The spring paper money auction season kicks off March 18 to 20 in
Rosemont, Ill., at the annual paper money show there, with a sale
conducted by Lyn F. Knight Auctions of Overland Park, Kan. It will be
soon followed March 30 to April 1 by a Stacks’s Bowers Galleries
auction at the Whitman Expo in Baltimore.
Although the Stack’s Bowers auction will be diverse, its highlights
are large-size notes. A newly discovered $5 demand note of 1861
(Friedberg 1) graded Very Fine 25 by Paper Money Guaranty is one.
Another is a $5 national gold bank note from the First National Gold
Bank of San Francisco (F-1136). Though the most common of all national
gold bank notes, it should draw attention because its grade, PCGS
Currency VF-30 Apparent, is unusual for a class of currency in which
most examples are worn. The usual Educational Notes, Bison notes and
more are offered, which, while not rare, when in superb condition
bring prices reflecting both their popularity and a premium for quality.
A successful auction does not need to be attached a show and, in a
throwback to times past, with “The Rarities Auction,” Stack’s Bowers,
in conjunction with Sotheby’s, proved it. The sale on Feb. 10
contained 258 lots of U.S. coins, medals and Americana but led off
with 48 exclusive currency offerings including 14 large-size type
notes. Only three of these graded less than Uncirculated and the most
important of them all, a $500 1918 Federal Reserve note from Cleveland
(F-1132-D) was assigned a grade by PMG of VF-30. According to Track
& Price, it is only the 15th known and only three of these are in
slightly better condition. It sold for $28,200 including buyer’s fee.
Connect with Coin World:
The auction offered two First Charter Period Series 1875 nationals:
a $20 note from Paris, Ill. (Fr. 431), called among the finest known
in PMG Choice Uncirculated 64 that brought $25,850, and a Lazy Deuce
$2 note from the La Crosse National Bank (Wisconsin) in PMG Choice
Uncirculated 63 yielding $17,625.
A Series 1934D double denomination $5/$10 error in PCGS Gem
Uncirculated 65 sold for $25,850.
For historical interest, a selection of colonial currency eclipsed
any of the above, none more so than three items from the workshop of
Paul Revere. Foremost was a Massachusetts Bay Aug. 18, 1775,
6-shilling note (MA-163) once in the estate of F.C.C. Boyd and later
John Ford. Known as the “Sword in Hand” note, its PCGS Choice New 63
Premium Paper Quality grade ties it for the finest known. It sold for $30,550.