SANTA ANA, CA. – With great pleasure, Stack’s Bowers Galleries brings to market The Joel R. Anderson Collection of United States paper money, the largest, finest, and most complete collection of Large Size United States paper money types in existence today. It is rivaled only by great collections of generations ago that have long since been dispersed, including those of Albert Grinnell and Amon Carter, Jr. It represents many years of connoisseurship and patience by Mr. Anderson, who focused his energy on acquiring the finest and the rarest examples.

Stack’s Bowers Galleries will be preparing a series of special catalogs to showcase the collection, starting with their March 2018 official auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Expo in Baltimore. Highlights will be on display at the upcoming Florida United Numismatists convention in January, the Long Beach Convention in February, and other venues.

The collection of approximately 240 Large Size (pre-1928) currency notes (certified by PCGS Currency) consists of Demand Notes, Legal Tender Notes, Compound Interest Notes, Interest Bearing Notes, Refunding Certificates, Silver Certificates, Treasury Notes, National Bank Notes, National Gold Bank Notes, Federal Reserve Bank Notes, Federal Reserve Notes, and Gold Certificates. Mr. Anderson had a goal to acquire the finest known for the seal type and amassed a collection that will most likely never be duplicated, no matter what budget a buyer may have. There are notes in this collection that are unique in private hands, as well as those that are also absolutely unique, with no examples known in government institutions!

Highlights of the collection include:


  • The only complete 1869 Legal Tender “Rainbow” series, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, $500, and $1000. Fr. 184, the $500, is unique by design as no other type shares the front and back. It is graded PCGS About New 55PPQ. The $100 is graded PCGS Gem New 66PPQ and is atop the population report with no equals. The $1000 Fr. 186f, graded PCGS About New 53, is unique in private hands and is the finest known. The only other example is housed in the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and is reported to grade Choice Very Fine. Both notes are ex. Amon Carter (whose coin collection we handled many years ago).


  • Fr. 346e 1891 $1000 Silver Certificate. “The Marcy Note,” graded PCGS Very Fine 25, is unique in private hands. The other is a treasure of the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution.


  • Complete Silver Certificate series of 1880 “Black Back” $10, $20, $50, $100, $500, and $1000. Only three $500 examples and just two $1000s are known in private hands. There are only two possible complete sets available for private collectors. The Fr. 345c $500 is graded PCGS Very Fine 20 and the Fr. 346d $1,000 is Graded PCGS Very Fine 25 Apparent.


  • The “Grand Watermelon” note. In any elite collection one would expect this “Holy Grail” of U.S currency to be included. The Anderson example is one of only two for the type (Large Brown Seal) and is graded PCGS About New 50. This identical note was the first to break the $1,000,000 mark in 2005 for just under $1.1 million.


In addition to these highlights, there are many unique and exceedin