High-quality notes continue to attract

Collectors actively respond in Long Beach auction
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Published : 09/22/11
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The American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money held in August near Chicago lived up to collector expectations, and as far as paper money was concerned, there was little to be disappointed about.

The selection of high-end notes offered during the ANA convention was a sign of more to come.

An example of a post-ANA show sale is the Heritage Auction Galleries Sept. 7 to 9 Signature Currency Auction, conducted during the Long Beach Coin, Stamp & Collectibles Expo in Long Beach, Calif.

More than 5,600 lots were offered, just about evenly split into large- and small-size note categories. (All prices quoted here include the buyer’s fee.)

The highlight lot is one of only five known Series 1882 $50 gold certificates, Friedberg 1190 (Paper Money of the United States by Arthur L. and Ira S. Friedberg); the note, graded PCGS Currency Fine 15, sold for $20,700. This was the first auction of one of these notes in close to five years.

Also offered, although not nearly as rare (50 examples known), was a Series 1922 $500 gold certificate, F-1217 — the only Friedberg number of a 1922 $500 gold certificate. Graded PCGS Currency Very Fine 30 Premium Paper Quality, the note sold for $27,600. Few of these notes exist in better condition, and it is the only note for this type.

A series number 1 note is always prized, but when it comes with a story, it is even better. Such is the case with an Extremely Fine serial number 1 Series 1914 Red Seal $10 Federal Reserve note printed for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, F-897a, PCGS Currency Extremely Fine 40 PPQ, which sold for $29,900.

The pedigree of this example traces to the first governor of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, M.B. Wellborn, whose signature can be found on the Federal Reserve Bank notes of that district.

Accompanying the note is a handwritten bank envelope signed by Wellborn and attesting to his ownership.

A Series 1862 $100 legal tender note, F-165a, the first note to feature a vignette of an American eagle, graded PCGS Currency Apparent Very Fine, sold for $69,000. ■

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