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The Victorian heritage registration plates, which bear simply the double-digit number 14, were bought online last night at an auction run by Shannons.

Shannons national auctions manager Christophe Boribon told 3AW four or five Victorians fought for plates during the week-long auction.

The Victorian heritage number plate set sold at auction on May 24. (

Heritage number plates have become increasingly in-demand from investors and collectors in recent years, with Boribon saying the market for them “had gone ten-fold in the last ten years”.

He said a total 285,000 Victorian heritage plates were officially issued up until 1939.

Boribon said he would expect numbers 1 and 8 would be the most valuable, followed by the other single digits, rather than the double-digit plates.

He said buyers used them as both investments and for their intended use.

“Some people put them in self-retention and keep them at home or on display, others do exhibit the plates on their cars,” Boribon said.

He said the owner of the Victorian number plate set with the number 1 bore the plates on his C43 Mercedes-Benz wagon, and could often be seen around Melbourne or in Portsea over the summertime.

“He’s had (the plates) for a very long time.”

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Boribon said believed the owner had “had some ludicrous offers thrown at him over the years” in order to buy the plate set.

The number 14 plate set officially sold for $2,270,500 last night, but there was an additional cost of $113,000 in buyer’s premium.

Heritage licence plates have become a booming industry, with investors and collectors throwing down serious cash for rare sets.

The set of Victorian heritage plates with the number 96 were sold to a collector for $830,000 at an online auction in April last year.

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