People are purchasing $2 banknotes adorned with gold-plated dragon prints and serial numbers containing “9999” for VND2 million ($82) apiece to give out as lucky money during Tet.
As is tradition, the demand for $2 bills decorated with images of the zodiac animal of the year usually soars around the Lunar New Year (Tet). Tet, Vietnam’s biggest and most important festival, will last from Feb. 8 to 14, 2024. The traditional festival will peak on Feb. 10.
This year, a series of $2 bills with gold-plated dragon prints are garnering a lot of attention and selling for very high prices, especially those whose serial numbers contain lucky numbers – three or four digits repeating in a row.
Lam in HCMC’s Tan Binh District managed to buy only 10 such banknotes with four repeating digits.
“I buy these to give lucky money to relatives as they are believed to bring good luck and prosperity. Though the ones with rare numbers are 10 times more expensive than the ones with common serial numbers, I still buy them because Tet is only once a year,” he said.
Similarly, Kieu in Hanoi bought 20 of these bills, all of which had three repeating digits, for VND500,000 apiece after searching through two to three stores.
“I had to search through two to three stores to find these banknotes because these lucky numbers are rare. Many store owners also must hunt for them to sell to customers,” she said.
Gold-plated $2 bills with four repeating numbers are very rare and highly sought-after, while those with regular serial numbers are much cheaper and easier to find, according to Chinh, who sells decorative coins and banknotes.
“I only found one bill with 9999 in its serial numbers and sold it for VND2 million. Meanwhile, $2 bills with 666, 888, or 999 in their numbers are selling for VND400,000-600,000 a piece,” he added.
Tuan, who runs a similar business to Chinh in Hanoi’s Cau Giay District, said that bills without the lucky numbers were priced much lower, at VND200,000 apiece.
These $2 bills are purely decorative and are only used as lucky charms, lucky money or souvenirs.
Additionally, various decorative foreign banknotes and coins with dragon images are available in the market, priced from VND10,000 to VND200,000.
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