1666 The delusion of Paper Money
2013 SOLD 283 KHK$ including premium
A very early Swedish banknote was sold for HK$ 283K including premium by Archives International Auctions on January 26, 2013, lot 1063.
This piece of financial history is now estimated $ 25K to 30K for sale by Spink in New York on January 13, lot 334. Its serial number leaves no doubt that it is the same unit. Here is the link to the press release of the next sale.
I discussed it as follows in 2013 :
The banknote, that piece of paper which can be redeemed against metal coins, is highly attractive to the financiers. The first of them who have tried this system did not anticipate its dangers. The bankruptcy of Law in France in 1719 will result from a similar mechanism as the liquidation of the bank of Palmstruch in Stockholm in 1667.
Sweden had a monetary system constituted by coins in copper and silver. It was felt necessary to counter the hoarding of silver which would create a disparity with the same face value in copper. Palmstruch created the Stockholms Banco in 1657. In 1661, he issued the first banknotes ever printed in Europe.
The remedy was worse than the disease. The early success of the program led to such an excess of paper that it made it impossible to restitute the equivalent metal to the bearer when speculators had increasing doubts about the sustainability of the system.
The first banknotes emitted by Palmstruch were based on copper, with values of 5, 25, 100 and 1000 daler. In 1666, the Stockholms Banco adjoined silver notes of 10, 25, 50 and 100 daler.
The piece for sale is a 10 daler silvermynt note signed in May 1666 by no less than eight employees of the Banco and authenticated with blind stamps of the bank. In very fine condition, it is one of the best surviving examples.
1775 north America Emancipated by franklin
2011 SOLD 69 K$ including premium
A Continental note was sold for $ 69K including premium by Stack's Bowers on August 17, 2011. It is now estimated over $ 30K for sale by Heritage in Schaumburg (Chicago) on April 22, lot 18009.
Here is my 2011 discussion on this piece :
We are in 1775. North America is at war against its colonial power. The territories of the east coast have already the ambition to control the whole country south of Canada: on the previous year, delegates from twelve colonies had attended the First Continental Congress.
The financial aspect is not omitted. To sustain the war effort, Americans are using the dangerous option of paper money. Throughout the Revolutionary period, $ 241 million of Continental currency are issued.
The item for sale is a $ 20 bill dated May 10, 1775, in 'apparent about new' condition. It was printed on a paper specially imported from Europe at the initiative of Franklin, and includes on its left side a polychromatic stripe attesting the need to prevent the counterfeiting that the enemy would not fail to produce.
Actually undermined by the British, the Continental Currency was a monetary catastrophe. After a few years, these tickets were worth no more than a hundredth of their face value. To say that something is worthless, the Americans used the phrase "it's not worth a Continental". Strategist, Franklin expressed his satisfaction with this operation which, viewed in retrospection, had not been anything else than a tax.
In a post sale comment on the 2011 auction, I caught that a loan certificate for one million livres issued in France in 1781 and signed by Benjamin Franklin was sold for $ 218K including premium.
1817 The Bank from Down Under
2014 SOLD 326 KA$ including premium
The governor understands that no country can exist without a reliable coinage but he fails to receive an effective support from London. He imported Spanish coins in 1812 to transform them into local coins but of course this was not sufficient.
In 1817 Macquarie was ready. Without seeking again the approval of London, he created the Bank of New South Wales and made an appeal to investors that only get a low response.
On the opening day of the bank, 100 notes of 10 shillings constitute the first official issue of paper currency in Australia. They are marked by hand for the date, April 8, 1817, a serial number, the signature of the cashier and the recipient's name although they are also payable to the bearer.
This first issue had seemed lost until a unit was discovered in good condition. This note symbolic of the actual start of a suitable organization in Australia was sold for Aus $ 283K including premium by Noble Numismatics in November 2005.
It is again listed by the same auction house, in Sydney on March 26. It is illustrated in the story shared by Paul Fraser.
POST SALE COMMENT
The result, Aus$ 326K including premium, is slightly over the estimate.
1861 a lot of Work for the employees
2014 SOLD 410 K$ including premium
2018 sold for $ 336k including premium
A $ 20 Demand Note with the handwritten 'for the' was sold for $ 410K including premium by Heritage on January 10, 2014, lot 17010. It is clean but has some evidence of circulation and a tiny restoration at one corner. I commented after the sale that its extreme rarity had been offset by its condition.
It is now estimated $ 300K for sale by Stack's Bowers in Baltimore on October 25, lot 3002. It has meanwhile been graded Choice Fine 25 by PCGS.
