term used by collectors to refer to almost any collectible. The term gains more meaning when it appears in a phrase, eg, new issue, qv.

issuer — One who issues something. In the case of most coins and stamps, the issuer is generally a country; this makes the cataloguer's job very easy. With papermonies, the situation is somewhat stickier. A country may have had, or may still have, several issuers, or it may change the name of the issuer (eg, from Doorway's Monetary Authority to Doorway's Central Bank). Who do you suppose issues cheques? No, it's not the bank whose name is imprinted on the cheque. The issuer is the writer of the cheque! So! The reader need not feel left out—he too can be an issuer!

Jeon — One hundredth of the Koren primary monetary unit variously romanized as Hwan, Won, etc, all of which loosely translate into Dollar.

JIM — Japanese invasion money, a pricelist abbreviation.

Jugoslavje — Yugoslavia, probably in Serbian.

junque box, junque lot — A grouping of collectibles which the dealer has given up on insofar as proper presentation goes, and which avid collectors love to browse thru with high hopes of finding overlooked treasures. LOT generally refers to postal transactions. BOX generally goes with local or shop transactions.

junta — Council, in Spanish.

Copyright MMII, by Tiitus Syngraphics. All rights reserved.     .....     Last Revision:  2009-05-08