Paper Money

Double-denomination note stars at IMPS auction

Memphis [mem-fis]. Noun. Term used by paper money aficionados to describe an annual show dedicated to paper currency held anywhere in the United States in June. 

Even though this year’s International Paper Money Show was held in Kansas City, Mo., instead of Memphis, Tenn., for the first time in 41 years, “Memphis” was what many attendees were reflexively calling the June 8 to 11 event. The change in location did not seem to have an impact. The location was convenient, the crowds were no less, the bourse floor was active and the educational sessions well-attended. No complaints were heard and most participants seemed to welcome the change of venue.

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Four floor auction sessions were conducted by Lyn Knight Currency Auctions, two for world notes and two for those of the United States. The sales included the usual mix of floor, book, and Internet bids, with a focus on collectible notes, errors and national bank notes. 

Most of the errors were a continuation of the collection offered by Knight at the Professional Currency Dealers Association show in March. Many again went for more than their estimated prices. Leading them all with a hammer price of $62,500 plus buyer’s fee was one of only two known double-denomination $50/$100 Brown Back national bank notes. This one, with a grade of Paper Money Guaranty Fine 12 was from Kansas City’s Aetna National Bank. The only other error of this type is from a bank in the New Mexico Territory, and it is in the American Numismatic Association Museum.

Small-size errors

The top small-size error was a unique Friedberg 1921-B* Series 1995 $1 Federal Reserve note with a grade of PCGS Currency Choice New 64 that sold for $7,500. The catalog says this is the only Type II star replacement note with an inverted overprint known for any denomination. The Type II designation refers to the presence of an adjacent portion of another note at the top edge. This note last sold for $5,175 in 2011.

A bid of $7,000 won a spectacular PCGS Currency Gem New 66 error that is so convoluted in the manner in which the paper folded before printing that you cannot tell what series it belongs to. 

A Gem Uncirculated Series 1976 $2 Federal Reserve note (F-1935-H) with the back completely blank realized $4,250. 

A note that at $3,250 more than tripled its estimate was a PCGS Currency Choice About Uncirculated 58 F-1910-B Series 1977A $1 Federal Reserve note from New York with a printed tear that resulted with Washington’s portrait being split in two. 

The charm of the storied Morgan dollarThe charm of the Morgan dollar, plus a look at the largest U.S. gold coin to circulate: Another column in the July 3 Coin World takes a look at the whimsical names of the $2 Federal Reserve note

At $2,250 against a $750 to $1,500 estimate was an F-1915-C Series 1988A $1 Federal Reserve note from the Philadelphia district with an ink smear on the back that floods the entire surface area of the note including the margins. The catalog calls it one of the finest ink smears known. It had a PCGS Currency grade of AU-50 with an edge tear. 

More than 30 error lots exceeded $1,000.

National bank notes

Three First Charter Period Series 1875 national bank notes surpassed $60,000. One was an F-460 $100 issue from the Streator National Bank (Illinois) that brought $77,500 in Very Fine/Extremely Fine. It is one of two of the denomination from the state. A Wyoming Territory $20 note (F-434) from the First National Bank of Cheyenne (Wyoming) that was once owned by Amon Carter and graded Very Fine realized $72,000. It is one of only six Series 1875 $20 territorials known. A $50 note from the Second National Bank of Danville (Illinois), F-451, sold at $65,000 in VF/XF. 

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