Australia’s first banknote is expected to sell for a record amount when it goes to private sale next month.
The 10 shilling note was issued on May 1, 1913, in Melbourne, in the presence of prime minister Andrew Fisher and governor-general Lord Denman.
The note was hand-numbered by the governor-general’s five-year-old daughter Judith Denman, with the serial number M000001.
It was found tucked away in a book in England in 1999 nearly 12 years after Ms Denman’s death.
The note was last sold in 2008 to a private coin and note dealer for just under $2 million, the highest ever paid for an Australian banknote or coin.
The chief executive officer of Coinworks, Belinda Downie, says the expectation is that this time, the note will sell for at least $3.5 million.
“It is unique,” she said.
“It is one of our most important pieces.
“Yes, it’s a banknote, but I regard it as an important piece of Australiana.
“It really does reflect a period in Australian history I think we can actually be enormously proud of.”
Paul Hannaford of International Gallery Auctions is one of the lucky few who has been up close to this unique piece of Australian history, helping sell the note for a second time in 2008.
“The bank note actually sold for a a record price of $1.909 million, which was a record price not only for any Australian numismatics item anywhere in the world, but for anything actually physically sold in Australia,” he said.
The note will be displayed at the World Stamp Expo later this month in a hand-crafted wooden box worth $10,000.
It is believed that only about 20 of the 10 shillings notes remain in circulation.