As our work on referencing the Numizon catalog of all the countries of the world progresses (currently 84 countries for 3,352 cards referenced), this accumulation of information feeds by default our listings engine which is continuously enriched. This double action allows you to capture more and more banknotes to buy on auction sites and in national or international auction houses.
Thus, with the recent publication of British North Borneo Company banknotes, Numizon detected a very interesting listing concerning a 5 dollar banknote type 1940 (1) whose sale ends in one day! The copy is numbered H017942 and bears the signature of Treasurer William Anthony Casterton Smelt. The seller does not indicate the grade but the note appears to be in VF grade. As of this writing, the banknote is already up for 32 bids and fetching a price of US $ 1,150.00 (2).
So let's take a closer look at all of this… with the 1940 type 5 dollar score that Numizon made for you (see table below). All the data collected comes from digital sources. We point out that we did not have the time and / or the physical possibility to consult old sales catalogs in paper form in which photos are often lacking. The results of this study will inevitably be partial and incomplete!
|P-30a||Noble Numismatics||3840||AU$ 260||H001970||VG||2018|
|P-30a||Heritage Auctions||26724||US$ 1,260||H006404||PCGS 25||2019|
|P-30a||Noble Numismatics||4399||AU$ 200||H008661||VF||1999|
|P-30a||Noble Numismatics||2200||AU$ 1,300||H009853||VF||2016|
|P-30a||Bank Note Museum||-||-||H019011||-||2021|
|P-30a||Heritage Auctions||26115||US$ 956||H023385||PMG 35||2016|
|P-30a||Noble Numismatics||3838||AU$ 500||H028814||VF||2018|
|P-30a||Spink||633||GPB 2,700||H032448||PMG 50||2017|
|P-30a||Stack's Bowers||12542||US$ 717||H038302||PMG 12||2011|
|P-30a||Spink||206||GPB 600||H041378||PMG 25||2013|
|P-30a||PMG Population Report||-||-||H045552||-||2013|
|P-30a||Stack's Bowers||80005||US$ 1,613||H048343||VF||2011|
|P-30a||Heritage Auctions||28152||US$ 2,300||H048616||PCGS 30 Apparent||2021|
|P-30a||Noble Numismatics||3839||AU$ 900||H049345||VF||2018|
|P-30a||Christoph Gärtner||559||EUR 1,050||H051109||F-||2017|
Over the past 10 years, we've only seen 21 sales and one older sale dating back to 1999. So on average, you only have two or three chances per year of getting a copy of this type!
The humid and tropical climate of Borneo has undoubtedly had a significant influence, because we immediately see that the 5 dollars type 1940 is very rare above the VF grade: only one PMG 50 graded copy was sold in 2017 at £ 2,700 from Spink (Lot #633). The ratings given in The Banknote Book therefore reflect our findings fairly well: $ 1,200 in G grade, $ 1,200 in VF grade and $ 4,000 in UNC grade. On the other hand, it seems that the WPM quotes are no longer quite up to date and rather correspond to the copy sold AU$ 200 in 1999 at Noble Numismatics (Lot : #2200). On the other hand, the WPM does not rate the note in XF grade, which confirms our analysis of the grades.
If one interrogates the database of the PMG Population Report, the score are a little more eloquent with 35 copies listed and graded with the following distribution:
- PMG 10 = 1 note,
- PMG 12 = 2 notes,
- PMG 15 = 5 notes,
- PMG 20 = 3 notes,
- PMG 25 = 12 notes,
- PMG 30 = 7 notes,
- PMG 35 = 4 notes,
- PMG 50 = 1 note.
Finally, and although the total number of banknotes printed is not indicated in any reference work, it is possible to say that the 5 dollars was issued in at least 52,000 copies, since the smallest note known today is numbered H001970 and the largest known number is numbered H051109.
To conclude, if you miss tomorrow's ebay sale, this time you will have 31 days of delay and ... a second chance with a second copy currently on sale at Heritage Auctions (Lot #28152). The note is numbered H048616 and is graded PCGS 30. Estimated at US $ 1,500.00, the note has already reached the price of $ 2,300.00 ...
After these two sales, you will have to resign yourself and theoretically wait until next year to try your luck again!
(1) Known catalog references: Pick: # 30a, The Banknote Book: # B116a, # KNB12 et Tan # N12.
(2) The banknote will finally be sold for $ 2,325.00 on April 1, 2021.
- "British North Borneo" Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, 1368-1960, 12th edition (pages 162 to 164).
- "British North Borneo" by Owen W. Linzmeyer.
- Photos archive : Bank Note Museum, Christoph Gärtner, Heritage Auctions, Noble Numismatics, Spink and Stack's Bowers.