Million pound note up for auction in Britain

September 26th, 2008 - 2:25 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Sep 26 (IANS) A million pound note, one of only two surviving notes, is to go under the hammer in Britain for a fraction of its original face value.The note, which is no longer legal tender, is expected to fetch up to 40,000 pounds when it is auctioned by Spink, the specialist auctioneers, on Oct 1.

The eight inch wide green note was issued by the treasury on Aug 30, 1948, in connection with the Marshall Aid Plan after World War II.

The Marshall Aid Plan, named after its architect, American secretary of state George Marshall, was the US programme for funding Western Europe between 1948 and 1951.

America ploughed billions of dollars into Western Europe, whose recovery from the 1939-1945 war had been slower than expected.

The million pound banknote was one of only nine, numbered 000001 to 000009, that were produced for a period of six weeks only, reports The Telegraph.

Two of them, numbers 000007 and 000008, the latter of which is being offered for sale, survived as they were presented as mementoes to the respective American and British treasury secretaries. The others were destroyed.

Barnaby Faull, director of banknotes at Spink, said: “The notes were in use for only a period of six weeks and were not meant for public circulation. It is one of the rarest examples of British currency around today and is the highest denomination note.”

Number 000008 has been entered for sale by banknote collector Bill Parkinson from Burnley, Lancashire, along with other world banknotes.

Spink sold number 000007 through a private sale for 8,000 pounds in 1977, when the note was listed by the Guinness Book of Records as being the highest denomination in private ownership.

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