I narrated it as follows in 2014.
The Civil War has begun and the Union will have to pay their soldiers. The government does not want to drain the Treasury of its gold and silver reserves and chooses the risky process of issuing a federal paper currency. 86 years before, the Continental currency had been a success to finance the war effort and a total failure for investors.
The Acts of Congress of July 17, 1861 and August 5, 1861 authorize the release of $ 250 million by the Treasury, including 60 million in bills of $ 20, 10 and 5 which will be exchangeable upon demand against coins. The new bill is known as the Demand Note.
The government is cautious : this Demand Note is the first federal bill that does not bear an interest. As such, it is the first modern note of the United States.
The note must be signed by two officials. The huge amount of small bills requires to entrust this work to employees who do not sign in their name but by procuration, respectively 'for the' Register of the Treasury and 'for the' Treasurer of the United States.
Employees are hand writing 'for the' after their own signature. This process doubles the time spent on each piece and is not tolerable. It has been told (but it is not proven) that they then contemplated to imitate the signature of the officials to remove 'for the'. It was easier to print 'for the' and this solution was put in place less than a month after the start of the operation.
The Demand notes with the handwritten 'for the' are thus the very first modern federal notes of the United States, and they are rare in all denominations. For the highest value, $ 20, the note coming for sale is the only one known with the handwritten 'for the'.
War is expensive. The government soon had to suspend the redeeming of coin on demand and stopped issuing Demand notes in April 1862. The Legal tender notes that succeeded them maintained the new tradition of a green back.
1862 The very first 2 Dollar Banknote
Well, I knew it had to happen one day : along my way of browsing the websites of auction houses, I begin to have preferences.
In terms of coins and banknotes, my favorite is Heritage Auction Galleries. This house is one of the few to make direct links between the press release and the lot itself in the catalogue. Bonhams also does it sometimes, but Heritage seems to be the only one to do systematically so.
Here, not only Heritage explains very clearly the exceptional nature of this note, but it also tells us what arguments lead to an estimate of 125 K $. The sale takes place from 17 to 19 September in Long Beach.
Quite simply, this is the first $ 2 note that was printed by the American government. It was in 1862. It has the serial number "1".
It was immediately circulated, and it is visible today that it was used, while the number "1" of the first $ 1 note (same date) had been originally kept by the government. The first banknotes of higher values had been printed the previous year.
Now Heritage tells us the reference for the estimated price : a $ 10 note bearing also the number "1", but of a much later issue (1901) was sold this year at 80.5 K $.
POST SALE COMMENT
Heritage Auction Galleries had described two lots in dedicated press releases. I had mentioned both in my weekly preview, but for this article I had not made the best choice.
The first $ 2 note has not found a buyer at auction. It is now proposed for sale at fixed price, corresponding to its starting price, $ 71 875 inclusive.
The sale of the rare Canadian banknote has been successful: 320 K $ including fees. It is a 1911 "Queen Mary" of $ 500, of which there are only two other examples in private hands. It is so rare that it is not even included in the official collection of the Bank of Canada.
1862-1863 When the Treasury became a Banker
2013 SOLD 880 K$ including premium
The Civil War put the government itself in trouble and turns the Treasury to behave like a banker. In 1861, a federal bill is created as a Demand Note, indicating on the back the repayment terms (also known as the obligation) as the banks were doing.
It was not enough to overcome the crisis. As early as the following year, the federal government creates a note that can be used in a broader range of public and private transactions. This is the Legal Tender Note, which will be the most lasting success in the history of paper money.
The largest denomination is $ 1,000. The note bears the effigy of Senator Morris who had been in the previous century the treasurer of the War of Independence.
Three of these notes have survived, but only one has the original date of 10 March 1862. Marked also as New series, it was probably printed in 1863 before March 10, before the second edition of this denomination. This unique specimen was included in a hoard found in 1966 after 90 years hiding in a jar in a Missouri farm.
It is graded Fine 15 by PCGS, which is not so bad when considering its storage history. It was sold for $ 750K including premium by Lyn Knight in October 2005. It is estimated $ 800K, for sale by Stack's Bowers in Chicago on August 15.
POST SALE COMMENT
Very good price for this unique piece in fine condition : $ 880K including premium.
1863 A Piece of Paper for a Big Debt
2018 SOLD for $ 960K including premium
The obligation printed on the note stipulates this liberalized use : This note is a legal tender for all debts public and private except duties on imports and interest on the public debt. A variant of an additional clause is early modified and the very first copies are easily identified.
