The paper money sales highlight of the past month took place on a dark and frigid evening in Fargo, N.D.
The month and location are not transcription errors or editorial fantasy, but proof that new ideas and new ways of doing things can attract new collectors.
The event was the Jan. 26 auction of 393 North Dakota national bank notes from the collection of longtime dealer and collector Glen Jorde of Devils Lake, N.D.
Jorde asked Lyn Knight Currency Auctions to offer the notes during the Jan. 26 to 27 Red River Valley Coin Show in Fargo for a very special reason.
Jorde had attended the very first Red River Valley Coin Show in 1959 as a young boy with his father and his brother, and was bitten by the collecting bug.
The result of the January auction was a turnout that far exceeded what we see at many convention-related auctions as more than 100 bidders, intrigued by local media reports on the hometown notes, braved the cold and packed the auction room and even the hallways.
Unlike the norm in most national bank note auctions, Knight commented in a recent blog post, the bidders attending were not looking for rarities, but rather notes from the municipalities or counties with which they had a connection. That personal connection is part of the appeal of national bank notes and it shows in the results.
According the prices realized, only two of the 393 lots went unsold, and 18 of the notes that did sell each exceeded the $10,000 threshold before adding in the 15 percent buyer’s fee.
The most spectacular of these was Series 1882 $5 national bank note, Friedberg 467 (Paper Money of the United States by Arthur L. and Ira S. Friedberg), issued by the Capital National Bank of Bismarck, Territory of Dakota. It brought $97,750, including the buyer’s fee. Paper Money Guaranty graded the note Fine 12. This
note was issued during the period before North and South Dakota became states in November 1889.
A Series 1880 $10 note with serial number 1 issued by the First National Bank of Harvey, (F-490), graded Choice VF-35 by PMG, brought $28,750.
Close on its heels at $27,600 was a magnificent Series 1875 $10 note issued by the First National Bank of Grand Forks (F-422) graded Choice Uncirculated 63 by PMG.
Also breaking the $20,000 barrier was a Series 1882 $5 Brown Back national bank note (F-467) issued by the Capital National Bank of Bismarck, but from the statehood period, which fetched $26,450; it graded VF-25 by PMG. A Series 1875 $10 note issued by the First National Bank of Wahpeton, Territory of Dakota, graded by PMG as VF-25 Net due to some staining, realized $23,000.
Next month we will report on the results of a much larger sale by Lyn Knight Auctions, to be held at the March 7 to 9 Chicago Paper Money Expo.
Collectors of modern United States paper money will have some new collecting opportunities in the near future.
Meanwhile, President Obama has nominated Jacob Lew to be the next Treasury secretary. This means, if Lew’s nomination is confirmed by Congress, that we may see Series 2013 FRNs at some point this year. ■