I found a foreign banknote worth £140,000 … but I didn’t keep a PENNY myself

A CHARITY shop worker found a foreign banknote worth £140,000 – but he didn't keep a penny for himself.

Oxfam volunteer Paul Wyman was working in his local branch when he spotted the unusual looking bill in a box of donations.

Savvy Paul decided not to put it on the shelves for sale in Brentwood, Essex, and have it valued instead.

And it was the right move because it turned out to be worth a small fortune as the £100 Palestine pound note is one of less than 10 known to exist.

Experts valued it at £30,000 – but it sold for a staggering £140,000 when it went under the hammer at Spink in London.

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


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"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.

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

Bidders from all over the world, including the US and the Middle East, made offers in the hopes of getting their hands on the note.

In the end, it sold for £140,000 to 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.

"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."

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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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