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Key rarity: Iraq 100 dinars to cross block

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By Kerry Rodgers

It may have had a hard life but this Iraq 100 dinars of King Faisal I from 1931, P-6, is super rare as an issued note.

It may have had a hard life but this Iraq 100 dinars of King Faisal I from 1931, P-6, is super rare as an issued note.

Spink’s next world paper sale will take place at the company’s London offices on Sept. 28-29.

This will be a big one. The catalog comes laced with a remarkable number of rarities from across the globe. Many gaps in otherwise comprehensive collections could well get plugged.

There is also a wealth of material for the more modest collector such as your reporter. The British Commonwealth is particularly well represented.

The note that has been fronting Spink’s pre-sale ads is a much abused but exceedingly collectible Iraq 100 dinars of King Faisal I, P-6, issued in 1931.

This is the key note of the entire Iraqi series. It is of the greatest rarity as an issued note and absent from most collections of Iraqi currency. For added piquancy its serial number is a low A 000092. Unpriced in the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, the present example carries an estimate of $26,000-32,500 [£20,000-25,000]. While it may well take top dollar at the sale, it has a number of competitors.

Among these is an Indian government 1,000 rupees drawn on Calcutta and signed by J.W. Kelly, c. 1928, P-12c. The issue is considered rare in VF. That on offer is an exceptional PMG About Uncirculated 50 EPQ, which perhaps helps explain its $28,000-34,000 [£22,000-26,000] estimate.

Flying even higher in the rarified atmosphere of five-figure estimates is a Malaya $10,000 false color specimen of George VI, c. 1946, P-17cs. These high-denomination colonial rarities provoke intense competition when offered for sale. Consequently, the estimate has been set at the top end: $32,500-46,000 [£25,000-35,000].

From Bahamas is a magnificent first issue (1965), Queen Elizabeth II $100 with two signatures and serial 000003, P-25a. It comes graded PMG Choice Uncirculated 63. Prospective bidders should be aware that a similar example with serial 000013 sold stateside in January for $11,500.

A second Iraqi 100 dinars comes from 1936 (L. 1931), P-12. It, too, is rare in issued format and has an estimate of $10,000-16,000 [£8,000-12,000] with an about F grade.

Lest any Canadian readers feel they have been overlooked in recent Spink sales, how about an excessively rare Province of Canada P-1 dollar? And it is not just any P-1 dollar but a P-1c payable at St John and dated Oct. 1, 1866. It grades a collectible about F.

Those with a taste for South American issues may like to check out a Nicaraguan 10 pesos of Sept. 15, 1900. Unpriced in the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money above F grade, this example is about UNC and hence extremely rare.

And collectors of low serial number notes need to keep a weather eye peeled for Spink’s upcoming Charity Auction. This will take place at or about the time of the main sale and features low serials of the Bank of England’s brand new polymer £5 issue with its portrait of Winston Churchill.

Full location and catalog details are available at the Spink website.

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

• 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.

• 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.