BY PATRICK IAN PEREZ, EDITOR
The top overall piece of United States currency sold during the World’s Fair of Money auction sales in Denver was the Series 1882 $1,000 gold certificate (Fr.-1218f), graded PCGS VF35, sold by Heritage which sold for $270,250. Overall the Heritage sale sold 104 lots of U.S. paper money for a total of $1.84 million. The Stack’s Bowers sale brought in a solid $2.3 million, with the top lot being a Series 1928 $5,000 Federal Reserve Note from the Atlanta district and graded PCGS VF30PPQ (Fr.-2220-F) which sold for $129,250. As we mentioned last month, a significant offering of Confederate currency was crossing the block in Denver, and the results did not disappoint. Overall there were 22 Confederate notes which sold for five figures, with Heritage accounting for 6 and Stack’s Bowers 16. The top lot of these was an 1861 $500 Montgomery (T-2), certified PMG VF30 and sporting a deep green underprint, which sold for $39,950. Looking ahead, the next major show and auction activity is the Long Beach Expo, with Heritage offering more than 6,000 lots of both U.S. and world paper money.
With the amount of auction and sales activity during August, we have a good amount of price changes in this month’s issue. High grade large-size type notes have shown a somewhat middling performance; when buyers feel the note is above average for the grade it will sell for a strong premium but other notes that carry high estimates have sold soft if not all there for the assigned grade. There are also the residual effects of the tremendous run up in the values of high grade (above CU65) notes that occurred from 2000-2008. Thus, when a price is adjusted downward (due to a sales result) it may not be so much that the demand is lacking, but rather a correction to a more realistic price level. This is especially true with notes that trade very infrequently. High grade (CU66-67) small-size notes continue to perform well, silver certificates in particular. Another area that has a strong specialist following but is perhaps underreported is the small-size Federal Reserve notes. The ultra-high denomination notes have led the market for going on two year, but there are also many deceptively scarce issues in this large series, especially as it pertains to replacement (star) notes. While they are difficult to price by type because for each note there are common and scarce districts, this is an area we have been looking at to expand our price listings. As a reminder, our prices are for the most common district for each type.
The most exciting news we have with regards to pricing information is the launch of our online price guide for United States currency. It is what we believe to be the most efficient and user-friendly online price guide available. All notes that are listed in the Greensheet are in the online price guide and each note has two prices. Theprices that are free to all users are our CPG prices. The CPG, or Collectors Price Guide, are intended to be retail prices of an item based on the wholesale price. Subscribers can also access the Greensheet wholesale prices by simply logging in to our website. Importantly, over time we will be adding online-only pricing in additional grades which we do not have space to print. Additionally, subscribers can access historical pricing going back to 2012 for listed notes. All of this can be found at www.greysheet.com/ currency-prices and is also mobile friendly.
NOTE IN FOCUS: ORIGINAL SERIES $2 THE SALT LAKE CITY NATIONAL BANK
The Lazy Deuce design of the Original Series and Series 1875 $2 National Bank Notes are extremely popular as a type, but they get into very rarified air when they are issued by a Territorial bank. This Original Series note was issued by The Salt Lake City National Bank in Utah Territory and is dated January 15th, 1872. Utah did not become a state until January of 1896. One of the defining features of this note is the seal on the reverse. Early Nationals have both a Federal seal and State seal on the reverse, and even though Utah was not yet a state, a state seal was still used. The seal shows the well-known Beehive motif and the date September 9th, 1850, the date the Territory was established. There were no Series 1875 $2 Nationals issued in the Utah Territory, and there are just five known from the Original Series. In total, there are only 30 Original Series $2 Nationals across all Territories, making each one a prize for not only collectors of Nationals, but for all paper money collectors. This note is offered by Heritage in their Long Beach sale as lot #20863.