The highest denomination of the Demand Note was $ 20. For the Legal Tender Note it was $ 1,000, a very high amount mostly intended for bank-to-bank operations.
This $ 1000 Legal Tender is referred as Fr-186* in the Friedberg nomenclature. No example survives with the first obligation of February 1862 (Fr-186 and Fr-186a). The earliest known item is a unique Fr-186c bearing the printed date of March 10, 1862. Graded Fine 15 by PCGS, it was sold for $ 880K including premium by Stack's Bowers on August 15, 2013.
The Fr-186d was the first variant with the printed date modified to March 10, 1863 and referring to the act of March 3, 1863. Three notes survive. The only one in private hands has certainly never been used and retains its original embossing. Graded Choice About New 58 by PCGS, it is estimated $ 800K in the first sale of the Joel R. Anderson collection by Stack's Bowers in Baltimore on March 22, lot 1018.
1863 The Creation of the Legal Tender Note
2016 SOLD for $ 230K before fees
The Demand Notes established in 1861 for the denominations of $ 5, 10 and 20 were only redeemable on demand in coins and thereby offered a limited solution to the money problem. The Legal Tender Note generalizes in 1862 the use of paper currency for most categories of payments and adds higher values : $ 50, 100, 500 and 1000.
The government immediately organizes the replacement of the Demand Notes by the Legal Tender Notes and extends the authorized limit to $ 450 million by the Third Legal Tender Act of March 3, 1863. This is sufficient : this total amount will not be exceeded.
The permission to extend the editing of notes is given on 10 March 1863. This date is shown on the successive prints of the same edition, most often along with a 'New Series' mark which means a later print at an unidentified date.
Of course these early Legal Tender Notes are highly sought by collectors. An extremely rare $ 1000 Type 1862 - New Series was sold for $ 880K including premium by Stack's Bowers on August 15, 2013.
22 copies of the $ 100 Type 1863 survive. A New Series graded Choice New 63 by PCGS Currency was sold for $ 305K including premium by Heritage in January 2013. Another note in the same condition was sold by coincidence also for $ 305K including premium by Lyn Knight on June 19, 2015.
On June 4 in Memphis, Lyn Knight sells a $ 100 Type 1863 - New Series graded Choice About New 55 PPQ by PCGS. This grade lower than the two examples above is due to a less than Gem left margin. This defect is compensated by the PPQ qualification meaning that its paper quality is perfect. This note is estimated $ 250K, lot 2047.
The same auction offers as lot 2045 a $ 50 Type 1863 - New Series graded 30 VF by PCGS. This variety is highly rare at auction. It is estimated $ 100K, lot 2045.
Here is the link to the auction house's website. The two lots for the next sale are shown in the article shared by Numismatic News.
RESULTS BEFORE FEES
$ 230K for the $ 100
$ 85K for the $ 50
1864 The Interest of the Civil War
2015 SOLD for $ 350K including premium
The Act of 30 June 1864 launches the $ 500 notes with an interest of 10 cents per day through six removable semi-annual coupons, meaning the payment of an interest of 3.65% from the value of the notes every six months along three years. The note itself will be redeemed in bonds or any other means of payment decided by the government within twenty years after the expiration of the last coupon.
Investors were eager to change their notes to get their money back. The surviving specimens of Interest Bearing Notes from the time of the civil war are extremely rare, especially in the high denominations.
The very existence of a note of $ 500 following that act was questioned until a century later when one of them surfaced. It is dated August 15, 1864. Its coupons had been used but the bill itself has not been pin holed or cancelled.
Its condition is graded Very Fine 25 by PMG. It suffered some reworks, probably to remove small stains, and its ink is lightened at the place where the identification of the original bearer was washed. This piece unique of its kind is estimated in excess of $ 300K for sale by Stack's Bowers in Baltimore on November 5, lot 30256.
1864 A Proof for a National Note
2014 SOLD 96 K$ including premium
The National Currency Act of February 25, 1863 is the starting point of the approvals of dedicated banks for this activity. The first national note is issued on July 11, 1863 by a group of Philadelphia financiers associated for this purpose as the First National Bank.
Others followed, including the Fourth National Bank of the City of New York founded in 1864 which was the first bank wishing to issue some notes of $ 1,000, the largest denomination.
In the beginning, the realization of the printing plates was centralized but the preparation of the notes was entrusted to the national banks, before the last steps of serializing and overprinting the federal seal that were made by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Once completed the notes were shipped back to the bank by the government. These partly decentralized operations constituted what is known as the Original Series.
