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A National Bank of Egypt King Farouk note sold at Spink in May for £41,000 – a record for an Egyptian banknote.

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A breakdown of January to December hammer totals from the firm's six departments shows a very strong market for stamps accounted for almost half of sales at £13,685,000.

Combined, banknotes (£6,995,100) and coins (£5,537,600) achieved a similar sum, with significant contributions also made by a thriving market for gallantry medals on the anniversary of the start of the First World War (£1,594,000).

Bonds and shares certificates added £650,400 and fine wine £480,200.

Spink's highest coin prices of the year were all English coins, most notably the record prices achieved for the Thomas Simon Reddite Crown, sold in March for £330,000, and the Sovereigns of Henry VII and Henry VIII sold in December for £310,000 and £300,000 respectively.

"Continuing Buoyancy"

Coins specialist Richard Bishop commented: "The London coin auctions held at Spink over the last 12 months have served to highlight the continuing buoyancy of the English coin market. The signs are that this will continue in 2015."

Andrew Pattison, specialist in the still relatively new collecting area of banknotes, described the banknote market in 2014 as "mixed, but overall very good". Spink sold a massive 7732 lots in its four London auctions last year, bringing a total of £4.4m.

While again British notes performed strongly, Mr Pattison said: "Southeast Asia and the Middle East are leading the way, with Malaya and Egypt proving particularly strong. Our top price this year, £41,000, was actually for an Egypt note."

Spink sold 46 banknotes at or above £10,000 in 2014.