The International Paper Money Show (IPMS) has completed its first run at its new home of Kansas City. As attendees, we found the new venue very pleasant, and the convenience of staying in the same hotel where the show was being held is desirable. The surrounding neighborhood had ample amenities and just a short 20 minute drive from the airport. The bourse floor was a bit smaller than years past in Memphis, which can primarily be chalked up to the fact that the show conflicted directly with Long Beach Expo, held on the same days.

While the IPMS is devoted to currency and the Long Beach show is primarily coin-centric, there were a handful of notable currency dealers who chose to attend Long Beach. This was either for geographic reasons or they didn’t want to miss regular clientele at the thrice-annual California event. Regardless, we noted a solid attendance in Kansas City from international dealers, who were active buying material on the floor for clients back home.

Auction activity from Lyn Knight kicked off on Thursday evening with the world paper money session. The Middle East material was strong, especially the early notes of Iraq which blew past their estimates as multiple bidders battled it out. The additional Friday session of Philippines and Colombia also did well, with a special mention to the early Philippines replacement notes, which were very strong. This is unsurprising because they were printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in very small numbers and a U.S. small-size and Philippines star note collection would be an exceptional accomplishment.

The U.S. auction sessions were led by a large offering of Nationals, and this category provided far and away the top prices realized. The top four notes were from two places: Illinois and the Wyoming Territory. The top lot was a $100 First Charter from the First National Bank of Streator, Illinois, which sold for $91,063. Second place went to a series 1875 $20 on the First National Bank of Cheyenne—one of just 15 Nationals from the territory graded VF and selling for $84,600. Another Illinois National, a series 1875 $50 from the Second National Bank of Danville, sold for $76,375, and a second Wyoming Territorial, a series 1875 $10 from the Laramie National Bank sold for $47,000. The best performing small size note was a series 1928 $500 from the San Francisco district, graded PCGS 65 PPQ that sold for $8,813.


New additions this month are the continued listings of the small size Legal Tender replacement notes, focusing on the later date $2s. Next month will be the addition of the $5 Legal Tender replacement notes.


The evolution of the engraving and printing of small size banknotes at the BEP can not only be traced with American paper money issues, but also those of the Philippines when it was a Territory and later a Commonwealth of the United States. Similar to the U.S. issues of that time, there were multiple different note types issued, and amongst the most interesting are those of the Philippine National Bank and involve the individual pictured on this note, William A. Jones. The Philippine National Bank was formed in February of 1916 under the National Banking Act which had to be modified to allow an overseas national bank. The legislation to enact this change was introduced by Jones, who was a member of Congress from Virginia. He is most well-known for the Philippine Autonomy Act, which was passed on August 29th, 1916 and established in law the commitment of the United States government to eventually grant independence to the Philippines, now a nation with which the U.S. has very close ties. The Philippine National Bank issued notes from 1916 through 1937, and the series 1937 are the only BEP printed notes for the Philippines which have the BEP imprint on the reverse. These national bank notes ceased to be legal tender on June 1st, 1949. The printage for this 20 Peso note was just 50,000 pieces, and taking into consideration the likely redemption rate, provides for its scarcity today. At the recent IPMS auction, Lyn Knight sold a PCGS AU58PPQ example of this note for $999, a relative value for the grade. A note from this series would be a nice addition for those collectors who are building a one-per-state collection of United States nationals, since they were issued under the same law.