Notes of $ 1000 represented a considerable amount and were mostly used for exchanges between the bank and the treasury. The 500 units printed by the Fourth Bank were sufficient for its operations up to the obsolescence of the system twenty years later. None survived.
To get the government approval, the Fourth Bank had previously made proof prints of the face of the note. A copy in poor condition was photographed and published by a historian in 1955. It was considered as unique and disappeared.
A second copy of this prototype picture recently surfaced. In a very good condition graded 63 by PCGS, it had been cancelled by four holes in its lower part and is mounted on card stock. This very interesting piece in the history of U.S. paper currency is estimated $ 80K, for sale by Philip Weiss in Lynbrook NY on May 29 and illustrated in the press release shared by News-Antique.
POST SALE COMMENT
The result, $ 96K including premium, is in line with the estimate.
1872 bank notes after the gold rush
2019 sold for $ 180k including premium
The centralized printing includes the identification of the operating bank and an additional serial number per sheet of four notes starting by a Number 1 in each denomination for each bank.
The $ 5 note numbered 1 position B from Sacramento is estimated $ 300K for sale by Heritage in Orlando on January 11, lot 21008.
This note was listed by Heritage in Cincinnati in 2009, lot 12476, by Stack's Bowers in Chicago on August 13, 2011, lot 5774 and by Heritage in Long Beach on September 8, 2016, lot 18333. It has previously been discussed in this column.
Described as 'spectacular' by Heritage, it is graded Extremely Fine 40 by PCGS, which may seem severe but the catalog of Stack's Bowers indicated six tiny pinholes revealed under a strong backlighting.
This note comes from a shipment in August 1872 of 500 sheets by the Treasury to the National Gold Bank of D.O. Mills and Co. operating in Sacramento.
The survival of such a Number 1 is a high rarity. A Number 1 of the Sacramento $ 10 is also known. A $ 10 Number 1 issued in 1873 at Stockton surfaced recently. It was the major piece in a group of five notes kept by the family of the original banker which was sold as a single lot for $ 340K including premium by Bonhams on 31 August 2014.
1878 A Cancelled Note
2007 SOLD for $ 805K including premium by Heritage
2018 sold for $ 504k including premium
The difficult Reconstruction after the Civil War terminates in a phase of euphoria as the US economy restarts. Confidence in paper money is back. Until then the Legal Tender Note designed during the War for the use of everyday transactions was limited to maximum $ 1,000 notes. The Series of 1878 extends this range to $ 5,000 and $ 10,000.
These two high values had indeed no actual role in the revival of household consumption desired by the government. They are the only case of issuing high denominations in the whole history of the greenback. The $ 5,000 Legal Tender Note is printed in only 4000 pieces in 1878, probably in a single run.
The $ 5,000 and $ 10,000 together constitute the rarest category of any US currency : no note has survived ! Proofs exist that allow to know these images with the effigy of Presidents Madison and Jackson respectively.
There is however in existence a specimen of the 1878 $ 5,000 Legal Tender Note, printed on both sides on the same paper as the production run.
It is identical to a regular note with three exceptions that cancel its circulation : the serial number is replaced by stars, the two printed signatures have been punched by three small holes each and an inscription has been stamped in brown ink. The inscription reveals its destination : "Specimen Furnished (to) the Chinese Government by the United States Treasury Department".
China was trying to open up to international trade. It was taking part in the 1878 Exposition Universelle in Paris. On this occasion an economist published some data : a 1875 census had counted 17 Chinese ports open to foreigners, totaling 340 foreign establishments and more than 3500 residents. 85% of the Chinese trade was with Great Britain and 5% with the United States.
This specimen was sold for $ 805K including Premium by Heritage in September 2007. Graded Very Fine 25 by PMG and by PCGS, it is estimated $ 600K for sale by Stack's Bowers in Baltimore on October 25, lot 3015.
1878 Large Denominations
2012 SOLD 276 K$ including premium
The four large denominations were $ 500, 1,000, 5,000 and 10,000, with an additional 100,000 quoted for being complete although it was issued only in one occasion for internal purposes. Of course, these notes were illustrated with the portraits of famous Americans.
Some issues have become very rare, and fans are looking for the best condition of each model, as it is the practice with all collections of multiples.
On August 8 in Philadelphia, Stack's Bowers sells two rarities.
The 1878 $ 500 Legal Tender note is honoring Major General Joseph King Mansfield, the hero of the Battle of Antietam. Graded PCGS Extremely Fine 40 Apparent, it is estimated $ 300K. It is illustrated on the page shared by Numismaster. Another very nice example printed in 1874 on the same design was sold $ 520K including premium by Heritage in January 2007.
