Hyderabad: Meet Syed Asghar Hussaini, the 68-year-old Hyderabadi man, who possesses a rich collection of currency notes that features Queen Elizabeth II. He has over 600 notes from 32 different countries that the Queen has served as the Head of State.
Hussaini has been collecting notes ever since he was a teenage boy. “I started this in the 1970s and continue to collect till date. The notes are beautiful and of very nice quality. I hope someday the future generation will see these and cherish the history,” he says, adding that he has around 3000 currency notes in total.
He initially started buying notes from people who visited foreign countries. However, once he started travelling around the world himself, he would visit museums and exhibitions to find currency notes and buy them.
“I worked for airlines like Air India, British Airways, Lufthansa, and several others over the years. My work sent me places, and everywhere I go I would bring back a bit of their history with me,” he recalls.
From Kenya, Tanzania, erstwhile Rhodesia, and Uganda to Singapore, Malaysia, Mauritius, and other Caribbean countries; Hussaini collected notes from the year 1952 when Queen Elizabeth II ascended the throne. He also has the current-day Australian $5 banknote, as well as Canadian and New Zealand $20 notes that feature the Queen.
Speaking of why he maintained an exclusive collection of banknotes that has the Queen’s portrait, he says, “For many years Queen Elizabeth has been the most popular woman of the world. And her portrait found its place on banknotes of many countries. Her regal image on these notes was striking and sent across a powerful message.”
If one would try to acquire these banknotes today, each one would cost around 300 dollars at least. With all the banknotes, coins, and stamps Hussaini has collected over the years, he is planning to open a mini library in his house and keep the place open for interested youngsters.