Paper Money

Georgetown Collection of error notes offered in Lyn Knight sale

Lyn Knight Auctions held a three-session sale with more than 700 lots of United States paper money on May 4 and 5. The centerpiece was a separate session of 232 lots devoted exclusively to a comprehensive collection of U.S. paper money errors.

The two principals who put together the Georgetown Collection wish to remain anonymous. It was built over the years under the guidance of Dr. Frederick J. Bart of Executive Currency, one of the leading dealers in the specialized field of error notes. Many of the misprints were described as in exceptionally high grade, including half a dozen double printing or inverted overprint notes that each surpassed $2,000 including the buyer’s fee.

A “boldly double printed” Friedberg 2072-B $20 Series 1977 Federal Reserve note from the New York district realized $2,700 in a grade of About Uncirculated 55 by Paper Money Guaranty.

Reaching the same price was an unusual three-piece lot of consecutively serial-numbered notes in which the error, an inverted overprint on a F-2126-L $50 Series 1996 Federal Reserve note from the San Francisco district is bookended by two normal notes. The error note is graded Superb Gem New 67 and the two bookend notes are graded Gem New 66.

A final price of $2,400 was realized for a Gem Uncirculated 65 Series 1976 $2 bill from the Richmond district (F-1935-E) with the third printing, that is the seals and serial numbers, inverted on the face.

Fred Bart described the selection of fold errors as “unparalleled.” Two of them graded by PCGS Currency went for $1,400 each. A F-1914-I $1 Series 1988 Minneapolis Federal Reserve note with a pre-face printing foldover with the district seal, serial number, and much of the face printed on the back was in Gem New 66. The other was a F-1614 Series 1935 $1 silver certificate in Gem New 65 with a printed foldover that has the seal perfectly in place on the folded-over portion of the reverse.

The auction also showed that all errors do not command stratospheric prices and are within the reach of every collector. For instance, a pair of $2 Federal Reserve notes, one with an ink smear and the other showing a paper wrinkle, each sold for just $36.

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