The 1880 $ 1000 Legal Tender note is honoring DeWitt Clinton, a former mayor of New York. This unit graded PCGS Very Fine 35 is estimated $ 225K. Another example of the same year ranking Extra Fine-40 was sold $ 320K including premium by Lyn Knight on June 10, 2011.
POST SALE COMMENTS
I was right in grouping these two lots into one discussion: they have reached very similar prices.
$ 276K including premium for the 1878 $ 500 and $ 253K including premium for the 1880 $ 1000.
1879 the paper money of the reconstruction
2018 sold for $ 780k including premium
During the Reconstruction, the inflation crisis intensifies. To cope with rising prices, large quantities of notes are released. The government fails to maintain sufficient gold and paper in its reserves, generating the panic of 1873. In transactions, users prefer gold. The paper loses its popularity.
The Specie Payment Resumption Act of 14 January 1875 requires the parity between gold and paper, defining the date of 1 January 1879 for the authorization to redeem the legal tender in species. Inflation of paper money is curbed and users regain confidence. Meanwhile the economy has restarted, freed from the aftermath of the Civil War.
Driven by this renewed optimism, the Congress Act of February 26, 1879 makes a real gift to savers by creating a bond with an annual rate of 4% in perpetuity, the Refunding Certificate.
This certificate is simple to use. Without timed coupons, it is repaid by the Treasury as a one shot on the date desired by the owner. Only one denomination is provided, $ 10, but refunds are made for face multiples of $ 50. The operation involves $ 40 million worth of bonds that were sold out almost entirely in the fall of 1879.
Two formats are issued for the certificate to be either nominative or anonymous to the bearer. Obverses are very similar except for a space to identify the depositary in the nominative version. The reverse side is completely different, being in the nominative version the receipt to be signed by the Treasury officer. Friedberg considers both variants as federal paper money.
The operation was lucrative for the user and almost all Refunding Certificates have been repaid. Much rarer, the nominative version has survived in only two copies. One of them is kept at the Bureau of Public Debt. The other one, graded Choice about New 58 PPQ by PCGS, was sold for $ 425K including premium by Lyn Knight in October 2005. It is estimated $ 300K for sale by Stack's Bowers in Baltimore on October 25, lot 3024.
Refunding Certificates were intended to be a popular way for the Treasury to raise funds through investment. The $10 denomination was chosen for being high enough to raise significant funds yet affordable enough to attract high demand. Read more here: https://t.co/OwpEtkWuhu pic.twitter.com/hM5g7LUR08— Stack's Bowers (@StacksBowers) October 1, 2018
1891-1893 A Few Thousands of Dollars
2014 SOLD for $ 880K including premium by Heritage
2022 for sale on May 6 by Heritage
In this series, no $ 1,000 prior to 1218d is in private hands. The discovery of a treasure including an example of the three variants 1218d to 1218f significantly increased the census. The rarest piece of this set was however the $ 500 of the same series. These four notes were sold separately by Heritage on January 10, 2014.
All the results referenced below include the premium.
The $ 500 was sold for $ 1.4M by Heritage. It was re-discussed separately in this column before being sold for $ 900K by Stack's Bowers on October 25, 2018 from the Anderson collection.
The 1218d was sold for $ 880K by Heritage in 2014. It is graded Very Fine 35 by PCGS. Only one other copy is in private hands. Graded Extremely Fine 45 by PCGS, it was sold for $ 1.1M by Lyn Knight in June 2006 and then for $ 720K by Stack's Bowers on August 16, 2018 from the Anderson collection.
The 1218e was also sold for $ 880K by Heritage in 2014. The catalog included a video. Graded Very Fine 35 by PCGS Currency and now coming from the Anderson collection, it was sold for $ 350K by Stack's Bowers on February 28, 2019, lot 4043 and for $ 490K by Heritage on May 6, 2022, lot 30909.This variant applies to the Rosecrans-Nebeker signatures, from 1891 to 1893.
Another 1218e surfaced even more recently. Graded Very Fine 30 by PMG, it was sold for $ 600K by Heritage in January 2018. The only other 1218e possibly in private hands, pictured in early editions of Friedberg, is not located. Two 1218e are in federal collections.
The 1218f was sold for $ 294K by Heritage in 2014 and was re-discussed separately in this column before being sold for $ 270K by the same auction house on August 3, 2017.
A 1218g from the Anderson collection was sold for $ 580K by Stack's Bowers on March 22, 2018. It is the finest of two units in private hands.
