First part of Ibrahim Salem Collection of British Commonwealth Notes to be offered next month

A 1952 Bermuda £1 note with a No. 1 serial number is among the highlights of the first part of the Ibrahim Salem Collection of British Commonwealth Banknotes, which will be offered by Spink this April.

With more than 250 lots recently certified by Paper Money Guaranty (PMG), this initial offering includes “numerous rare and important issues from current and former territories of the United Kingdom,” according to a statement released by PMG earlier this month.

“We are honoured that Spink chose PMG to grade these outstanding notes, and we are pleased that our on-site grading event made the submission much more convenient,” said Steven Eichenbaum, CEO of PMG. “Bidders can rest easy knowing these notes were certified by our expert grading team, whose determinations are backed by our comprehensive guarantee of authenticity and grade.”

PMG certified the notes this January at its first on-site grading event in London, England. Another on-site grading event is slated for April while the first part of the auction will take place April 17.

The PMG-certified selections from the Ibrahim Salem Collection number 253 pieces, including 81 from Bermuda, 32 from the Bahamas, 31 from Gibraltar and 29 from Fiji. The notes, which range from the late 1800s to the 21st century, have the Ibrahim Salem Collection pedigree on the PMG label.


“PMG’s global reputation for expertise and integrity made it the obvious choice to certify notes from a collection that covers nearly 150 years and six continents,” said Spink’s Director of Banknotes Barnaby Faull.

“PMG’s on-site grading event in London provided an exceptionally fast turnaround time, helping us to bring this collection to auction sooner.”

Salem is a true titan of the notaphilic world, according to the PMG statement, having built a collection of 150,000 notes over more than 40 years.

In recent times, Salem focused his collection on Arab and Middle Eastern notes and has been selling off other portions of his collection.

1952 ‘SERIAL No. 1’ NOTE

Among the highlights of the notes recently certified by PMG is the aforementioned 1952 £1 note from Bermuda with a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II at the right. Issued in the year the Queen ascended to the throne, the note has a serial number reading “A000001” and is graded PMG 65 Gem Uncirculated EPQ (exceptional paper quality).

Another rare note is one of only 18 Gibraltar 1958-75 £5 Specimen notes known to exist. Graded PMG Choice Uncirculated-64, this note shows the famous Rock of Gibraltar, which was part of the strategically important British Overseas Territory at the western edge of the Mediterranean Sea.

To view all of the PMG-certified notes in the first part of the Salem Collection, visit

For more information about Spink or to bid in this and other upcoming auctions, visit

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