Prices were strong in the Stack’s Bowers Galleries Official Currency Auction of the 2015 ANA World’s Fair of Money held August 14 and 17, as 339 lots of U.S. currency realized more than $1.55 million. The prices realized were a positive indication for the market as it emerges from its usual summer slump. Adding to the optimism was a number of higher valued lots in multiple categories that sold either comfortably within or above their pre-auction estimates.
The already hot Confederate Currency market remains strong as indicated by the $35,250 winning bid for a T-2 1861 $500 “Montgomery” graded PCGS Very Fine 25, “Minor Edge Tears.” The note, lot 40072 of the auction, sold well above its $22,500-$27,500 estimate. All prices realized include the 17.5% Buyer’s Premium.
A flurry of spirited bidding for lot 40077, a Fr. 11 1861 $20 New York Demand Note Face and Back Proof Pair graded PMG Uncirculated 62 and Choice Uncirculated 64 EPQ respectively, saw the hammer drop for a final price of $64,625, more than triple its pre-auction estimate of $15,000-$20,000.
Condition census PMG and PCGS graded notes and rare Friedberg number large size type notes were in high demand with a number selling in the mid-five figure range. Lot 40082 was the finest known Fr. 18 1869 $1 “Rainbow” Legal Tender Note graded PCGS Superb Gem New 67 PPQ. This stunning example from the popular series saw a final price of $49,937.50, right at the top of its $30,000-$50,000 estimate.
Lot 40118 offered the finest of just nine known Fr. 155 1880 $50 Legal Tender Notes. Graded PMG Choice About Uncirculated 58, it sold for well above its $30,000-$40,000 estimate realizing a final price of $55,812.
A couple of “Middle of the Book” $20 notes were well received by bidders as lot 40120, a Fr. 191a 1865 $20 Compound Interest Treasury Note graded PCGS Very Fine 25 sold for $35,250 and a Fr. 197a 1864 $20 Interest Bearing Note graded PCGS Very Fine 25 brought $61,687.50. Both notes topped their pre-auction estimates.
One of the finest known Fr. 334 1891 $50 Silver Certificates, graded PMG Gem Uncirculated 66 EPQ, realized $49,937.50. This example (lot 40163) is exceptionally well centered and sharply printed example, and is one of only four graded at that level by PMG with one finer.
Among error notes, an offering of a wild Fr. 1915-F 1988A $1 Federal Reserve Note Retained Obstruction Error featuring a fully printed banknote fragment as the obstructing item wowed bidders to the tune of $14,100. The piece, consigned by Rick Harrison’s famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop carried an estimate of $10,000-$15,000.
A number of trophy grade National Banknotes were offered in the auction, including the star of the night that sold for a whopping $129,250. The Fr. 598 1902 $5 Blue Seal Plain Back from the First National Bank of Fairbanks, Alaska Ch. #7718 is the finest graded example of all Territorial National Banknotes at PCGS Superb Gem New 68 PPQ. The lot, #40241, was estimated at $60,000-$80,000.
Collectors were eager to bid on a newly discovered Fr. 470 1882 $5 Brown Back from the Glenwood National Bank of Glenwood Springs, Colorado Ch. #3722. The bank, which was previously unreported, had just $350 outstanding in 1910. After spirited bidding the hammer dropped for a final price of $49,937.50, right at the upper end of the $35,000-$55,000 estimate.
One of the finest PMG graded “Lazy Deuces” was sold for $35,250. The Fr. 391 1875 $2 from the La Crosse National Bank of La Crosse, Wisconsin Ch. #2344 is one of just nine examples of the design type to be graded by PMG as Gem Uncirculated 65 EPQ with none higher. It was estimated at $25,000-$35,000.
We are currently accepting consignments for our Official Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Winter Expo in November, as well as other auction events in 2016. To include your items in one of our upcoming auctions, contact a consignment director at (800) 458-4646 or visit our website at StacksBowers.com. For currency related questions please contact Peter Treglia at [email protected] or Brad Ciociola at [email protected].