Bank notes

Along with coins, bank notes are a major part of the numismatics market. Buyers will often focus on a particular period of history or a region of the world but people also collect paper money by focusing on grade, errors in printing or serial numbers.

This area of the market has been popular globally since the 1950s. Condition is key – banknotes are internationally graded and those in perfect condition, without any damage and that usually haven't been circulated, are rated as uncirculated (UNC), the highest classification available.


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First European paper money up at auction in Spink in New York

13 December 2016

Plastic money has been a bone of contention recently thanks to the strange revelation that the new UK £5 notes include animal fat. But one day the polymer notes will surely be as normal and accepted as the existing paper examples, assuming physical money has not all but disappeared anyway by then.

Scottish fiver

New and old fivers attract bidders at Spink

20 October 2016

The excitement around the new polymer fivers, which were launched by the Bank of England last month, helped boost interest in new and old £5 notes for philatelic and numismatic specialists Spink.

Ming Dynasty banknote

Rare Ming Dynasty banknote found lurking inside Chinese sculpture

12 October 2016

Auction specialists in Australia have found a rare Ming Dynasty banknote hidden within a Chinese wooden sculpture. The discovery came at Mossgreen as they were cataloguing the extensive collection of Raphy Star – one of the most important collections of Asian art ever to be offered in the country.

Lord Lucan cheques

Lord Lucan’s bounced cheques appear at auction

04 April 2016

The man himself may have disappeared in 1974 but a series of cheques showing Lord Lucan’s spiralling gambling debts have now emerged and will be offered at auction later this month.

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Money wars – the £1000 note targeted by the Nazis

05 September 2014

The highest denomination note issued by the Bank of England, this £1000 banknote is a rare survivor of a limited run that was cut short as the Nazis tried to destabilise the British economy.

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Interesting historical documents or receipts for a £306m fortune?

08 July 2014

The big question at David Lay’s auctioneers in Penzance next week: Are these bonds worth a few hundred pounds or up to £3.6m each?

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For sale: Australia’s first federal banknote

07 May 2013

It has a face value of ten shillings but a price tag of Aus$3.5m (£2.3m) at Coinworks, the specialist dealers and auctioneers of Melbourne.

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Further evidence of growing interest in banknotes

29 April 2013

Recent years have seen a massive increase in the offerings and prices realised by banknotes.

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London coins market grows by another 25%

31 March 2012

AFTER 2010 saw the London market grow by a third it would have been a bold commentator to predict a further substantial rise in 2011. Nonetheless, coins and medals auctions in the capital saw totals rise by almost a quarter on the previous year.

June 30 spells end for Elgar £20 note

01 June 2010

FROM 30 June, the £20 banknote carrying the portrait of composer Sir Edward Elgar is to be finally withdrawn from circulation.

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‘Diseased’ Australian banknotes make £350,000

12 October 2009

FROM May 1913, the first distinctive Commonwealth of Australia banknotes were issued. They were controversial in that no portrait of the reigning monarch, George V, was included in the design.

Dealer goes back to court over Royal Mail compensation

12 October 2009

MORE than a year after his county court victory against Royal Mail, coins and banknotes dealer Bruce Goulborn is taking them to court again.

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Siege notes in mint condition sold in Bury St Edmunds

26 January 2009

Today Robert Baden-Powell is best known as the founder of the Boy Scout movement in 1908, but in the Edwardian era his name was synonymous with the Boer War, and specifically the 217 wretched days from October 1899 to May 1900.

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The £1m note makes £68,000

20 October 2008

A Bank of England £1m Treasury note sold at Spink on October 1 for £68,000.

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For sale: the million-pound note

15 September 2008

Spink are to offer a £1m Treasury Note. Dated London 30 August 1948, and printed with the red serial number 000008, it is one of only two surviving examples from the nine thought to have been printed in connection with the Marshall Plan.

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Found in a UK country auction – the £180,000 note

14 July 2008

This $1000 Straits Settlement bill was described by Spink specialist Barnaby Faull as “the holy grail of Asian Pacific banknotes” after it had sold for Sin$420,000 (£180,000) plus buyer’s premium in Singapore on July 5.

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ATG help bidders go live online in Hong Kong

04 September 2006

ATG's pioneering live bidding service went East on August 31 - participating in the sale of Oriental and Asian Coins, Medals, and Banknotes conducted in Hong Kong by Baldwin's in association with MA Tak Wo Numismatic Co. Ltd of Hong Kong and Monetarium Pte Ltd of Singapore.

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I promise to pay the bearer on demand – £48,000

03 May 2006

All Bank of England banknotes issued prior to the early 1800s are rare but the note, pictured here, dated 30 August 1705, is believed to be the oldest in private hands.

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Treasures from the vaults

27 February 2006

Hidden away in a bank vault for over 80 years, the fabled Damon Collection of rare coins, medals and bank notes will fall under the hammer in March.

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Fascinating world of the five-guinea piece

31 May 2005

The specialist British sale held by Spink (15% buyer’s premium) on May 5 consisted exclusively of the collection formed by Samuel King.

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