Paper Money

Bank of Scotland bank note auction raises charitable funds

The number one lot was the first £50 bank note in the auction conducted by Spink on behalf of the Bank of Scotland, appropriately bearing the very first serial number, AA 000001. It settled at £25,200 ($34,830).

Images courtesy of Spink.

Mental Health UK, a charity designated by the Bank of Scotland, was the big winner in a charity auction held by Spink in London on June 30.

The sale consisted of 96 lots, each a variation of the Bank of Scotland’s new polymer £50 bank note. Most were special low serial numbers starting at number AA 000001 and going consecutively up to AA 000050.

After that was number AA 000123, and then number AA 000150 was followed by run spaced by 50 numbers up to AA 000950, and a series of solid and consecutive numbers.

There was then a pair of 35-subject sheets each with serial number AA000000.

The final two lots were two individual notes offered without serial numbers, as they were to be designated later by the successful bidder.

Each lot had the same basic description: Bank of Scotland, £50, 1 June 2020, (serial number specifications), red, Sir Walter Scott at right, the Mound in Edinburgh at left, back, red, at left the Falkirk wheel and an image of shape-shifting water spirits “the Kelpies.” In addition a new UV feature depicting a horse pulling a barge is found at low center, and at top left, a poem by William Muir titled “Steam Barge.”

The auction lasted two hours, with bidding that Spink described as “frenzied,” and finished with prices realized of over £250,000, or about $345,560.

The number one lot was the first lot in the sale, appropriately bearing the very first serial number. AA 000001 was estimated to bring from £4,000 to £6,000. It finally settled at £25,200 ($34,830) including the buyer’s fee.

A winning bid of £18,000 was proffered for one of the two “pick your own number” notes. The second one went for £15,600. Both of these had estimates of £2,500 to £3,000.

The two uncut sheets went for £11,400 and £10,800. These had estimates of £4,000 to £6,000 each.

A “lucky number” note with a solid AA 888888 number was £10,800, about five times its projection.

No lot in the sale went for less than £450.

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