Paper Money

Gold certificates star in Heritage ANA auction

The finest of the 11 known Friedberg 1218f $1,000 Series 1882 gold certificates will be the center of attention when it crosses the auction block on Aug. 3 at the Heritage Currency Signature Auction in Denver during the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money. The PCGS Currency Very Fine 35 note is offered with a low estimate of $300,000, slightly more than the $293,750 Heritage got for it in January 2014.

This note bears the Judson W. Lyons-Elias H. Roberts signature combination, thereby dating it to around April 1898 to June 1905. 

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Heritage says that 96,000 notes were printed and that their low survival rate is attributable both to their high face value and to the Gold Reserve Act of 1934 that required these notes to be turned in.

Unusual for a note with so few known is that with the exception of one at the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank, all are in private hands and six of them have sold since 2000. At that time, one graded Fine sold for $71,500. Two notes sold three months apart in 2013 for $176,250 each, one graded Fine 12 and the other VF-25.

Another Series 1882 gold certificate, this one a $20 F-1178 issue, in Paper Money Guaranty Superb Gem Uncirculated 67, is the highest graded of the more than 900 notes known, and its price demonstrates the scarcity of most high-grade gold certificates. This is a note that sells for less than $5,000 when graded Extremely Fine, but in this condition carries an estimate of $50,000 or more.

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Among the other pieces Heritage highlights in the upcoming sale are two more PMG VF-30 $1,000 gold certificates, a large-size Series 1907 issue (F-1219e) expected to bring at least $35,000 and a small-size F-2408 Series 1928 note with a $20,000 expectation. In the same price range is an F-1217 $500 Series 1922 gold certificate in PMG VF-25.

A just-discovered $20 Series 1890 Treasury note (F-373) in PMG VF-20 is estimated at $17,500. The sale also has some very high-grade large-size silver certificates and United States/legal tender notes.

Among small-size notes, estimated at $22,500 to $27,500 is an almost never seen $500 Series 1934 Federal Reserve star note from Atlanta (F-2201-F*) graded Choice About Uncirculated 58 Exceptional Paper Quality by PMG. It is best of the 11 listed in the Track & Price census. Heritage previously sold it for $18,400 in 2008.

The sale also has the great Confederate rarities — the four Montgomery 1861 issues and the Indian Princess note — from the J. Wayne Hilton Collection.

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