Paper Money

California gold national bank note of San Jose tops

Four different bidders, three in person and one by mail, accounted for over $1.1 million in sales for four high-denomination Original Series California national gold bank notes on April 28. The four notes accounted for a considerable part of the $7,797,616 total (including buyer’s fees) realized in Heritage’s 1,777-lot Central States Numismatic Society Currency Signature Auction in Schaumberg, Ill.

As expected, the highest price was $376,000 for the only known $50 note (Friedberg 1161) from the Farmers National Gold Bank of San Jose. It bore a grade of Very Fine 20 by PCGS Currency and was reportedly bought by a dealer on behalf of a client. 

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The next two notes also went to floor bidders: At $282,000 was a unique $100 California national gold bank note from the First National Gold Bank of Santa Barbara (F-1164) in PCGS Currency Fine 12, and one of two known $100 notes issued for the First National Gold Bank of Petaluma (F-1165) reached $246,750 in a grade of PCGS Currency Very Good 10.

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An absentee bidder was successful in purchasing the last of the top four California national gold bank notes with a $235,000 offer for a $100 note issued by the Union National Gold Bank of Oakland (F-1166) graded Fine 12 by PCGS Currency.

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