Cape Verde 200 Escudos Polymer Banknote – Real Currency Available at It used to be that you could assume that polymer notes were real currency, but advances in the field have allowed banknote artists to produce fine polymer fun notes.
Arctic Territories Fun Note Available at This is an example of a sophisticated polymer banknote, complete with security features, that happens to be a fun note.

How does one know if a banknote is actual currency or not? Which notes are real and which are simply collector’s [fantasy / fun] notes?

While we do try to label collectors’ banknotes on our website, which are also called private issue, fantasy, fun and art notes, here is how you can differentiate between real currency and fun/art notes:

  • Fun/Art notes tend to be created for “fantasy” countries or regions where banknotes are not issued, such as: Antarctica, Arctic Territories and Kuninganna Territory.
  • There are fun/art notes that are created for countries with real currency. Some examples would include: Reunion, Panama and the new United States State Banknote series. The key here is price. Fantasy notes from these countries are far cheaper than real currency banknotes. A real Reunion note, for example, would cost thousands, whereas a fun/art note would be valued around $10 – $30.
Panama Fun Banknote This banknote sells on our website for $20 (price subject to change). If it were real Panamanian currency, this note would be worth thousands of dollars.
Reunion 10 Dollar Fun Note Available at for $12.00 (price subject to change). If this was real currency from Reunion, the note would be worth hundreds of dollars.

Again, I would suggest you just contact me and ask if not sure. It can get confusing with these notes and with advent of polymer printing options being available for banknote artists, they are producing some amazing notes that are sometimes look better than the notes produced by the big banknote printing companies.