Saul’s ‘blue riband collection’ expected to raise $200k for charity – The Royal Gazette | Bermuda News, Business, Sports, Events, & Community

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Saul’s ‘blue riband collection’ expected to raise $200k for charity

Former Premier David Saul is to auction off his collection of Bermudian banknotes and donate the proceeds to charity.

London auction house Spink will conduct the sale on October 4, with the currency expected to raise a total of at least $200,000.

Dr Saul, a former Finance Minister, has been gathering the notes for almost 40 years and Spink calls the lot the “blue riband of Bermuda currency collections”.

It contains scores of banknotes, some dating back to the late 19th century and early 20th century and some handsigned by the Bermuda Monetary Authority signatories whose names appear on the notes.

The rarest and oldest item in the collection, dating back to 1880, is expected to fetch up to $15,000.

Dr Saul, 73, told The Royal Gazette he decided to sell the collection because his two children weren't interested in inheriting it and he didn't want to leave his wife Christine with the job of selling it, should he die first.

“My family never showed much interest in such things and, at my age, there are other things that eat up my spare time these days, like [wood] carving and underwater adventures and kayaking in remote areas.”

He said he bought most of the notes from overseas collectors and auction houses and “had a great deal of fun in the ‘hunt' for the perfect note”.

He expects the banknotes to be sold to foreign bidders, claiming that not many Bermudians are interested in old currency.

“When I started spending my money on old currency notes all those years ago, most of my friends thought I was crazy,” said the former politician.

“However, I told people it was a sort of savings account or, to put it another way, it was a retirement fund!”

In fact, all of the proceeds of the auction will go to various charities and organisations, beginning with King Edward VII Memorial Hospital.

“It will do wonders for Bermuda's balance of payments,” said Dr Saul. “The monies raised from the auction will bring into the local economy about the same amount of foreign exchange as would be produced by 50,000 tourists visiting Bermuda.”

Dr Saul said that though his collection would likely leave the Island, there were excellent collections at the BMA and Bermuda Maritime Museum for those interested.

And he said he would give a copy of the catalogue produced by Spink to Bermuda Archives and the Bermuda Historical Society, along with a DVD showing the notes.

Barnaby Faull, from Spink, says in the foreword to the catalogue: “From the classic George V to the award-winning designs of the most recent issues, Bermuda banknotes cannot fail to enhance any Commonwealth collection.

“This [collection] is a unique opportunity to obtain notes from the finest collection of its kind.”

Useful website: www.spink.com.

David Saul is auctioning his collections of stamps and banknotes - worth hundreds of thousands of dollars - to give the money to charity. (Photo by Mark Tatem)

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Published September 04, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated September 05, 2013 at 1:05 am)

Saul’s ‘blue riband collection’ expected to raise $200k for charity

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