low serial number bank notesCollectors were quick to snap up a series of UK banknotes with low serial numbers at a charity auction.

A £50 note that sold for £820 was among the highlights of a Bank of England banknote auction that raised more than £50,000 for charity.

The reason for the high price tag for a seemingly ordinary banknote? It had the serial number AA01 000888. Early serial numbers are highly prized among notaphilists (paper money collectors). And the number eight is considered lucky in much of Asia, which is where many collectors live.

The £50 note was one of the recent 2011 designs featuring entrepreneur Matthew Bolton and engineer James Watt. It was also the first to feature the signature of new Bank of England Chief Cashier Chris Salmon.

Another £50 note with the serial number AA01 000013 sold for £700, while AA01 000018 went for £660.

Two uncut sheets of 36 £50 notes (pictured right) sold for £5,500 and £3,900 respectively. The value of the notes on the sheets was £1,750.

The Bank of England deliberately holds back other notes with low serial numbers for sales such as this one.

The first issues of all banknotes ending with 01 are presented to the Queen, with 02 going to the Duke of Edinburgh and 03 to the Prime Minister.

The proceeds from the auction will be split between UK charities the British Association for Adoption & Fostering and the Kids Company.

Photo courtesy of Spink Auctioneers



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