Unique War of 1812 $3 Note Leads Results in Heritage Auction of Mike Coltrane Collection

A $3 bill issued during the War of 1812 led the results in Heritage Auction’s November 4-5 sale of The Mike Coltrane Collection Part 1. Overall, this auction brought nearly $2.6 million USD, with all results including a 20% Buyer’s Premium.

This fully signed, issued, and uncancelled Act of February 24, 1815, $3 note is unquestionably one of the most significant and rare pieces in the American paper currency canon. It is the only known $3 bill issued by the United States government.

Issued notes from the act formed the fiscal bridge of circulating Federal currency that helped erase debts from the War of 1812. They were redeemed with traditional debt instruments and were the model for the 1861 Demand Notes required to help fund the Civil War. This note, graded Very Fine 25 by PMG, is evidence that the War of 1812 notes actually circulated in commerce. It sold for $168,000.

Another unique note, the $100 National Gold Bank Note from Union National Gold Bank of Oakland brought $144,000 when it crossed the auction block.

An extremely rare major type, there are only eight $100 National Gold Bank Notes known, including this example, from four confirmed banks. Only eight notes of any denomination from this National Gold Bank title are in the census, and they are infrequently encountered. This is the lone $100 recorded from this bank.

Additional highlights from this auction included:

Our next auction of material from Mike Coltrane’s collection is already open for bidding at Currency.HA.com. Covering more than 200 years of North Carolina currency, it ranges from Colonial notes all the way to small-sized National Bank Notes. This auction will conclude with a live session on November 29.
 

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