Paper Money

Palestine Mandate color trial notes head to auction

Four color trial notes of the Palestine Currency Board are among the lots in Dix Noonan Webb’s auction closing in late April. The 50-pound note, shown here, is rarely seen in the marketplace, according to the auction house.

Image courtesy of Dix Noonan Webb.

Four rare Palestinian bank notes issued under the British Mandate in 1929 are highlights of the Dix Noonan Webb paper money auction being conducted by the firm in London on April 24. All four notes are dated Sept. 30, 1929, and are color trial notes from the same private consignor.

The rarest of the group is a 50-pound note issued by the Palestine Currency Board, which is almost impossible to find as an issued note but is occasionally available as a specimen note. DNW says there is no record of a 50-pound color trial note being on the market in recent years and it is expected to bring £30,000 to £40,000 or $37,400 to $49,870 at current exchange rates. The 10-pound note is estimated at £12,000 to £15,000, the 5-pound note at £8,000 to £10,000, and the 1-pound note at £6,000 to £8,000.

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Color trials are the stage before specimen notes are issued. At the color trial point, the design of the note has been finalized and the authorities must decide on the colors to be used. Color trials are much scarcer than specimen notes.

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The first paper money issued under the British Mandate for Palestine was dated Sept. 1, 1927. The notes in the auction are from the second series. The 50-, 10-, and 5-pound notes depict the Tower of Ramla or Ramleh, while the 1-pound note shows Jerusalem’s Dome of the Rock.

Britain was given a mandate to administer Palestine by the League of Nations in 1922. Previously the territory was part of the Ottoman Empire, which collapsed following its decision to side with Germany during World War I. Britain ended the mandate in May 1948 after the United Nations’ decision to partition Palestine and create the State of Israel.

The entire sale of 874 lots, also with items from Iran, South Africa, the United States, and the Commonwealth, is open for viewing and bidding here.

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