Paper Money

Common but pricey: autographed notes draw strong bids

Two otherwise very common pieces of U.S. paper money that were part of an 856-lot sale of “Fine Autographs and Artifacts” conducted by RR Auction of Amherst, N.H., brought uncommon bids.

We have plenty on the off-metal 1943 Lincoln CentsWe have plenty on the off-metal 1943 Lincoln Cents and on the origin of Q. David Bowers’ column: A reader wonders how much his 1943 cent struck on a dime planchet is worth, while a long-time numismatist wonders why the origins of two new bronze 1943 cents were revealed.

The first is a Very Fine condition Atlanta District Series 1963 $1 Federal Reserve note that had a closing bid of $7,417 (plus 22.5 percent buyer’s fee) on an estimate of only $500+. It is a piece of American history in that it accompanied astronauts Virgil “Gus” Grissom and John Young on their three-orbit Gemini program flight of March 23, 1965, in the spacecraft Molly Brown. The bill is signed in red felt tip pen with “Gus Grissom, GT-3” and “John Young, 3-23-65.” The accompanying certificate is signed in black ballpoint by Young and has a preprinted signature of Grissom. 

The other lot, a Series 1957 $1 silver certificate star note estimated at $7,000, was called “One buck signed by the Beatles.” It is signed in blue ballpoint by George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr. It is described as in Very Good condition, with scattered light toning and overall creasing. The consignor says that these signatures date to 1964 to 1965. 

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The lot closed at $5,069 plus the buyer’s fee, for a total of $6,209.52.

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