Ramkumar displays the Rs1,000 notes demonetised in 1946 (left) and the Rs1,000 and Rs10,000 (bottom right) notes demonetised in 1978, at his Numisbing showroom. Image Credit: Arshad Ali/Gulf News

Dubai: An Indian expat is in possession of a rare 10,000-rupee note that was discontinued in 1978 in India.

Ramkumar, a professional numismatist who is the founder of Dubai-based numismatic company Numisbing, said he finally got hold of the rare note in 2015 from a collector in India.

According to Reserve Bank of India’s data, before the demonetisation of 1978, there were only 346 notes of 10,000 denomination in circulation, out of which less than 10 such banknotes exist today.

The one in Dubai, believed to be the only one in the UAE and Middle East, is on display at the Numisbing showroom, located in Doha Centre on Al Maktoum Street.

Demonetisation has been in the news lately after the Indian prime minister’s surprise anti-corruption move to overnight ban existing Indian currency notes of 500 and 1,000 denomination last month.

Speaking to Gulf News about the rare 10,000 note, Ramkumar said: “This note was in my want list for a long time, but nothing was available for sale. Finally, I got it last year from a collector in India. This is the only 10,000 rupee note known to be in UAE.”

When asked how much the note would be worth to a collector, Ramkumar said, “It is difficult to put a price tag to it”.

Demonetisation of high-denomination notes in Indian has happened twice before, in 1946 and 1978.

In 1946, the denominations of 500, 1,000 and 10,000 were discontinued and in 1978 notes of 1,000, 5,000 and 10,000 denominations were demonetised.

The Numisbing showroom has put on display the old 1,000 and 10,000 notes.

Ramkumar has been a collector of Indian banknotes for the past 15 years.

“I used to buy them mostly from auctions around the world and sometimes rare notes, like the 10,000 rupee, which usually don’t come in auctions, are instead closed in private deals.”

He added that banknotes used in India were used in UAE and other Gulf countries as well until the Indian government issued special Gulf rupees in 1957.

“Many collectors from UAE and other Gulf countries collect Indian notes since it is a part of their country’s history as well. Even this 10,000 rupees note could have been used in this region, as it was legal tender by then. Many notes and coins used in this region before and after the formation of the UAE are in display at the showroom of Numisbing for viewing and for sale,” Ramkumar added.