BY PATRICK IAN PEREZ, EDITOR
As has been tradition, the Florida United Numismatists (FUN) show gets the New Year started in a big way for dealers and collectors of paper money. While primarily a coin show, the presence of currency dealers and collectors has grown and is now an important component of the show. Heritage will conduct a United States currency sale of tremendous proportions, with over 6,000 lots to be sold. Heritage has been conducting a FUN currency auction since at least 2001, and it is always a showcase event with significant rarities. Two of these are Gold Certificates: a Series 1882 $1,000, Fr.-1218e, graded PMG VF30 and a Series 1882 $20 Fr.-1176 in the incredible grade of PMG CU66EPQ. Both of these are mid-to-high six-figure notes. There are nearly 2,000 National Bank Notes in the sale, anchored by a significant collection of Maryland nationals. While there are numerous additional rarities that are worthy of mention, we look forward to seeing the top to bottom performance of this sale.
It would be negligent to not mention the significant world paper money auctions that are taking place in January. Rarely has this amount of rare material been offered in one month. First up, Heritage will be holding a sale of 1,625 lots at the aforementioned FUN show, featuring some stunning rarities. This sale comes on the heels of the same firm’s Hong Kong auction which took place in December and netted over $1.02 million. Chief among the rarities of the FUN sale is a set of four notes issued by Australian authorities in the colony of German New Guinea at the beginning of World War I in October of 1914. Only in circulation for three months, the notes were cancelled on January 1st, 1915, almost 103 years to the day that they are being sold. Adding to the appeal, the notes on offer are the plate notes from the primary German-language currency reference by Rosenberg. Also in the Heritage sale is a nice selection of both issued and specimen notes from the Kingdom of Hawaii, including a $100 Silver Certificate of Deposit graded PCGS Currency AU58 from the Newman Collection. An extensive selection of Brazilian notes is also worthy of attention. One week after FUN comes the New York International Numismatic Convention (NYINC) at which Stacks Bowers will be auctioning the El Dorado Collection of Colombian paper money. This comprehensive collection starts at the beginning of this nation’s issuance of currency, and is especially strong in the many early private bank issues, many of which are all but unfindable on the market. There is also an unprecedented amount of Banco Nacional provisional issues, in which the central bank took the private bank notes, overprinted them, and then reissued them. Rounding out this offering is an archival printers record book that is being sold by individual page, featuring the earliest impressions of Colombian paper money. Also at the NYINC, the venerable British firm of Spink is having an auction of the Andean Collection of Central and South American paper money. This well thought out collection features the earliest notes from the various nations of these two regions and is replete with both national and private bank issues, mostly all in issued form. When it is all said and done, these three world paper money sales could see some record-setting prices.
The currency market for 2017 was steady, and it seemed the best performing category overall was Confederate currency. There is still a challenge to grow the collector base of U.S. paper money, and one way we at CDN are attempting to address that need is with the introduction of The CPG Coin & Currency Market Review, or “CPG Guide”. This is a comprehensive publication of collector prices for both coins and currency that will be distributed free at major shows and to current subscribers of CDN. The currency prices contained in this publication are based directly off of our wholesale Greensheet prices. It is our goal to provide a reasonable wholesale/retail spread with which dealers can work with their customers.
NOTE IN FOCUS: SERIES 1891 $50 TREASURY NOTE (FR. 376)
The large denomination Treasury Notes count as among the most elusive of all Large Size United States currency, and chances to own one do not come often. The 1891 $50, with the so-called Second Reverse, is one such note. There are just 22 examples known to the numismatic community today, with six of these in museums or other institutions. The note features the prominent portrait of William Henry Seward, who was the 24th Secretary of State from 1861 through 1869. Seward was a very important figure both before and during the Civil War, and no doubt his legacy was still fresh when these notes were designed in 1890. A total of 23,500 total notes were issued, and according to Federal records just 25 remain outstanding. A PMG Fine-15 example of this rarity will be selling in the Heritage FUN auction as lot #22146.