An extremely rare 1882 gold certificate that could sell for $500,000 or more is expected to draw the heaviest pursuit among serious collectors at the FUN Currency Auction in Tampa, Fla.
“The January FUN auction is like no other event,” Heritage Auctions Currency Director Dustin Johnston said. “Each year, we encounter some really extraordinary rarities, and this year’s event is no exception.”
The rarity of the Fr. 1218e $1,000 1882 Gold Certificate (est. $500,000+) is beyond debate. It is believed to be one of just five in existence, and one of only two available to collectors. Series 1882 $1,000 Gold Certificates were issued from 1882 through 1906 with a total of eight different signature combinations. Notes with the signatures of William S. Rosecrans and Enos H. Nebeker, who were only in office together from April 1891 through May 1893, make up just 4.3 percent of a total run of only 8,000.
The finest known Fr. 1176 $20 1882 Gold Certificate PMG Gem Uncirculated 66 EPQ ($250,000+) comes from the same series of 1882 $20 Gold Certificates issued for more than 18 years, but there was a significant gap between 1891 and 1898, an interruption during which no new plates or print runs were ordered. That interruption left just five signature combinations from the early issues and a single signature combination for the later issues. Only 8 percent of the total number of printed 1892 $20 Gold Certificates were from this early issue, and surviving examples are rarities. This is one of the two finest notes known to exist from that early period.
A perfectly original and vividly colored Fr. 377 $100 1890 Treasury Note PCGS Very Fine 30PPQ (est. $175,000) is an exceptional example of the so-called “Watermelon Note.” The Windom Silver Bullion Purchase Act of 1890, an attempt to remove all restrictions on the purchase and coining of silver, called for greatly increased limits, as well as the introductory issue of Treasury Notes, which were introduced to back silver purchases but also were redeemable for both silver and gold specie, thereby earning the nickname “Coin Notes.” The back of the $100 and $1,000 Treasury Notes shows the denomination engraved in large, finely detailed digits, with the green zeroes resembling watermelons. As one of the most coveted designs in American currency, these notes were highly sought after by early collectors.
A fully uncirculated Fr. 2221-B $5,000 1934 Federal Reserve Note. PCGS Choice New 63PPQ ($130,000+) is an example of the kind of note that attracts serious collectors and non-collectors alike. This note, from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Texas, is an exceptional piece that has eluded any restoration work.
A high-grade Fr. 167a $100 1863 Legal Tender PCGS Extremely Fine 40 ($125,000+) is the seventh-nicest example of the note to reach the auction market – in fact, an XF has not reached the market in more than 15 years, and this is the first XF example graded by a third party ever to reach the auction market. Under today’s more stringent standards, it is quite possible this note would carry a VF grade instead of XF.
The auction also includes 257 lots from the Marc Watts Collection, which features National Banknote rarities from the Old Line State, including:
- One of two known 1875 Maryland $100 Fr. 456 The First NB Ch. # 204: est. $50,000+
- A unique from the state in private hands 1875 Maryland $50 Fr. 444 The NB of Baltimore Ch. # 1432: est. $35,000+
- A unique for the state of Maryland $100 Red Seal Fr. 686 The National Mechanics Bank Ch. # (E)1413: est. $35,000+
- A 1902 Maryland $5 Red Seal Fr. 589 The Poolesville NB Ch. # (E)8860: est. $35,000+
- A 1902 Maryland $50 Red Seal Fr. 664 The First NB Ch. # (E)3010: est. $30,000+
Other top lots include, but are not limited to:
- Fr. 2231-B $10,000 1934 Federal Reserve Note. PMG Choice Uncirculated 64: est. $110,000+
- Fr. 2221-K $5,000 1934 Federal Reserve Note. PCGS About New 53PPQ: est. $110,000+
- Fr. 2231-B $10,000 1934 Federal Reserve Note. PMG Choice Uncirculated 63: est. $100,000+
- Fr. 179 $100 1880 Legal Tender PCGS New 62: est. $100,000+
- Fr. 2221-K $5,000 1934 Federal Reserve Note. PCGS About New 53PPQ: est. $100,000