The market awaits the fall edition of the American Numismatic Association National Money Show in Dallas in just a few weeks.
The paper money auction by the hometown Heritage Auctions will offer more than 4,000 lots of U.S. paper money including 1,139 lots of national bank notes.
The highlight of the auction is a newly reported Series 1880 $1,000 United States note, Friedberg 187j (Paper Money of the United States by Arthur L. Friedberg and Ira S. Friedberg). It is only the 14th such example known to exist and only the 11th available to collectors.
An unusual fact about this particular note is that its grade, PCGS Currency Apparent Fine 12 with some repairs noted in the description, is lower than the majority of known examples, which are mainly Very Fine or Extremely Fine.
Thus, as the cataloger dutifully points out, this low grade on a very rare note brings with it the possibility that it could be acquired for less than the six-figure sum that has been the norm for this issue.
Spectacular in the opposite way is how to describe one of the two finest known examples of the famed “Silver Dollar note,” a Series 1886 $5 silver certificate. The nickname comes from the five 1886 Morgan silver dollars arrayed on the back of the note.
The F-263 example in the Heritage auction is graded Gem Uncirculated 66 Premium Paper Quality by PCGS Currency. Given the immense popularity of this type, a strong five-figure price is a certainty.
Two other high-denomination Series 1880 United States notes, each of which should bring a low to mid five-figure price, are worth noting.
The first is a $50 note (F-161) graded Gem Uncirculated 66 PPQ by Paper Money Guaranty. It is expected to sell for a hefty price. Of the 64 examples known, more than half are graded Uncirculated, with 10 of them, or 16 percent of the population, being Gem Uncirculated 66. Nonetheless, most of the rest are rated “65,” and only a few rate higher on the grading scale.
The other is a $100 note (F-181) graded About New 50 condition by PCGS Currency, ranks in the top six of the 45 notes known, and is the highest denominated United States note within reach of not just a “super-collector.”
The auction has three $10 compound-interest Treasury notes available. Two are the Act of 1864 F-190b note, which is the most common of the three issued for this denomination. The third is a F-190 Act of 1863 issue; graded VF-25 by PCGS Currency, it is one of only 10 notes in private hands and is thus a rarity regardless of appearance.
The October auction will also offer a $100 Series 1902 Red Seal note (F-686) from the Germania National Bank of Milwaukee graded VF-25 by PMG. It is one of only three of this type from the entire state.
According to the cataloger, it is the only one of the three that will be available for years ahead, since the other two are said to be “locked away in major holdings” and are most unlikely to reach the market in the foreseeable future.
Bidding should be spirited as the two other notes referenced here sold for $69,000 and $21,850 in 2008.