This lovely Iceland note has only on pick-p48. Yes has many sign sets for example this note is p48 sign38.
This lovely Iceland note has only one pick-p48 yet has many sign sets for example this note is p48a because it has sign 38. Available for purchase at

What is a pick number and why is it needed? This is the second most asked question I receive, and while it seems strange to say that a banknote is pick 111 there is a good reason for this system. This pick system allows banknote collectors and dealers from all over the world to easily recognize exactly which note is being discussed, sold or traded. It is a universal system to understand a certain note that can cross any boarder or language barrier. It has a very useful place in collecting and is not just us being old, set in our ways and “picky”.

The pick # is named for the pioneer in cataloging banknotes, Albert Pick, and his name is used to differentiate each banknote. Albert Pick, born in 1922, is a retired German numismatist and an internationally acknowledged authority on the subject of paper money (update: sadly, Albert Pick passed away on November 22, 2015). He started collecting banknotes in 1930 and his own collection exceeded 180,000 notes before giving it to the Bavarian Mortgages and Exchange Bank.

As you start collecting you will find this pick system an invaluable way to not only catalog your banknotes, but to help you purchase/trade notes. Actually, the pick system goes a bit deeper than the use of the # to determine which note is which – there is also a letter code that depicts the country . So RO111 is the code for the Romanian Polymer 2000 lei banknote.

Romania 2,000 Lei p111
Romania 2,000 Lei p111 banknote. Available for purchase at

IN would depict India etc. However, as most collectors and dealers specifically name the Country that they are interested in buying the note from, the letter system is not widely used. For example if I wanted to buy the above note, I would drop the letters and just tell the supplier that I want Romania pick 111.

There are a few variations to pick numbers and I will briefly outline some alternatives – you may see a pick # that says pick 111s – the s in this instance denotes that this is the specimen note from this issue (I will explain specimen notes later) In addition you may see pick # 111a or 111b the a & b depicts certain variations to the originally issued note. Some changes can be very minor, but enough to warrant an additional letter, but not enough to warrant a new catalog #. As a rule a lot of letters after the # is for signature changes on the note, or maybe new date/year issues.

As a beginner this may not be too important, but I wanted to explain just so you will understand when you see a pick # that has letters before or after. Pick numbers may seem a little complicated at first, but as your collection grows you will begin to appreciate the value of Albert Pick’s contribution to banknote collecting.

p88Ac – p88 in India is a 10 Rupee and is distinguished by a,b,c ect by the year. However the 5 Rupee instead of being p87 was made to be p88A to show the difference. Available for purchase at
This is Jamaica Pick 83e because it is a 2008 note
p83a-2003/p83b-2004/p83c-2005/p83d-2007 And so on. All the same pick # but different letters based on year. Available for purchase at
Finland p98a. Available for purchase at