Paper Money

Bids top estimates for world note lots in Lyn Knight sale

A red-stamped SPECIMEN 1,000-drachma note for the National Bank of Greece from March 30, 1901, expected to go for $3,000 at most, realized $8,500.

Photo courtesy of Lyn Knight Auctions.

No one attended the Lyn Knight world paper money auction in person at the Kansas City International Paper Money Show on June 11, but looking at the results, you might not know it. Of the 20 highest priced lots in the 741-lot sale, 14 exceeded their expected high-estimate price.

Among them were a pair of early 20th century notes from the American Banknote Co. for the National Bank of Greece. A red-stamped SPECIMEN 1,000-drachma note from March 30, 1901, expected to go for $3,000 at most, realized $8,500 before the addition of the buyer’s fee. It was graded Gem Uncirculated 66 Exceptional Paper Quality by Paper Money Guaranty and is the only example recorded by the service.

The face of the note shows a youthful god Hermes donning winged sandals, with his helmet and caduceus waiting at his feet.

Also estimated at $3,000 in Gem Uncirculated 66 EPQ, and selling well beyond, at $7,500, was a 500-drachma note dated Jan. 1, 1922, with an allegorical woman seated on the face and temple ruins and two statues within Doric columns on the back.

Selling at $10,000, after a $4,000 high estimate, was a set of 10 Bank of Canada Series 1954 $1 notes consecutively numbered from 000001 to 0000010. These have the modified portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. The image was adjusted after some at the time thought they saw the face of the devil in her hair on its predecessor.

PCGS Currency graded all 10. Three were Very Choice New 64, five Choice New 63, and two Choice About New 58.

The highest price paid for any lot was $29,000 for a set of seven notes from the Series 1965 Bahamas issue, all with the serial number 000012. The notes were issued in half-, 1-, 5-, 10-, 20-, 50-, and 100-dollar denominations. All were printed by De La Rue and bore grades from Paper Money Guaranty ranging from Gem Uncirculated 66 Exceptional Paper Quality to Superb Gem Uncirculated 67 EPQ. All have the same facing bust of Queen Elizabeth on the face and vividly colored backs, each depicting a popular national subject, from marlin fishing to pink flamingos.

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