Hot Market Trends in World Currency
The first day of the Netherlands auction started off with an amazing group of Angola notes, 29 high priced lots containing 5 number 1 notes. These Angola notes alone sold for about $100,000, a very smart investment. I was especially interested in the Canadian notes that included a blue $5 train note of 1912 graded at PMG 58 sold for $4,320, and a specimen of the same note brought $10,800 in PMG63. The Canadian Battleship note of 1913, HMS Bellerophon of the Royal Bank of Canada sold for $4560 in PMG 58. This ship fired 62 rounds at the Battle of Jutland in WWI. Most interesting to me were two remainder notes from the Hudson Bay company in 1820 for Rupert’s Land (Manitoba) a one pound and a five shilling note in Uncirculated 62 and 63 respectively brought $3120 and $2880. Sadly, I was the underbidder on those notes. All together the auction raised $2,941,242 a strong showing for world currency.
Regarding United States currency, $500 and $1,000 Federal Reserve Notes are very strong at all levels from Fine up to Gems. Fractional currency is strong for high grade notes. As usual, Federal Reserve Bank Notes are unpredictable. For bargains in these notes, haunt the Tuesday night Heritage auctions. Some of these notes, especially those from San Francisco, Dallas, Kansas City and Minneapolis are quite rare, with several notes in all denominations numbering 10 or less. Even Fine notes can bring $2,000 or more. Ten and twenty Silver Certificates from the 1870s and 80s are also very strong in grades of Fine and up. The 1923 $5 Porthole notes continue to be very popular and bring strong prices in all grades, even though more than 1600 examples are known. Concerning population reports a good access to these numbers are reported in the Carson Chambliss book, The Comprehensive Catalog of U.S. Large Size Notes, 1861 – 1929. National Bank Notes remain strong in battle ground states where there is competition among strong buyers. States with few competitors should be considered for collectors of type sets. Red Seal $1, $2 and $5 are bargains currently, especially in the $2 denomination. There is only one real killer in this set, the 1928 B star, I think the tougher notes in this series, aside from the 28B star, like the 1928 E star are undervalued at this time. The $5 Red Seals currently include a number of mules that make the hunt more enjoyable. Seek them in the 1928 series notes. Silver Certificates seem to be gaining strength. Look for stars and scarce blocks in the 1935 group. A guide in this set is best recorded in the out-of-print Schwartz and Lindquist 9th or 10th editions of the Krause publication on Small Size notes. Look for used copies on the internet. I will be reporting on the giant Heritage Central States auction beginning on May 4, as my deadline will not permit me to analyze these auctions. Look for them in the next issue of Bank Note Reporter. Meanwhile, address questions or comments to me at my internet address. I answer all my mail at email@example.com and have a warm Memorial Day Holiday.