A century after the issue of the Commonwealth of Australia’s first banknotes, history will be made when the only privately owned complete set of Collins/Allen Cancelled Specimen banknotes from the original series is presented for sale for the first time, this month. The eight banknotes from 1913 and 1914, comprising a 10/-, £1, £5, £10, £20, £50, £100 and £1,000 denomination are expected to attract offers of approximately $5.5 million when presented exclusively for sale by private treaty through Western Australian-based firm The Rare Coin Company.
Early Cancelled Specimen notes were printed in very limited numbers as examples of a new banknote series. The £1, £10 and £1000 are unique in the set while the remaining denominations are extremely rare in private hands, banking archives, museums or other public institutions. The Collins/Allen set is named after the two Secretaries to the Treasury whose signatures appear on the notes.
The Rare Coin Company managing director Rob Jackman said he expected the set to capture the attention of banknote collectors around the world.
“ This is a unique opportunity to acquire a banknote set of incomparable rarity” Mr Jackman said. “Given the overall performance of a broad range of Australian coin and banknote rarities, which have consistently averaged around 13.8% for the past 22 years (based on values quoted in McDonalds Coins and Banknotes independent guide), we expect that many investors will be looking at this unique set as well.”
The provenance of the Collins/Allen set is of particular interest. Six of the eight notes were discovered in a North Yorkshire home and sold to their current Australian owner in 2009. The Rare Coin Company acquired the £10 and £1,000 notes in recent times to complete the prestigious set.