Note's sale is a sale of note

What is regarded as Australia's first Commonwealth banknote, and the most expensive, is going on sale.

What is regarded as Australia's first Commonwealth banknote, and the most expensive, is going on sale.

Worth 10 shillings - a dollar in today's money - when released 100 years ago today, it is now valued at $3.5 million.

The note is being sold through Coinworks in Melbourne on behalf of administrators McGrathNicol. Coinworks managing director Belinda Downie says she arrived at the sale price after consulting with experts in the field, including dealer Barry Windsor, who bought this note in 2000 for $1 million. It changed hands again in 2008 for $2 million.

It is the first Commonwealth note produced and the first officially-issued 10 shilling note anywhere in the world, she says. The official numbering ceremony took place on May 1, 1913, at the government printing works in Melbourne.

The serial number M000001 was printed by Judith Denman, the five-year-old daughter of the governor-general, Lord Denman. Also at the ceremony was prime minister Andrew Fisher, a key figure in promoting a uniquely Australian style of currency and stamps.

The absence of a royal profile was controversial at the time.

The banknote will be exhibited in the Hall of Honour at the Melbourne Exhibition Building as part of the World Stamp Expo from May 10 to 15. It will then be offered for private sale.

Downie is expecting interest from public institutions, but individuals are also able to buy this significant piece of Australian financial history.

Please form an orderly queue.

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