Bermuda $10 Commonwealth note featuring the late queen priced £250 from Colin Narbeth & Son, exhibitor at the World Paper Money Fair.

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Banknotes featuring the late Queen Elizabeth II are likely to create an extra buzz at the annual World Paper Money Fair in London.

She has appeared on all Bank of England notes since 1960 and even as a little girl in 1935 on some.

To be held from Friday to Saturday, September 30 to October 1, the WPMF is organised by the London branch of the International Bank Note Society and attracts top paper money dealers from around the world. It is open to collectors, whether an IBNS member or not.

International demand


The first £50 note to feature the queen’s portrait was issued in 1981 and an early example is for sale at £340 with Pam West of British Banknotes, exhibitor at the World Paper Money Fair.

Exhibitors include Pam West of British Banknotes, well known in the notaphily world, who has a low serial number £1 queen’s portrait note of 1960 for sale at £3400 and reports new buyers from the US and Australia buying Bank of England portrait notes as mementoes.

Simon Narbeth of banknote specialist Colin Narbeth & Son said he was expecting an increase in demand from across the range of Commonwealth QE2 portrait notes.

Specialist auction house Noonans, whose banknote sale in May of 500 portraits of Her Majesty to celebrate the queen’s platinum jubilee raised £196,000, will also be exhibiting, as will Spink.

The first day of the WPMF, which takes place at the Ambassadors Bloomsbury Hotel, five minutes from Euston Station, coincides with the moment when Bank of England paper £20 and £50 notes cease to be legal tender and people can exchange them for the polymer variety.