By Manning Garrett – Paper Money Consultant, Stack’s Bowers ……
The Stack’s Bowers Galleries official United States Currency auction for the ANA World’s Fair of Money will feature an uncut sheet of (4) Fr. 588 $5 1902 Red Seal Serial Number 1 Notes from the Citizens National Bank (Charter #8990) of Macon, Georgia, graded Choice About Uncirculated 58 by PMG.
This uncut sheet of Macon #1 Red Seals is perhaps the best-ever National banknote discovery from the state of Georgia. What makes this discovery even more exciting is that the existence of this sheet has never even been rumored. It came into the Stack’s Bowers Galleries New York City office and was consigned without any of the “fanfare” that usually precedes the emergence of such a numismatic treasure. Our August ANA auction will be the first time this sheet has ever been on the market, giving everyone a fair chance to obtain this top-tier numismatic rarity.
Seasoned collectors will instantly understand the importance of such a sheet. But for the uninitiated and statisticians, consider the following: According to the NBN Census, there are just 31 uncut sheets of Red Seals known. Of that total, only seven sheets bear serial number 1. Several thousand banks issued Red Seals, yet the number of documented surviving number 1 sheets is just seven.
From 1945 until mid-2018 there was just a single serial number 1 Red Seal known to exist from Georgia. It is a lovely example from Fort Valley, whose whereabouts are currently unknown to your cataloger since it was sold several years ago. In late 2018, Stack’s Bowers Galleries sold a single low-grade serial #1 Red Seal from Hawkinsville. That piece brought $21,600 USD.
Collectors are also fortunate to have an ironclad provenance on this sheet.
It was saved by Eugene Stetson, the signing cashier. His biography is quite impressive and easily found online, but some highlights are that in 1905 Eugene W. Stetson founded The Citizens Bank in Macon, Georgia. Reportedly, he was the youngest president of a U.S. bank at the time. He was recruited in 1916 by the Guaranty Trust Company of New York, the largest bank in the U.S. to develop the finance business in the South. In 1919, Eugene Stetson organized the public offering of the Coca-Cola Company and went on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee where he served until his death in 1959; he was the longest-serving member of the Board and of the Executive Committee when he died. At the request of Averill Harriman, Eugene Stetson in the early 1930s became Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Illinois Central Railroad and kept the railroad out of bankruptcy during the Great Depression. Stetson rose to become the President, CEO and Chairman of the Guaranty Trust Company. Before his death, he organized the purchase of the J.P. Morgan Bank, which didn’t have a lot of capital but had a very good management team. He died three months after the purchase closed.
Our estimate is quite conservative. Don’t fall in love with that range and expect to walk away with what will undoubtedly be a front cover item for as long as banknotes are collected.
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The Stack’s Bowers Galleries August ANA will be posted to our website for bidding within the next few weeks. To consign your United States and World paper money to a future sale, contact a consignment specialist at 800-458-4646 or visit StacksBowers.com. For more information on viewing lots or for assistance in registering to bid, email your inquiry to:[email protected].