Bradbury Wilkinson Printed Government of Seychelles 1968-1975 Queen Elizabeth II Series

The 1968 Government of Seychelles banknote series is often the personal favorite of many collectors. The series was produced by the London Engraving Company Bradbury Wilkinson (BWC), who took over the printing responsibilities from Thomas de la Rue after the withdrawal of the 1954-1957 series, which had a rather uninteresting design when compared to the notes that replaced them. BWC’s approved designs featured denominations not seen in the previous series, with 20 & 100 Rupees denominations both introduced. The notes all feature detailed scenery of the Seychelles along with one of the best portrait vignettes of the Queen found on banknotes.

The series is one which increases in rarity with higher quality and larger face values as expected. The Five Rupee notes were produced in large numbers, although only a 1968 series date was produced. The 10 Rupees design has a special allure and is found with both 1968 and 1974 series dates. The design is referenced as the “SCUM,” note, as the coral below the turtle’s back right flipper crudely spells the word. The 20 Rupees denomination was not utilized with the previous TDLR series and sometimes fades in popularity as the note is without a “nickname,” such as the 10 and 50 Rupees denominations. The 20 is available in the three dates of 1968, 1971 and 1974.

Easily the 50 Rupees note is the most popular from the series and is in a larger format as the series increases in physical size in higher denominations. The note shows the best use of color in the series with a vignette of a boat near shore with mountains behind and exhibits color to match real life. The note further expands its fame with a pair of palm trees at the right of the Queen’s portrait that when held vertically, crudely spell the word “SEX.” This engraving phenomenon is known by nearly all dealers in paper money, even those exclusive to individual countries outside of the Seychelles. The 50 Rupees design was produced with five series dates encompassing 1968 to 1973, save for 1971. The 1969 date is the scarcest while the 1972 and 1973 dates are more available.

The Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio November 2013 Official World Currency Auction of the Whitman Coin and Collectible Expo will offer a complete set of these beautiful notes with the major focus on the PCGS Superb Gem New 67 PPQ 1975 100 Rupees note. The 100 Rupee denomination was not previously used in the TDLR produced series and displays a striking red hue with a detailed shoreline vignette with turtles. A large format was utilized for denomination clarification and availability is incredibly low in comparison to the demand. This is one of only a scant few we have handled and easily the finest among them. The note is found with perfect inks, originality that is unquestionable, and large even borders. The note is rare in any Gem state of preservation; PMG shows a population report for world currency and only a single note has graded at the Superb Gem level and we would imagine that this is the only Superb Gem PCGS has graded. Certainly this note will easily stand out in even the finest of collections.

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