Information for Buyers

The original and first ever banknote of the Commonwealth of Australia, the 1913 Collins Allen Ten Shillings, serial number M000001.

Coinworks has been appointed sole agents to facilitate and negotiate the sale of Australia’s Number One banknote by Deed Administrators Shaun Fraser and Tony McGrath of McGrathNicol.


A national treasure, a great investment and the opportunity to be a part of history.

The Number One note is unique. It is the most recognised banknote in Australian history and is without peer on any front.

And that status makes it as good as ‘recession-proof’. There will always be a demand to own the first and the very best.

It is well documented the Number One note sold in 2000 for $1 million to a Sydney businessman. Eight years later the note sold at auction for $1.9 million. Both sale prices were the highest prices ever paid for an Australian numismatic item.

Complementing the investment perspective, the number one note is steeped in Australian history that adds a whole new dimension to pride of ownership.

The note was hand-numbered M000001 at a ceremony held on 1 May 1913 attended by the Prime Minister Andrew Fisher and Governor General Lord Denman. Officially presented to Judith Denman, the Governor General’s five year old daughter, the note returned to England with the Denman family one year later.

It was subsequently discovered in 1999, twelve years after Judith’s death, by chance, hidden in an envelope amongst her belongings.

The pride in owning Australia’s Number One banknote is infinite. It is an irreplaceable part of our national heritage.

The note that inspires a nation

Retired numismatist Barrie Winsor recounts his involvement with the Number One banknote to journalist Anthony Black.

It was an historic photo snapped on May 1, 1913 that would change a nation and the life of rare coin and banknote dealer Barrie Winsor about 80 years later.

The indelible black and white image depicts a five-year old girl numbering the very first banknote of the Commonwealth of Australia. The apt serial number is M000001. The girl was Judith Denman, daughter of the Governor General of Australia Lord Thomas Denman. Dignitaries, including the Prime Minister of the day Andrew Fisher, surround Judith in the image.

The photo was to chart a fresh course for Winsor, who was determined to source the original Ten Shillings note that left Australia with the Denman family in 1914.

“From the moment I saw that photo of a little girl numbering Australia’s first banknote, I always fancied buying it,” Winsor recalls.

It would take Winsor five years of painstaking research to track the note to England in 1999. At that stage, Winsor had been a long-time dealer and collector after retiring from the Australian Army as a Lieutenant Colonel following 20 years of service.

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In conjunction with Knightsbridge Coins in London, Winsor tracked the Number One note to the heirs of Judith Denman. His dream of bringing the Number One note back to Australia was becoming a reality.

But there was still another hurdle. He had to obtain an export certificate because the note was part of English history as well. Winsor was granted an export certificate and the note returned to Australia in 1999 amid a storm of publicity.

Winsor had made it.

Winsor sold it to a client for $1 million in 2000. Eight years later, it sold again for $1.9 million. Both sale prices were the highest ever paid for an Australian numismatic item.

Australia’s leading rare coin and banknote firm Coinworks is proud to offer the Number One note for sale and welcomes potential buyers to contact company director Belinda Downie.

“I am honoured to be selling a unique piece of Australian history, as such an opportunity is almost as rare as the banknote itself,” Downie says.

Winsor describes Australia’s first banknote as the Holy Grail or the Mona Lisa and expects it to double in value during the next 10 years, as it almost did between 2000 and 2008.

“It’s unique,” he says. “The successful buyer is the only one who can own it. Buying really great material generates top returns over time.”

“The Number One note is a storage of wealth. Owning one unique note is far more desirable than owning one hundred others that aren’t all that rare. ”

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