U.S. Currency Rarities Offered in the Stack’s Bowers Galleries November 2023 Showcase Auction

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The world of numismatics is a realm filled with intrigue and excitement, where every coin and banknote tells a story of history, artistry, and rarity.

In the recent Stack’s Bowers Galleries November 2023 Showcase Auction, collectors and enthusiasts alike were treated to a dazzling array of U.S. currency rarities, each offering a glimpse into the rich tapestry of American monetary heritage.

From colonial paper money to small-size ultra-high denomination notes, this auction presented an unparalleled opportunity for collectors to acquire some of the most sought-after treasures in numismatics.

Colonial and Continental Treasures:

The auction commenced with a fervent bidding war over rare colonial and Continental issues, showcasing the enduring appeal of America’s early monetary history.

Among the highlights was an extraordinary CC-9 Continental $20 note graded Choice About Uncirculated 58* EPQ by PMG.

Printed on marbled paper provided by none other than Benjamin Franklin himself, this rare specimen far surpassed its estimate, ultimately realizing an impressive $156,000.

Such treasures serve as tangible links to the nation’s revolutionary past, offering collectors a chance to own a piece of American history.

Federal Reserve Notes and Gold Certificates:

Moving into the realm of modern U.S. currency, the auction featured an enticing selection of Federal Reserve notes and gold certificates, each bearing testament to the craftsmanship and artistry of American banknote design.

A standout piece was a Fr. 1132-L. 1918 $500 Federal Reserve Note from San Francisco, graded Choice Uncirculated 64 by PMG.

With only two uncirculated examples known to exist, this note commanded a staggering price of $150,000, highlighting the rarity and desirability of such treasures in the numismatic world.

Similarly, an Fr. 1218f. 1882 $1000 Gold Certificate, graded Very Fine 25 by PMG and one of just ten notes of its Friedberg number available to collectors, fetched an impressive $204,000, underscoring the enduring allure of high-denomination currency.

National Bank Notes and Silver Certificates:

The auction also featured a selection of National Bank Notes and Silver Certificates, offering collectors a glimpse into America’s diverse monetary landscape.

Notable among these was a 1902 $10 Red Seal from the First National Bank of Carmen in Alfalfa County, Oklahoma.

Bearing the coveted serial number 1, this rarity achieved a price of $57,600, showcasing the strong demand for National Bank Notes among collectors.

Additionally, an iconic 1899 $5 “Chief” Fr. 281m Silver Certificate, graded Superb Gem Uncirculated 67 by PMG, surpassed expectations by realizing $36,000, making it the finest specimen of its kind known to exist.

Small-Size Ultra-High Denomination Rarities:

Rounding out the offerings were small-size ultra-high denomination rarities, adding a touch of intrigue to the auction.

A Fr. 2231-C. 1934 $10,000 Federal Reserve Note, graded Choice Extremely Fine 45 and previously owned by poker legend Johnny Chan, fetched an impressive $180,000, showcasing the crossover appeal of numismatics and popular culture.

Similarly, a Fr. 2221-G. 1934 $5000 Federal Reserve Note, also graded Choice Extremely Fine 45 by PMG, realized the same price, further highlighting the desirability of ultra-high denomination currency among collectors.


The Stack’s Bowers Galleries November 2023 Showcase Auction was a testament to the enduring fascination and allure of U.S. currency rarities.

From colonial paper money to modern Federal Reserve notes, each item offered a glimpse into America’s rich monetary history, showcasing the artistry, craftsmanship, and historical significance of each piece.

As collectors continue to seek out these treasures, the legacy of American numismatics will continue to thrive, preserving the nation’s monetary heritage for generations to come.

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