An impressive eight lots certified by Paper Money Guaranty® (PMG®) each realized over $100,000 in the Heritage Auctions US Currency Signature Auction held on August 3, 2020. They included three uncut sheets from the outstanding Monarch Collection as well as five high-denomination Federal Reserve Notes.
In fact, 23 of the top 25 lots were certified by PMG, a resounding reflection of the market’s preference for PMG’s expert and impartial certification.
The top banknote in the auction was an incredibly rare 1934 $10,000 Federal Reserve Note (Boston) graded PMG 64 Choice Uncirculated EPQ that realized $216,000 USD. The note features Salmon P. Chase, who was Treasury Secretary from 1861 to 1864 under President Lincoln. Only about 200 of the 1934 $10,000 notes across all districts are known to still exist, and this is one of the highest graded.
The auction also included four PMG-certified $5,000 Federal Reserve Notes, including a 1934 $5,000 Federal Reserve Note (St. Louis) graded PMG 64 Choice Uncirculated that realized $162,000. Denominations this high were meant to facilitate transactions between large financial institutions. The other notes were:
- A 1934 $5,000 Federal Reserve Note (Richmond) graded PMG 55 About Uncirculated that realized $126,000
- A 1934 $5,000 Federal Reserve Note (Richmond) graded PMG 63 Choice Uncirculated that realized $108,000
- A 1928 $5,000 Federal Reserve Note (Atlanta) graded PMG 35 Choice Very Fine that realized $108,000.
Meanwhile, three of the greatest uncut sheets of US paper money in existence also realized six figures. These sheets, from the incredible Monarch Collection, were led by an uncut sheet of four 1901 $10 “Bison” Legal Tender Notes graded PMG 65 Gem Uncirculated EPQ that realized $156,000.
This sheet is pedigreed to the collection of former Register of the Treasury Harley V. Speelman. His signature is one of the two on these notes, which feature the venerable bison that gave them their nickname. This particular uncut sheet is one of only two known and the only one in private hands.
An uncut sheet of Original Series National Bank Notes ($1, $1, $1 and $2) graded PMG 55 About Uncirculated realized $144,000. Considered the “Holy Grail” of National Bank Notes, this is the only First Charter Serial Number 1 sheet known.
Authorized by the federal government amid the economic turmoil during and after the Civil War, these particular notes were issued by a bank in Jacksonville, Illinois – a city just west of the capital of Springfield. This sheet is pedigreed to the prestigious Grinnell Collection.
Another uncut sheet – four 1899 $5 Silver Certificates graded PMG 67 Superb Gem Uncirculated EPQ – realized $108,000. Like the Bison sheet, this one is also pedigreed to Speelman and has his signature on the notes.
“PMG is honored to have certified nearly all of the lots in this sale,” said Mark Salzberg, PMG Chairman. “PMG certification gives bidders confidence, whether they are bidding in person, on the phone or online.”
Other PMG-graded highlights included:
- An 1890 $10 Treasury Note graded PMG 67 Superb Gem Uncirculated EPQ that realized $72,000
- A 1905 $20 Gold Certificate graded PMG 65 Gem Uncirculated EPQ that realized $55,200
- An 1891 $1,000 Silver Certificate Front Design Proof graded PMG 63 Choice Uncirculated EPQ that realized $48,000
- An 1890 $2 Treasury Note graded PMG 65 Gem Uncirculated EPQ that realized $48,000
- An 1869 $20 Legal Tender graded PMG 65 Gem Uncirculated EPQ that realized $40,800
- A 1918 $1,000 Federal Reserve Note (Minneapolis) graded PMG 35 Choice Very Fine that realized $40,800
- An 1869 $50 Legal Tender graded PMG 20 Very Fine EPQ that realized $40,800
Prices realized at the Heritage paper money auction include buyer’s premium and are expressed in US dollars.