Early 20th Century £20 banknote sells for £1,400

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A rare early 20th Century £20 banknote that was discovered in Milngavie, has been snapped up by an international collector for £1,400 at McTear’s Rare Coins and Banknotes auction in Glasgow.

The limited edition Union Bank of Scotland note, which is dated 26th August 1918, was one of several banknotes entered into the auction by the anonymous Milngavie seller, with the collection fetching a total of £4,430.

In addition to the pristine £20 note, the sale also saw a 1947 Union Bank of Scotland £100 note go under the hammer for £1,100, while a Royal Bank of Scotland limited edition £100 note from 1969 sold for £340.

Commenting on the sale Sarah Cotter, head of jewellery, watches & coins at McTear’s, said: “It can be hard to imagine a banknote selling for 70 times its face value, but rare notes like these are hugely desirable, with collectors across the globe willing to pay significant sums to acquire them. The competition to secure this particular lot was so intense it pushed the price up to almost double the original estimate.

“The owner was aware that the notes were valuable but I think they got a pleasant surprise when the auction started and the bidding started to increase from potential buyers in the McTear’s auction room, online and on the telephone.

“We know from experience that there are old coins and banknotes hidden at the back of drawers and cupboards in households across the country, so it is definitely worthwhile taking a bit of time to have a look. You never know, that old note may be worth considerably more than the number on the front!”