The American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money, held
Aug. 13 to 17 in Rosemont, Ill., is indeed a “money show” and not just
a “coin convention” anymore as some have referred to it.
The attendance of dozens of paper money dealers, and many dealers
for whom paper money is only a part of their business, combined to
confirm a strong and rising paper money market.
It shows that the market is one in which the owners of top
material are once again willing to consign their holdings. The results
of the official ANA World’s Fair of Money paper money auction
conducted by Stack’s Bowers Galleries confirm it.
An example is one of the stars of the auction, a unique Series
1863 $1,000 Legal Tender note, Friedberg 186c (Paper Money of the
United States by Arthur L. and Ira S. Friedberg), which when
last sold in 2005 went for $747,500. At the ANA sale the note, graded
PCGS Currency Fine 15 Apparent, Minor Edge Restorations, sold for
$881,250. (All prices bear the buyer’s fee.)
Showing that rarity can transcend condition was a Series 1878 $20
silver certificate (F-306) graded PCGS Currency Fine 15 Apparent for
restorations and trimmed edges. It is one of only three known and also
the only one not in government hands. It sold for $85,187.50.
One of two known Series 1863 $100 compound-interest Treasury notes
(F-193) resurfaced after being off the market since 2006. The Series
1863 $100 note graded PCGS Currency VF-25 Apparent, Minor
Restorations. It sold for $176,250.
Another Friedberg number not seen in five years was a Series 1863
$20 interest-bearing note (F-197) sold for $82,250. No notes of this
type are graded higher than the VF-35 that PCGS Currency awarded this example.
However, not all of the rarities expected to bring high prices in
the auction were sold.
Among them was a Series 1864 $50 compound-interest Treasury note
(F-192b), PCGS Currency Very Fine 30. Even though it was making its
first auction appearance since 2008, it did not sell.
One of several gold certificates offered, considered the finest
known Series 1905 $20 gold certificate (F-1180), graded PCGS Currency
Superb Gem New 67 Premium Paper Quality, also did not sell. This type
of note bears the nickname “Technicolor note” because of the use of
gold, red and black inks that give the viewer a feel for the vividness
of the color. ■