Oriental Bank Corporation $5 banknote sells for $112,000 in HK

The rare 1879 Oriental Bank Corporation $5 was joined by a 2012 1,000 coin at Baldwin's

A 19th century Oriental Bank Corporation $5 banknote has sold well at Baldwin's auction in Hong Kong.

Among the earliest issued banknotes from Hong Kong, the Oriental Bank Corporation $5 made $112,000 last night (August 23), well within its $100,000-120,000 valuation, a testament to its very good condition and extreme rarity.

Oriental Bank Corporation $5 Hong Kong banknote One of the earliest Hong banknotes has sold for $112,000

A few spots of discolouration and some small tears were its only detractions.

Issued in 1879, the note bears the inscription "Incorporated by royal charter", denoting the endorsement of the British monarchy.

During the 1860s, the Oriental Bank Corporation became the first bank to issue banknotes in Hong Kong, with denominations of up to $500.

These first notes were not accepted by the treasury for payment of government dues or taxes. However, many merchants did accept them, and the practice of issuing banknotes soon caught on, with HSBC and the Chartered Bank of China, Australia and India both issuing their versions.

There was also an excellent showing from a 2012 gold proof 1,000 1 kilo coin representing the year of the dragon.

It was one of just 10 produced by the UK's Royal Mint, and only classed as legal tender in Alderney, one of the tiny Channel Islands that lie to the south of the British mainland.

Its rarity and celebration of the year of the dragon made it irresistible to Chinese buyers, selling for $106,000, 6% above its $100,000 high estimate.

View our selection of world coins for sale here.

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