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Rare £100 banknote found in charity shop sells at auction for £140,000

An incredibly rare £100 banknote found in a charity shop has sold online for a whopping £140,000 - 1,400 times its original value.

Paul Wyman was working as a volunteer at the Oxfam store when he came across the nearly 100-year-old banknote in a donation box, the Mirror reports.

The £100 Palestine banknote in one of less than ten known to exist and was given to senior officials during the British Mandate in Palestine in 1927.

Eagle-eyed Paul, who discovered the note in the charity's Brentwood branch in Essex, decided not to put the currency up for sale and instead contacted an auction house where experts gave it an estimated value of £30,000.

Paul Wyman was volunteering in Oxfam when he spotted an unusual banknote in a box of donated items. (Oxfam / SWNS)

But it sold for a staggering £140,000 when it went under the hammer at Spink auction house in London.

Paul said: "I realised that I was holding something in my hands that was incredibly rare.

"I couldn’t believe it when it went for £140,000."

An unknown donor brought it into the shop in October 2020, and it was assessed at the auction house in February 2022.

Paul watched the auction online from his home on April 28.

He said: "The auctioneers originally valued it at £30,000 and I was amazed at that already - never mind £140,000.

"Up until then, I don't think I really believed it could be a real note because they are so incredibly rare."

But bidders from all over the world, including the US and the Middle East, placed bids in the hopes of getting their hands on the note.

In the end, it sold for £140,000 - which will now go towards Oxfam's charitable work.

Paul said: "It’s brilliant to know I played a part in raising so much money for Oxfam’s work helping the world’s poorest people."

Elaine Fung, a banknote specialist for Spink, said: "Less than ten of these banknotes are known to exist.

There are only ten notes known to to be existence. (Oxfam / SWNS)

"It would have been issued to a high ranking official at the time as a token of appreciation for their services.”

Lorna Fallon, retail director for Oxfam, said: “We are so grateful to Paul and the Brentwood shop team for spotting this banknote, not to mention the generous member of the public who donated it to us.

"We are delighted that the banknote has raised so much money for Oxfam’s work around the world, which includes helping people in East Africa who are at risk of famine, and assisting refugees from Ukraine.”

The rare banknote was issued during the British Mandate in Palestine in 1927, issued by the League of Nations in 1920.

The auctioned banknote was £100 Palestine pounds, which was the currency at the time.

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