Stack’s Bowers Galleries auctioned nine of the top 10 highest-priced examples of US paper money to cross the block in 2020, extending a trend of record-setting prices achieved in recent years.
The firm’s history of presenting legendary collections includes their sale of the most valuable collection of paper money ever assembled, the Joel R. Anderson Collection, which concluded in 2019. This legacy of success in the field was continued in March 2020 with Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ offering of currency from the D. Brent Pogue Collection, which brought many great results and prices realized totaling more than $9.2 million USD.
“Stack’s Bowers Galleries has a long history of presenting extraordinary paper money collections at auction, including those of Joel Anderson, Brent Pogue, John Ford, Harry Bass, and Drs. Joanne and Edward Dauer to mention just a few,” noted the firm’s Director of Currency Peter Treglia. “In a year when uncertainty was the norm, Stack’s Bowers Galleries affirmed its position as the premier auction house for elite paper money. Our success in showcasing paper money to a worldwide clientele of proven buyers is exhibited by the record prices we regularly attract for our consignors.”
High-grade and rare higher denomination type notes attracted the greatest attention and brought the highest bids.
The top price realized in 2020 for a United States currency note was $432,000 for the Pogue Collection 1863 $100 Legal Tender Note graded Gem 65 EPQ by PMG. This is often called the “Spread Eagle” $100 due to the large vignette of a bald eagle that dominates the front design.
The third highest price for the year went to an 1890 $100 Treasury Note, nicknamed the “Baby Watermelon”. This note, graded 63 EPQ by PMG, sold for $372,000 at the Stack’s Bowers Galleries March 2020 auction.
This price was closely followed by an 1891 $50 Treasury Note graded PMG 64 EPQ that was bid up to $360,000.
High denomination 1869 “Rainbow” notes that featured a combination of rarity and great condition attracted strong bids as an 1869 $100 Legal Tender Note graded PMG 65 EPQ sold for $312,000, and an 1869 $50 graded PMG 65 EPQ brought $300,000.
Among National banknotes, two exceptionally high-grade Serial Number 1 First Charter Series of 1875 examples from the First National Bank of Lincoln, Illinois performed well. The $100 note, graded PMG 55 realized $300,000, while the $50–also graded PMG 55 and the only example known for the Friedberg number–was bid to $288,000. A Series of 1880 $100 Silver Certificate graded PMG 65 EPQ sold for $264,000, the same price realized by a 1907 $1000 Gold Certificate graded PMG 66 EPQ.
In addition, Stack’s Bowers Galleries sold seven out of the next 10 highest priced notes in 2020 (resulting in 16 of the top 20), including the following:
- #11: Fr. 2221-K 1934 $5000 Federal Reserve Note. PMG 65EPQ. Realized $252,000
- #13. Fr. 187k 1880 $1000 Legal Tender Note. PMG 25. Realized $216,000
- #15. Fr. 306b 1878 $20 Silver Certificate. PMG 50. Realized $216,000
- #16: Fr. 1216b 1882 $500 Gold Certificate. PMG 65EPQ. Realized $216,000
- #17: Fr. 328 1880 $50 Silver Certificate. PMG 65EPQ. Realized $204,000
- #18: Fr. 340 1880 $100 Silver Certificate. PMG 45. Realized $204,000
- #20: Fr. 2231-K 1934 $10,000 Federal Reserve Note. PMG 64. Realized $192,000
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Stack’s Bowers Galleries is accepting consignments for their March 2021 currency auction, which features the Karelian Collection and other important consignments and promises to be an impressive event. In addition, the firm is preparing for the rest of their 2021 season, with auction venues and platforms to meet the needs of every consignor. To consign your collection, sets, or individual pieces to a Stack’s Bowers Galleries auction call 800-458-4646, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit StacksBowers.com.