Rare $500 specimen note sells for nearly $20,000 at AIA auction in Hong Kong

Face side features a vignette of the god Mercury
By , Coin World
Published : 02/01/15
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A rare and possibly unique 1948 $500 specimen note for the Mercantile Bank of India in Hong Kong sold for $18,270, including the buyer’s fee, on Jan. 1 during the Archives International Auctions in Hong Kong.

Its face side features a vignette of the god Mercury wearing a helmet and the word SPECIMEN stamped in red ink across the note. The back shows a gateway, and also with the word SPECIMEN stamped in red ink across the note.

According to the catalog description, this note is the “only example graded by PMG [Paper Money Guaranty] of this date and may very well be one of the key Hong Kong banknote rarities necessary to complete any advanced Hong Kong collection.”

Also sold at the auction was a 1907 $1 note for the Deutsch-Asiatische Bank in Peking, China. The note was found in the estate of an American missionary who worked in China during the 1930s. The note is printed in English with Chinese characters handwritten on the left and right on both sides.

The auction firm graded the note Choice Very Good to Fine condition with pin holes at the center fold and some minor toning. The note sold for $16,750.

For more information about this auction, visit the firm’s website.

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