A series of rare Qatar and Dubai banknotes sold for £180,000 against a £25,000-35,000 pre-sale estimate at Bonhams auction of Banknotes and Coins in Knightsbridge, London, on Wednesday.
These uncirculated notes are extremely rare. The matching early serial numbers further enhanced this rare set. The sale included many rare coins from a variety of countries and periods from as far back as Egypt 285 BC – the rule of the Ptolemaic kings. The sale raised a total of £580,194 with 90 per cent of the lots sold, Bonhams said.
John Millensted, Head of Coins at Bonhams, said: "It is a tremendously rare set and has been preserved well over the years, the price exceeded all expectations and we are very pleased with the result."
The notes issued by the Qatar & Dubai, Currency Board, were a full set of 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 and 100 Riyals from September 1966, all serial number 000009.
They were held in a blue leather presentation album with the inscription on the cover that read: 'Council For the Currency of Qatar & Dubai'. The notes all have a vignette containing a dhow, derrick and palm tree at left, reverses with denomination at centre and upper corners, and issuing authority across the top. The notes were lightly mounted on card pages and held in place by thin strip of masking tape on back of right edge.
The Qatar-Dubai Currency Agreement was signed in March 1966 in preparation for the establishment of a Currency Board and the subsequent introduction of a common currency. In September of that year the Currency Board issued its first paper money but within less than seven years the Currency Agreement had been terminated.
Qatar proceeded to issue its own paper currency while the new issue from UAE Currency Board entered circulation in Dubai.
With the exception of the 1 riyal, notes of the Qatar & Dubai Currency Board are very difficult to find in high grade and the 25 riyal had such a low issue that it is difficult to find in any condition.