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Monday, September 6, 2010

Rare Ceylon banknote exchanged for $8,970 in Hong Kong

Baldwin's numismatic sale, dominated by Chinese coins, held a surprise in the notaphilic section

Baldwin's triumphant coins, medals and banknotes sale in China was dominated by a Chinese Silver Pattern Dollar which escaped Kann's famous reference book for Chinese coins (selling for $320,000) and a rare Order of the Double Dragon (which sold for $95,000).

The banknotes sections did not offer anything in that league, but as we know notaphilists will have been hanging on for the results, here they are:

Lot 126 was the surprise of the section. The aesthetically pleasing three piece lot included a 1000-Cash Tian Zhen Bank note and a 1-Tiao Tong Yi Hao note and was estimated to make £150-200. Bidding in the room on these Chinese banknotes was fierce and a selling price of US$5,520 was achieved.

Other outstanding notes included lot 106, a 1905 Kwangtung Currency Bureau $1 which sold for US$3,680 against an estimate of US$800-1,000 and lot 166, a People's Bank of China 1950 50,000-Yuan banknote which sold for US$2,200.

Ceylon 10 Rupees banknote
Click to enlarge

But unusually for the sale, which was absolutely dominated by Chinese lots and Chinese bidders, it was not a Chinese banknote which was the most valuable of the section.

Lots 316 and 317, two rare 1938 Ceylon Government Issue Specimen/Essay 10-Rupee note each sold for $8,970 online to a buyer from the USA against an estimate of $6,000. They may have been buying as an investment - Indian collectibles are rising in value just as Chinese ones are, thanks to an increasing number of Indian collectors.