Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Million Pound Note Up for Auction

Spink has announced the sale of the famous Number Eight £1,000,000 note. It is believed that only two notes of this high denomination exist in the world today, the other numbered 000007.

The million pound note was issued in connection with the Marshall Aid Plan after World War II and was intended for internal use as ‘records of movement,’ for a period of six weeks only. It is believed that nine examples were produced and only two, Numbers Seven and Eight, survived.

The two notes were given as mementoes to the respective U.S. and U.K. Treasury Secretaries. The Number Seven was first sold in 1977 and is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as being the highest denomination note in private hands.

The 8-inch-wide green banknote, numbered 000008, was issued by the Bank of England on Aug. 30, 1948, in connection with the Marshall Aid Plan in the aftermath of World War II. It bears the signature of E. E. Bridges in the lower right hand corner and is cancelled over the signature and stamped 6 October 1948, Bank of England. Spink’s said the defunct note, entered for sale by the U.K.-based banknote collector Bill Parkinson, may fetch 35,000 pounds to 40,000 pounds at its Oct. 1 sale of world banknotes.

“This is the highest denomination of banknote we’ve ever sold,” said Barnaby Faull, director of banknotes at Spink. “There are hyperinflation Weimar-period notes for 10 billion marks, but they would only have bought a cup of coffee.”

Faull said that though technically legal tender, the million-pound note was more of an IOU than a usable banknote.

Spink sold number 000007 through a private sale for 8,000 pounds in 1977, when the note was listed by the Guinness Book of Records as being the highest denomination in private ownership.

“We would have sold it at auction, but the Bank of England asked us to sell it privately because it didn’t want the publicity,” said Faull. “It was horrified there was a million- pound note still in private hands.”

Nutmegcollector updated November 17, 2008 - Spink sold the famous Number Eight £1,000,000 note for £78,300 (US $117,727.30) to a private UK based collector.

Nutmegcollector updated July 25, 2012 - The number 000007 was sold for £69,000 at a specialist sale in London on September 30, 2011.

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