1898-1905 A Hoard of Four Notes
2014 SOLD for $ 294K including premium by Heritage
2020 SOLD for $ 236K including premium
A treasure of four gold certificates with a total face value of $ 3,500 surfaced in 2013. The note discussed below is the less rare of the four with 11 examples known in its Lyons-Roberts sub-variant Fr. 1218f but it is also the finest known in that sub-variant.
It was sold twice by Heritage, fetching $ 294K including premium when the set was separated on January 14, 2014 and $ 270K including premium on August 3, 2017, lot 20078. Please watch the video shared by Heritage before the latter sale.
It is now listed as item number 545678 by GreatCollections in an online sale which will close on February 9.
I narrated it as follows before the 2017 sale.
In the United States the first modern paper currency is the Demand note issued in 1861. From that date all federal notes display the signatures of the Register of the Treasury and of the Treasurer of the United States.
Some types of notes remained unchanged for several decades. The conjunction of the two signatures makes it possible to identify the period of emission. The Friedberg (Fr.) classification records for each type the sub-variants defined by the signatures.
The Bills of Exchange Act of 1882 transforms the Gold certificates into notes payable to the bearer. They will be redeemed after the Gold Reserve Act of 1934. The surviving examples of the large denominations are highly rare.
On June 14, 2013 in Memphis during the International Paper Money Show, Heritage revealed a treasure discovered in an old box by an owner who was unaware of its value : four gold certificates of 1882 type in $ 500 and $ 1000 in very fine condition :
$ 500, Fr. 1215d Rosecrans-Hyatt (1887-1889) No. C13680
$ 1000, Fr. 1218d Rosecrans-Huston (1889-1891) No. C23668
$ 1000, Fr. 1218e Rosecrans-Nebeker (1891-1893) No. C26834
$ 1000, Fr. 1218f Lyons-Roberts (1898-1905) No. C65825
After being graded VF35 or Apparent VF35 by PCGS, the four tickets were sold by Heritage on January 14, 2014. The results including premium were : $ 1.4M (1215d), $ 880K (1218d), $ 880K (1218e) and $ 294K (1218f).
This 1218f is graded Very Fine 35.
SOLD by GreatCollections on a further bidding on July 12, 2020 for $ 236K including premium
Please watch the video shared by Heritage :
Fr. 1218f 1882 $1,000 Gold Certificate Lyons / Roberts PCGS Very Fine 35 - Bidding ends Sunday Feb 9th!— Ian Russell (@GreatCollection) February 5, 2020
A high denomination large size Gold Certificate note of staggering rarity whose importance to collectors cannot be overs...
Details at https://t.co/pp22oyPkXo pic.twitter.com/GwhCOvfYcy
1901 Good Notes for Baltimore
2008 SOLD 80.5 K$ including premium
The American collectors of coins cannot be unaware of Baltimore Coin and Currency Conventions, which are held several times per year.
During the next meeting, it will be as at accustomed the auction house of Bowers and Merena which will be in charge of the auction sale associated with this event. This sale, which will proceed from 4 to 7 June, will disperse 3000 lots, for which the biddings already started on the Web.
This sale will be an important one for American coins, but I did not see a lot likely to approach the highest prices obtained in this category, in particular by Bowers and Merena and by Heritage Auction Galleries.
I thus chose to announce you two currency items instead.
As lot 2537 there is one Legal Tender Note of 10$ of 1901, in very nice condition, estimated 75 K$. It is a full specimen, in very good condition although having circulated, of the very first emission of an United States note intended for legal payments. It is illustrated of a bison, in the center of the recto.
The other important note of this sale is lot 2630, a Silver Certificate Star Note of 5 $ of 1923, in superb state, estimated 30 K$. This specimen is characterized by its exceptional quality of printing. The image is with the effigy of Lincoln.
So, these are here two exceptional currency items which, although not having vocation to realize the highest prices of this sale especially devoted to the coins, allow us a first approach of this particular topic of collection which is the paper money.
POST SALE COMMENT
The results of the two lots that I had identified are low: the note with the effigy of Lincoln has not been sold and the rare Legal tender note only reached 80.5 K$ fees included.
This bleak impression is indeed strengthened by the fact that the third lot that I mentioned in my blog is also unsold. It was a coin, which had been well described in the press release announcing the sale.
To go forward in this area that I do not know well, I revisited the site of Heritage Auction Galleries. I found there an exceptional auction result, $ 2.2 million fees included in December 2006, on a 1,000 dollars note from the type curiously nicknamed Grand Watermelon. The note was issued during the Civil War.
