Paper Money

Spink auctions offer wide array of notes

Just two weeks after Spink held a charity auction of numerous examples of the Royal Bank of Scotland’s new £50 note, it held another one, this time for the Bank of England’s polymer issue of the same denomination featuring Alan Turing.

The results were similar. In an auction with no VAT charge and no buyer’s fees, the top seller from the 150 lots was the lowest serial number available to the public, number AA01 000005. At £13,000, or $17,900, it more than doubled its estimate.

Next was an uncut sheet of 40 notes that brought £10,000.

The Bank of England designated three charities as recipients of the proceeds. AKT, the Albert Kennedy Trust, is the national LGBTQ+ youth homelessness charity, providing safe homes and better futures for LGBTQ+ young people. Childline is the UK’s free helpline for children and young people, giving them access to confidential support when they are in distress or danger. Shelter is a charity that helps millions of people struggling with bad housing or homelessness through advice, support and legal services.

Spink held a more traditional sale four days earlier, on July 11, in Hong Kong. A price of $140,000 in Hong Kong funds ($18,025 U.S.) including the buyer’s fee was paid for a brown and black, vertical format 1907 Kiangse Government Bank 10-tael note. The note has a “Tian” prefix serial number 272,  the Chinese character “Shi” (10) at each corner, black facing dragons and fireball at the top, and red hand stamps. Paper Money Guaranty graded it Very Fine 25. There are very few known.

A 1935 Government of Hong Kong $1 note in PMG Superb Gem Uncirculated 6 reached $75,000 in Hong Kong funds, and a Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp. $100 of Aug. 1, 1952, called a key date of the post-war period, sold for $60,000 in PMG Gem Uncirculated 66.

While at $30,000 in Hong Kong funds, it may not have been the biggest in price, a 2017 Bank Negara Malaysia 600-ringgit note had no rival in size, considering that at 14.57 inches by 8.67 inches, it is the largest issued bank note in the world. Bank Negara made 6,000 copies of this commemorative note for the 60th Anniversary of the Signing of the Federation of Malaya Independence Agreement and sold them at an issue price of 1,700 ringgit, or about $400.

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