February 6, 2013
A RARE complete set of the first Australian banknotes to be issued following Federation is expected to sell for upwards of $5.5 million.
It is the first time a private set of eight Collins/Allen cancelled specimen banknotes has been offered for sale.
The notes date from 1913 and 1914 and include a 10-shilling note as well as a 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and a 1000-pound note, which features a flock of sheep.
The sale, which is expected to set a new record for a set of Australian banknotes, will mark the 100th anniversary of their printing.
The notes are known as cancelled specimens because they are marked with a large "x" and are perforated with "cancelled".
Such notes were sent to central banks around the world so officials could familiarise themselves with the new currency before its public release.
They are named after the two secretaries to the Treasury whose signatures appear on them, James Collins and George Allen. The private sale is being organised by Western Australia's The Rare Coin Company, which has spent the past four years assembling the set on behalf of two collectors.
Rare Coin Company managing director Rob Jackman said he had already fielded a number of inquiries about the sale from around the world.