The recent offering of rare worldwide banknotes in the Stack’s Bowers Galleries Official Auction of the New York International Numismatics Convention was a big success. The 518-lot session drew intense interest from collectors and the prices were strong throughout the sale. Condition rarities were a focal point of the auction with countless PMG and PCGS graded banknotes being at the top end of the grading scale. The live and online sessions together realized $537,693.00.
Banknotes of the British Commonwealth featured important pieces from Belize, the British Caribbean Territories, East Africa, Fiji and Rhodesia. Portrait vignettes of the Queen drew special interest with record prices realized for these popular design types. A 1973 dated Government of Belize P-37b in a PMG Gem Uncirculated 66 EPQ grade realized $2,350 and a $10 British Caribbean Territories P-10c in a PMG Choice About Uncirculated 58 EPQ state cost the new owner $4,406. The always-popular Cyprus QEII series saw a 250 Mils 1957 note in a PMG Gem Uncirculated 66 EPQ grade fetch $3,290 while a later date and low serial number Republic of Cyprus 1961 grouping achieved strong results as well.
The largest realization of the sale was earned by an elusive 1937 Bank of Canada $1,000 note which was certified by PMG in a Gem Uncirculated 66 EPQ holder. The note saw spirited bidding and ultimately sold for $32,900. A rare 1906 date Egyptian 50 Pound specimen note was another five-figure rarity with a final price of $11,162. Two Orell Fussli related printing security items were offered with the first being a French produced presentation that showed 65 individual advertising impressions from five different printing companies. The book saw heavy action on both the phone and the floor and hammered at $9,500. A seven-note set from the Netherlands New Guinea was perhaps the most fascinating lot, all Specimen notes with 1950 series dates. This series is very rare and often missing in even comprehensive collections. The group ran far past the pre-auction estimate and sold to a new owner for $17,625.
As we look ahead to this new year in numismatics we anticipate that the market for collectible world currency will remain strong. We invite collectors to consign to our upcoming auctions, including our next offering of world currency to be held in Hong Kong in April 2014.