1905 Twenty Dollars for President Roosevelt
2018 SOLD for $ 550K including premium
Since 1865 the Gold certificate was popular. Its design had remained unchanged since 1882 except for the two largest denominations. The 1905 modification limited to the smallest denomination, $ 20, is certainly experimental. No other federal note had such brilliant colors. Much later this emission will receive the nickname Technicolor.
The gold is symbolized by the bright yellow color of the inside part of the front size and of the letters IN GOLD COIN under the portrait of President Washington who from then replaces Garfield in the cartouche. For the first time an additional impression is made for the sole purpose of improving the visual appeal of the note. The back is a gorgeous orange-gold monochrome. In the following year they become more reasonable : the 1906 series of the $ 20 is released without the extra printing.
The two most beautiful specimens of the 1905 Technicolor are for sale in Philadelphia by two different auction houses.
On August 16, Stack's Bowers sells the Number 1, graded Gem New 65 PPQ (Premium Paper Quality) by PCGS. Its perfect state suggests that it was a presentation copy. Indeed an information accompanying the number 3 in an auction in 2005 plausibly claimed that the number 1 had been attributed to President Roosevelt. It is estimated $ 300K, lot 2051. It had been sold for $ 240K including premium by Heritage in February 2005.
The other example, graded Superb Gem 67 EPQ (Exceptional Paper Quality) by PMG, is estimated $ 120K for sale by Heritage on August 17, lot 20084. It had been previously sold by the same auction house for $ 138K including premium in April 2012 and for $ 106K including premium in January 2015.
RESULTS INCLUDING PREMIUM :
Stack's Bowers : SOLD for $ 550K
Heritage : SOLD for $ 102K
The Joel R. Anderson Collection of United States Paper Money Highlight:— Stack's Bowers (@StacksBowers) August 7, 2018
Incredible Serial Number 1 "Technicolor" $20 Gold Certificate That Was Presented to President Theodore Roosevelt. Friedberg 1179 (W-2225). 1905 $20 Gold Certificate. @PCGSCurrency Gem New 65 PPQ. pic.twitter.com/Ykx4j2H7Y1
1905 A Little Bill for Charles Fairbanks
2012 SOLD 247 K$ including premium
Purchased by the United States despite the reluctance of many politicians, the vast frozen territory of Alaska did not excite anybody. However in 1898, a senator from Indiana named Charles W. Fairbanks had the merit to strengthen its borders by negotiating with Canada.
Then came the gold miracle. Founded in 1901, a boomtown of the gold rush was named Fairbanks in the honor of the senator. Growth and wealth of this new community were so high that in 1905 the local bank was authorized to circulate currency.
The $ 5 note is of the Series 1902 Red Seal type with the image of Benjamin Harrison. Its issue from Fairbanks AK is very rare for several reasons. The city was destroyed by fire in 1906. Across the country, the 1902 Series was halted in 1907. And there was no reason to hoard such a low value.
The First National Bank of Fairbanks had the idea to take a $ 5 bill in the first printed sheet, assign to it the number 1 and present it to the senator who had become in the meantime Vice President of the United States. This tribute was appreciated, and this small piece was kept in the family until now as a souvenir of the political skill of Charles W. Fairbanks.
For sale by Heritage in Dallas on October 18, it is now the exceptional case of a bank note that never circulated and moreover never came out, for over a century, from the family of its famous first owner. It is estimated $ 200K. Here is the link to the catalog.
POST SALE COMMENT
This rare banknote with a perfect history was sold $ 247K including premium. This is a very good price in its class.
I invite you to play the post-sale video shared on YouTube by CoinWeek :
1915-1919 A High Note
2011 SOLD 210 K$ before fees
With philatelists, collectors of paper money have one thing in common: high denominations are the rarest and mostsought after. They share with the numismatists a passionate search for perfectly manufactured specimens that havenot been circulated.
They use the classification PMG (Paper Money Guaranty). On a scale from 0 to 70, uncirculated notes are graded from60.
The $ 1000 Gold Certificate with the portrait of Alexander Hamilton is marked "Series of 1907". It was a considerablesum for a piece of paper, and it was only used for transactions between banks. 116 000 copies were produced, butvery few have survived.
The note for sale on June 10 in Memphis by Lyn Knight is graded 64, meaning mint and well focused, never folded,but with very small defects of origin or conservation. No example of this type has been classified at a higher level. It is illustrated in the article shared by Numismaster.
It is estimated $ 250K after being sold for $ 184K in June 2007 by the same auction house. The difference may seem ambitious, but some coins or stamps or comic books may also rapidly increase their value once the collectors admitthat it is impossible to find better.
