While the past month has been relatively quiet in the currency market, dealers and collectors have multiple events to look forward to in November. First up is the Whitman Baltimore Expo, with an auction of U.S. currency held by Stacks-Bowers which contains nearly 800 lots in a pair of sessions, along with all of the major national currency dealers in attendance. A fortnight later the 31st annual Professional Currency Dealers Association (PCDA) show will be held in Chicago. Lyn Knight Currency Auctions will conduct a World and U.S. currency sale in conjunction with the show.

The Stacks-Bowers Baltimore auction is anchored by the “big four” of the Confederate series: the Montgomery $1,000, $500, $100, and $50. Three of the notes grade Very Fine with the $50 note grading About Uncirculated. Adding to the historical significance of the notes are neatly inscribed endorsements on the reverses of all but the $1,000 note. While not uncommon on currency of the Confederate States, these endorsements of interest paid are a glimpse into the travels and activities of the note holders during this tumultuous period. Within the large size notes, a $2 Educational silver certificate graded Gem-66PPQ by PCGS with the serial number 117 is an eye-catcher, along with a series 1918 $1,000 Federal Reserve Note from Atlanta, one of just nine known. An important piece from the formative years of the Federal Reserve, the last example of this denomination and district sold at public auction was when a pair of notes were offered by Heritage in their 2007 FUN auction in back to back lots. The notes brought $12,650 and $6,613. In national notes, a rare occurrence is found: the first ever offering for a bank/type combination. A series 1902 $10 date back from the National City Bank of Minneapolis (Charter 10261), appropriately serial number 1, will be crossing the block for the first time. Lastly, a set of three obsolete notes from The Diamond State Bank in Delaware are a pleasure to behold.

The Lyn Knight PCDA auction contains 710 lots of world paper money and over 1,600 lots of U.S. currency. Knight’s PCDA world sale has been a benchmark for a number of years, containing significant rarities and this year is no different, with a strong offering of British Commonwealth and Canadian notes. Among the U.S. paper, a gem series 1869 $2 legal tender is a highlight, along with a $100 Brown Back national from Kansas, and a $20 compound interest treasury note.

Market activity is mostly positive this month, as we report a number of bids posted by a big market maker on the electronic dealer networks. These bids are mostly for circulated large size type notes. One thing that the U.S. currency market certainly lacks in comparison to the U.S. coin market is the visibility of bids from large players. If you are a buyer of material we report on in the Greensheet, we encourage you to post your bids on CDN Exchange (CDNX), especially if what you are paying is higher than bid. We are also nearing completion of a complete U.S. currency catalog on CDNX, to facilitate bids on individual notes in every grade.


The short-lived series 1928 $500 gold certificate had a low production of 420,000 notes. The note features a portrait of deceased President William McKinley, who was elected in 1896 and assassinated on September 6th, 1901, passing away on September the 13th. It is appropriate that McKinley is on the $500 gold certificate, as he made the Gold Standard Act law on March 14th, 1900. This act established the value of the U.S. dollar equivalent to 1.5046 grams of gold, a law which would last only until 1933. Thus, this note had a contemporary gold value of 22.72 troy ounces, or around $28,900 in today’s value. PMG reports 65 notes of this type grades, with just 9 in the uncirculated grades. Overall there are 82 notes known. A very fine example of this note is lot #1354 in the Lyn Knight PCDA sale.