on the 40-year history of the International Paper Money Show in
Memphis, Tenn., world paper money pioneer and icon Neil Shafer had a
startling recollection about a conversation he had at the first
Memphis show. The late world coin and currency dealer Bill Christensen
told him there, Shafer said, that “it was doubtful that a world
currency note would ever be worth $1,000 to a collector.”
have changed beyond recognition. The world section of the Lyn Knight
Currency auction in Memphis would have left Christensen shaking his
head while 466 individual notes out of the sale’s 958 lots sold for
over that figure (including 17.5 percent buyer’s fee). We can only
imagine Christensen’s reaction upon seeing that two dozen of the lots
went for more than $10,000, and that four of them, all from the
Philippines, more than doubled that price.
$23,500 was a rarity graded by Paper Money Guaranty as Extremely Fine
40 Exceptional Paper Quality — the first Philippines 20-peso note
issued under American governance.
notes from the Spanish Philippine regime dated April 26, 1877,
realized $21,150 and $20,562.50. The first, a light blue uniface
25-peso Billete del Tesoro or Treasury bill in PCGS Currency EF-45 is
thought to be the highest denomination of the series. Its companion
light-brown 10-peso Treasury bill is a discovery note unknown to all
experts, including Shafer, until now. PCGS Currency graded it Very
Fine 35 “Apparent edge tears and minor damage.”
highest priced lot in the auction, at $28,200, was an eight-piece
undated Philippines “Victory” set from 1944 consisting of 1-, 2-, 5-,
10-, 20-, 50-, 100-, and 500-peso notes, each with the identical
serial number F0000008. Grades assigned by PMG ranged from About
Uncirculated 58 to Gem Uncirculated 65. It is believed that this set
once belonged to Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas.
other Philippine notes from the April 26, 1877, issue were also in the
top dozen. At $16,000 was a 4-peso Treasury bill in PCGS Currency
VF-30 Apparent. A 1-peso Treasury bill that PCGS Currency rated VF-25
Apparent found a new owner for $15,275
PMG Choice Uncirculated 64 green and yellow Government of the Straits
Settlements $10 specimen note dated Jan. 1, 1925, with red overprints
and zeroes for a serial number was hammered at $19,975.
part of a strong showing by high-end British Commonwealth issues were
a pair of Bahamas notes. The 1968 Bahamas Monetary Authority $100
issue is the highest denomination in the Queen Elizabeth II series and
realized $17,625 in PCGS Currency VF-35. The $15,275 attained by a
seldom-offered Central Bank of the Bahamas $50 note from 1974 in Gem
Uncirculated 66 was about triple its estimate of $3,000 to $6,000.
Shafer, the firm’s world paper currency specialist, was pleased with
the results and the sale’s good balance between floor and Internet bidding.
Connect with Coin World: