A bank accountant’s signature on some old banknotes pushed their sale value into overdrive, while a Falkirk man watched speechless.
The un-named local owner of the five £1 notes from the Commercial Bank of Scotland Limited finally collected more than £10,000 from their sale at auction.
He had watched, disbelieving, as phone and online bidders from around the world competed for his rare currency at McTear’s auction room in Glasgow.
A main reason for the high price tag was that the notes, which date from 1908 through to 1918, include the handwritten signatures of the bank’s accountant and cashier.
Sarah Cotter, Head of Jewellery, Watches and Coins at McTear’s said: “The notes were in a worn condition and the seller didn’t really have any great expectations when he brought them in.
“Needless to say he got a bit of a shock when the auction started and the bids got higher and higher.
“It can be hard to imagine banknotes selling for several thousand times their face value, but rare notes like these are hugely desirable, with collectors across the globe willing to pay significant sums to acquire them.
“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!”