The signatures provide a range of dates. The copy for sale was signed by Burke as Treasurer of the United States andTeehee (not 'Tehee') as Register of the Treasury. It was edited between 1915 and 1919.
POST SALE COMMENT
The price has managed to rise slightly over the past four years: $ 210K before fees. The auction houseoperates a buyer's premium of 15%.
1918 Reward for Loggers
It is a piece of paper, issued by the State to enable the user to make a payment,
illustrated with a typical image of the publishing country. The price depends on rarity and condition, and other possible criteria are secondary.
The collector can choose any country around the world, or a theme.
There are many similarities between postage stamp and banknote.
I chose tonight to introduce a £ 20 banknote issued in 1918 by the Commonwealth of Australia, illustrated by a group of four loggers employed in felling a giant tree.
A copy in excellent condition is the star lot of the sale of Noble Numismatics in Sydney on April 15. It is estimated 250 K A$.
1929 shrinking the us notes
Henry Herrick Bond is Assistant Secretary in charge of fiscal affairs and entrusted with the supervision of the Bureau of Internal Revenue. The challenge is important because the changeover affects the entire population. The small size notes are released on time, on July 10, 1929.
31 designs had to be modified, including eleven denominations from $ 1 to $ 10,000 and the six types of currency in use: Legal Tenders, Silver Certificates, Gold Certificates, Federal Reserve Bank Notes, Federal Reserve Notes and National Bank Notes.
Once the project is completed, Bond soon decides to join a law firm and resigns from the Treasury. To reward him for his exceptional involvement, his colleagues of the Treasury Department offer him a dinner. Bond is presented with a set of uniface specimens covering all denominations shared between the four main types of currency, for a total of 11 front sides and their 11 matching backs.
On August 13 in Chicago, Heritage sells as lot 18005 the 22 prints accompanied by a scrapbook with photos, archival documents and newspaper clippings. This set is estimated beyond $ 500K.
1934 Reserves for the New Deal
2015 SOLD for $ 260K including premium
This fact applies to the emissions of the nineteenth century and extends into the twentieth century. On March 26 in Baltimore, Stack's Bowers list an interesting group of Federal Reserve Notes from 1934, with no less than six examples of $ 5,000 and three $ 10,000.
The first issue of these Notes along with Gold Certificates of same values took place in 1928, just before the financial crisis, in four denominations, $ 500, $ 1,000, $ 5,000 and $ 10,000. They displayed respectively the effigies of Presidents William McKinley, Grover Cleveland and James Madison, and of Salmon P. Chase so honored to have created the federal paper currency when he was Secretary of the Treasury for President Lincoln.
The first and only reissue of these four notes was made in 1934. It was massive, probably as a consequence of the recent abandonment of the gold standard by the United States. Several sub-variants are recorded to take into account the issuing bank and the signatures.
The best $ 5000 in the next sale is lot 4448, estimated $ 150K. Printed in St. Louis, it is graded PMG Choice Uncirculated 64. The best $ 10,000 in the same sale is lot 4450 in same grade and with same estimate, printed in Boston.
On January 9, 2015, Heritage sold two other specimens graded 64 of 1934 Federal Reserve Notes. The $ 5,000 note from Dallas was sold for $ 223K including premium. The $ 10,000 from New York was sold for $ 188K including premium.
RESULTS INCLUDING PREMIUM :
$ 5,000 note sold for $ 260K
$ 10,000 note sold for $ 223K
1948 One Million Pounds
2011 SOLD 56 K£ before fees
Some pieces of paper money are characterized by very high amounts. They are not designed to be circulated: they participated in history by serving as a financial guarantee to the involved authorities.
On August 17, Stack's Bowers sold $ 218K including premium a loan certificate issued and signed in 1781 by BenjaminFranklin for 1 million French livres.
Closer to us, at the beginning of the Cold War, the Marshall Plan was organized by the United States to aid rebuildingEurope after the Second World War. During this operation, on August 30, 1948, nine treasury notes £ 1 million each were issued, payable on demand "out of the consolidated fund of the United Kingdom".
Only two notes survived. The serial number 00007 is for sale on September 29 by Dix Noonan Webb in London. It is illustrated in the article shared by the Daily Mail.
For such a historical document, the estimate, £ 40K, seems low. The number 00008 was sold for £ 78K includingpremium by Spink in October 2008.
Both notes were cancelled by the Bank of England on October 6, 1948.
POST SALE COMMENT
Good price for 00007 ! £ 56K before fees.