Special serial numbers have been sought after by banknote collectors for years. In Asia, certain numbers have added significance. In Malaysia, the bank producing the notes just completed an auction of special serial numbers. I wouldn’t be surprised if this practice is adopted someday by the world's larger banknote issuers.
A Malaysian collector paid RM76,000 for a RM100 bank note bearing the serial number AA8888888 at an auction by Bank Negara Malaysia.
This was revealed by MNP Auctioneers (Central) Sdn Bhd managing director Stephen Soon, who was in charge of the auction conducted at Bank Negara’s head office here yesterday.
The number eight is a homophone for the word “prosperity” in Chinese, hence its popularity.
“In Malaysia, twin prefixes and solid numbers are the most popular among collectors,” said Soon.
He added that the value of the bank notes was determined by the serial numbers, and not by the actual value of the notes.
“People often think that bank notes with these types of unique numbers can only be obtained under the table, but through this auction anyone can bid for them,” he said.
Soon said that one of the reasons Bank Negara had hired his company was to change such perceptions.
“Anyone can register and bid for the notes. All they have to do is pay RM300 for registration and bid for the notes they are interested in,” he said.
He added that the registration fee was refundable, and was imposed to ensure the “quality” of attendees.
A total of 17 bank notes were auctioned off yesterday. It was the second year that MNP had conducted the auction for the central bank.
“What is special this year is that we framed the bank notes and the successful bidders were also be given a certificate of authenticity,” he said.
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Malaysian collector pays RM76,000 for RM100 bank note
Wayne Homren, Editor
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