Noteworthy auction for fans of cash

RBS auctions rare and commemorative notes for Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust
RBS auctions rare and commemorative notes for Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust
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TWO million of them went into circulation to celebrate Her Majesty’s reaching the landmark of 60 years on the throne.

Four images of the Queen during her reign adorned the £10 commemorative note issued by the Royal Bank of Scotland to mark her Diamond Jubilee.

RBS has donated sets of all its commemorative notes from its collection

RBS has donated sets of all its commemorative notes from its collection

But such was their popularity that they were quickly being snapped up by collectors as far afield as Hong Kong, Australia and the United States.

Now it has emerged that the very first note printed in the run could already be worth £500.

Auctioneers have slapped the valuation on the RBS note with the serial number 0000001 ahead of hundreds of rare notes going under the hammer in London on Thursday.

Among the features on the note - which includes pictures of the Queen taken at Epsom Racecourse and Balmoral Castle - are the official crown emblem of the Diamond Jubilee and an engraving of a window in Holyrood Abbey, next to the royal palace in Edinburgh.

RBS has donated dozens of rare notes from its own archives for the sale in the hope of raising more than £10,000 for charity.

They include special edition Diamond Jubilee notes printed for official RBS sponsors like the Scottish Rugby Union and Scottish Golf Union, as well as the National Museum of Scotland.

Other RBS-donated lots include two £100 notes with consecutive serial numbers which were issued by the National Commercial Bank of Scotland in 1959 - a decade before its merger with the bank.

A complete set of £1 RBS notes stretching from 1951-1964 will be sold off as well as three £5 notes which have mismatched serial numbers and were classified as being printed in error.

RBS said it had chosen to back the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust charity thanks to royal connections stretching back almost 300 years to its origins, when George I signed the charter that sanctioned its creation and it was the only bank given permission for a special Diamond Jubilee note.

Chairman Philip Hampton said: “RBS was founded by royal charter in 1727 and has a long-standing connection with royalty. We have a tradition of issuing notes to commemorate royal celebrations so we’re delighted that we were able to donate a number of our commemorative and rare notes to the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust.”

Sir John Major, chairman of the trust, said: “This is an enormously generous gesture and very much appreciated.

“The trust has been set up to pay tribute to the Queen and her 60 years of dedication to the Commonwealth. We intend to use the funds we raise primarily to remove the curse of avoidable blindness across the Commonwealth.

“Many people – who will never know the names of the benefactors – will find their lives revolutionised by the generosity of donors to the trust.”

Other Scottish notes coming under the hammer include a 10 shilling Bank of Scotland note, which is expected to fetch up to £400, and a Clydesdale bank £1 note from 1914, valued at up to £200.

Bank note expert Iain Harrison said: “The thing that makes bank notes so special is that you can be pretty confident their value is never actually going to go down.

“Scottish banknotes seem to do really well at these sales because so many notes have been isued in Scotland. At one time in the 1940s and 1950s there were actually eight different banks printing notes.

“The thing about the RBS lots going up is that it is very rare to be able to buy a set of notes, such as the three that have flaws in them, or the collection of £1 notes.”

Barnaby Faull, director of banknotes at Spink auction house, which is hosting the sale on Thursday, said: ”There has been overwhelming interest in the RBS notes in the run up to the auction, so we’re expecting them to raise lots of money for this good cause.”