Paper Money

Canadian bank notes lead Stack’s Bowers auction

A diverse 385 lots of world paper money will be auctioned by Stack’s Bowers Galleries on Jan. 11 at the New York International Numismatic Convention. 

The sale includes over two dozen examples of Canadian currency, led by a Paper Money Guaranty Gem Uncirculated 66 Exceptional Paper Quality Dominion of Canada 1898 $1 note that is called the finest known and is offered with an opening bid of $12,000. 

Bill O’Rourke 1923-S Peace dollarInside Coin World: Finding a 1923-S Peace dollar in circulation: We preview columns exclusive to the Jan. 14 print and digital editions of Coin World, including “Found in Rolls” and “Detecting Counterfeits.”

The vignette at the center of the face shows a group of lumberjacks at work, flanked by portraits of the Earl and Countess of Aberdeen. 

Another rarity from the Dominion of Canada is an 1870 $2 note with a vignette of an Indian seated on a bluff overlooking a steam train below. The portraits on each side are of Gen. James Wolfe, who commanded the British army that captured Quebec from the French in 1759, and Gen. Louis-Joseph de Montcalm, who was the commander of French forces in North America during the French and Indian War from 1756 until he was killed in battle in 1759. Despite a grade by PMG of just Very Good 10, only two notes are recorded in higher grades. It has a $5,000 minimum estimate.

A rare 1907 Imperial Bank of Canada $50 punch-canceled specimen featuring Queen Alexandra, the wife of King Edward VII, is offered with a $6,000 to $8,000 estimate. It is in PMG About Uncirculated 53 condition. 

The auction offers also some rare 1935 Bank of Canada issues, including two rare $1,000 notes with consecutive serial numbers.

With a $20,000 estimate, the Newfoundland section features the finest known (PCGS Currency Gem New 66 Premium Paper Quality) 1920 $1 Treasury note. These were issued because of a silver coin shortage, and it is estimated that only 1 percent of the print run survives.

The Brazilian section consists of 30 lots of high-grade specimens and proofs dating from the 1860s through the 1890s. It includes some that the firm says it has never previously offered at auction.

A duo of rare Straits Settlements $100 notes from 1916 and 1925, each estimated at $20,000, lead the offerings from Asia. The notes are of identical design, with a portrait of King George V above a prowling tiger on the face and a blank reverse. They are both graded Very Fine.

Wild animals are featured on a pair of issues from the short-lived union of Rwanda-Burundi. A grazing rhinoceros is on a 500-franc note dated 15.05.61 that, with a PMG Gem Uncirculated 65 grade, is the best of the six graded by the service. A 1,000-franc note dated 31.07.62 is the highest denomination in the same series as the 500-franc note. It has a zebra on its face. The PMG Choice Uncirculated 64 grade makes it the finest graded example of five, as well. 

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