Paper Money

Error notes and a rare $2 national attract bidders

A huge collection of 400 error notes had its own catalog and auction session in Lyn Knight’s offering of the Emerald Coast Collection of United States Paper Money. The sale was conducted on Dec. 5 at the firm’s office in Lenexa, Kansas.

The auction offered material for a full range of budgets, and covered most of the major error varieties except for double denominations. Included were notes missing second printings with blank faces except for the overprint; notes with overprints on the back; notes bearing unusual printed tears and folds; notes with double printings; printed scrap errors; and notes with inverted overprints on the back. Error specialist and author Frederick J. Bart assisted Lyn Knight with the cataloging and said that “never before have I seen such a collection of exceptionally high grade errors.” 

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Some lots sold for as low as $15 to $36 for minor misalignments and inking errors. At the upper end of bidding was the $4,200 including the 20 percent buyer’s fee paid for a Friedberg 2071-G Series 1977 $20 Federal Reserve note from Chicago with a printed tear so odd that it resembles a pair of rabbit ears. This possibly unique obstruction error arose when selvage from the top of the sheet remained attached to the note, tore apart, and then folded over between the second and third printings, resulting in the district seal being on both the note itself and the scrap. PCGS Currency graded it Choice New 64.

The U.S. coin market is made up of many small markets”When we discuss the rare coin market in the U.S., we are merely scratching the surface.The larger market for rare coins in the United States is made up of dozens of individual segments.

Several lots were knocked down for $2,700 each: A Choice Crisp Uncirculated F-2027-B Series 1985 $10 Federal Reserve note from New York with multiple printings on the face; a F-2030-G Series 1993 $10 Federal Reserve note of the Chicago district with a double printing on the face in PCGS Currency Very Choice New 64 Premium Paper Quality; and a gem Crisp Uncirculated $100 Federal Reserve note from San Francisco that, because the second printing, or face design, is missing entirely, carries no visible way of identifying the series it came from and who signed it.

Running the gamut

Following the error section, Knight offered a second session consisting of other paper money, running the gamut from Colonial and Confederate notes through obsolete currency to large- and small-size type notes. The auction concluded with a section on national bank notes. 

Among the highlights in the final session were a pair of large-size Series 1918 $500 and $1,000 Federal Reserve notes. The first was one of 22 known San Francisco F-1132-L notes, reaching a winning bid of $25,200 in an uncertified grade of Very Fine +, while the other, a Chicago district F-1133-G note, sold for $30,000 in PCGS Currency Extremely Fine 40. 

The auction also featured a duo of Series 1886 and 1891 $1 silver certificates of the Martha Washington type (F-215 and F-222) with matching serial numbers of B7 and E7 that sold as a single lot for $10,800. The F-215 note also had a courtesy autograph of John Burke above Enos Nebeker’s engraved signature as treasurer. Burke served as treasurer from 1913 to 1921.

Two serial #1 national bank notes each realized $7,200: a large-size F-589 Series 1902 Red Seal $5 note from the First National Bank of Belmond (Iowa) in just Paper Money Guaranty VF-30 and a small-size F-1801-2 Series 1929 $10 note from the First National Bank of Gladstone (Michigan) graded Extremely Fine by the auctioneer. 

But at $32,400, the highlight of the section was a Very Fine Original Charter “Lazy Deuce” $2 note (F-388) from the First National Bank of Hillsborough (New Hampshire). Knight said that this was one of not more than seven $2 notes known with the signatures of Jeffries and Spinner, making it not only a national bank note rarity, but a type note rarity, as well. 

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