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Fiji WWII rarities sold by Noble

Author:

By Kerry Rodgers

Tucked among the world paper catalog in Noble Numismatics July sale in Sydney were three notes from Fiji’s World War II emergency issues: penny (P-47a), shilling (P-48a) and two shillings (P-50a). All were highly desirable as all carried serial No. 1.

fiji-1

The trio had surfaced in a Status International sale some 20 years ago. At that time they were purchased by a Sydney-based dealer who subsequently sold them privately. They had not been seen since.

Their reappearance sparked considerable interest among a range of collectors: World War II paper, low serial numbers, and Fiji. The notes’ attractiveness was perhaps aided by their ultra-conservative estimates of A$500 [US$375] apiece.

That estimate was quickly exceeded as each item came up on the block with four serious bidders in-room plus several on the Internet. At least one was from the United States.

fiji-2

All items followed the same bid pattern. As prices passed $2,000 most dropped out but three and then two went toe-to-toe until hammer fall as the price exceeded $3,000.

Most interest was in the penny. When the dust settled, it had taken $3,042 [A$4,054] as did the two shillings. Both went to the same bid number held by a New Zealand dealer.

The one shilling realized $2,506 [A$3,339] on the day. It was bought by another New Zealand dealer who resold it within 12 hours for a price commensurate with the other two.

fiji-3

Hopefully all three notes will continue to reside together as they have these past 74 years.

This article was originally printed in Bank Note Reporter.
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More Collecting Resources

• The Standard Catalog of United States Paper Money is the only annual guide that provides complete coverage of U.S. currency with today’s market prices.

• Order the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, General Issues to learn about circulating paper money from 14th century China to the mid 20th century.