Paper money tops $12 million at FUN auction

Rare 1880 $500 United States note realizes $411,250
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Published : 01/30/13
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One of only five Series 1880 $500 United States notes bearing the Blanche K. Bruce-Elias H. Roberts signature combination sold for $411,250 during the Jan. 11 Heritage Auctions Signature Paper Money Auction conducted during the 2013 Florida United Numismatists convention Jan. 7 to 13.

The $500 United States note, cataloged as Friedberg 185l in Paper Money of the United States by Arthur L. and Ira S. Friedberg, was graded Choice Very Fine 35 by Paper Money Guaranty.

Bruce was register of the Treasury and Roberts was the treasurer of the United States.

The note is also the only example available to collectors. Of the other four notes, three are in the collections of Federal Reserve Banks and one resides in the Smithsonian Institution, according to the Heritage catalog description.

According to the catalog, PMG noted “Splits” on its holder, “but the splits are wholly within the margins and very minimal.”

Total prices realized for the paper money auction was $12,424,981. The auction, held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., was part of the official FUN convention sale.

A Series 1863 $100 United States note, F-167a, graded Choice New 63 by PCGS, sold for $305,500.

A Series 1934 $10,000 Federal Reserve note, part of the Binion Hoard, F-2231-B, graded Apparent Choice About New 58 by PCGS Currency, sold for $85,187.50. According to the catalog description, “Some minor restorations are mentioned by the grading service, but none visible to the untrained, and even some of the best trained eyes.”

The Binion Hoard, consisting of 100 $10,000 FRNs, was formerly on display in the entryway of the Binion’s Horseshoe Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nev., where the hoard was arranged in a large horseshoe shape.

A Series 1933 $10 silver certificate, F-1700, graded Gem Uncirculated 65 Exceptional Paper Quality by PMG, sold for $28,200. A Series 1896 $1 silver certificate, F-224, graded Superb Gem New 67 Premium Paper Quality by PCGS Currency, sold for $8,812.50. A Series 1886 $5 silver certificate, F-262, with a vignette on the back of five Morgan silver dollars, graded Superb Gem Uncirculated 67 EPQ by PMG, sold for $58,750.

A Series 1863 $20 gold certificate, F-1166b, one of six notes known, with a grade of Very Fine 30 by PCGS Currency, sold for $352,500.

The only known Brown Seal Series 1882 $500 gold certificate, F-1215a, graded Apparent Fine 15 by PCGS Currency, sold for $193,875. According to the catalog description, the note “has some early undetectable professional restoration at the top edge, but gives the visual appearance of a problem free evenly circulated note.”

One of the two or three nicest known Series 1861 $5 demand notes, F-1, graded About Uncirculated 53 by PMG, sold for $49,937.50.

One of only 13 known Series 1875 $10 United States notes, F-97, graded VF-35 by PCGS Currency did not sell. A Series 1907 $5 United States note, F-83, with the serial number A6 and graded Gem Uncirculated 66 EPQ by PMG, sold for $7,050.

A Series 1890 $100 Treasury or coin note, catalog number F-377 and nicknamed a “Watermelon Note” because the zeros in the large numeral 100 on the back look like watermelons, was graded VF-30 by PMG and sold for $129,250.

Visit the Heritage Auctions website at www.ha.com, telephone the firm toll free at 800-872-6467 or write to Heritage Auctions, 3500 Maple Ave., 17th Floor, Dallas, Texas 75219-3941. ■

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