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$1000 BANKNOTE SETS WORLD RECORD AT AUCTION

By Culturekiosque Staff

SINGAPORE, 7 JULY 2008 -In a banknote auction in Singapore on 5 July, bidders from around the world witnessed Spink's sale of a $1000 Straits Settlement banknote for £230,000 ($452,421 USD), a new world record price for an Asian Banknote. It is completely unique and numbered 00001, a highly sought after number for collectors. The banknote was recently discovered by an antiquarian bookseller between the pages of a book purchased in a small provincial auction house in the United Kingdom. The lot was purchased by a local collector who wishes to remain anonymous.


Photo courtesy of Spink

Barnaby Faull, Director of Banknotes and an Auctioneer for Spink, stated:

"This was the holy grail of Asian Pacific banknotes and presented a once in a lifetime opportunity for private collectors to acquire such an item. The auction, attended by individuals from across the globe, was a great success and a clear indication of a thriving collectables market."

The note is dated 17 March 1911 and was discovered in an envelope titled "Specimen/ On His Majesty's Service" which also listed the serial number of the note in ink. The note was presumably taken off the top of the pile of the new issue of $1000 notes when they were delivered in 1911. It is thought that a specimen note must not have existed so the number 1 note was then used as a specimen, which would have been kept by the government for reference purposes. It is in fact an issued note but has been perforated and stamped "specimen" so the note could not subsequently be stolen or spent. This was a fairly common practice although obviously not often with notes of this magnitude.

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