Large Size Note That Stands Alone as PMG's Finest Graded Offered for Sale

Posted on 5/16/2022

The Legal Tender Note is the only one of over 160,000 Large Size notes to earn a grade of PMG 69 Superb Gem Uncirculated EPQ.

A magnificent Large Size note that stands alone as the finest among more than 160,000 graded by Paper Money Guaranty® (PMG®) is being offered for sale. The 1880 $10 Legal Tender Note is the only Large Size note to have earned a grade of PMG 69 Superb Gem Uncirculated EPQ.

These notes are known for their beauty, and examples that have survived in excellent condition are highly sought after by collectors. This particular note has not been offered to the public since it realized over $114,000 at auction several years ago. Since then, demand for PMG-certified paper money has strengthened as record-setting prices show a healthy level of collector interest.

Large Size US currency was issued in a variety of denominations starting in the 1860s during the Civil War and ending in 1929, the year the Great Depression began. In addition to Legal Tender Notes, other Large Size currency types included Federal Reserve Bank Notes, National Bank Notes, Silver Certificates, Gold Certificates and National Gold Bank Notes.

1880 $10 Legal Tender Note graded 69 Superb Gem Uncirculated EPQ
Click images to enlarge.

Any vintage note achieving such a high grade from PMG is exceptional. The grade, which is the second highest that any note can receive, reflects its exceptional preservation. A note earning such a PMG grade must meet strict criteria, including having no visible evidence of handling. The PMG grading team also noted on the PMG certification label that the note had Great Embossing, Great Margins and Vivid Detail.

"PMG certification of a great paper money rarity like this is essential,” said Carl J. Fusco, a Florida-based numismatic dealer who is offering the note for $150,000. “This note gives an advanced paper money collector the opportunity to bring something truly unique to their collection.”

Fusco is a member of the Professional Numismatists Guild and a longtime member of PMG. He is the Managing & Principal Director of NPA Associates and National Recovery, a 30-year-old whole-loan and distressed based asset fund. NPA recently completed a world-class Large Size Gold Certificate collection with many of the finest known notes.

Large Size notes are roughly a third bigger than Small Size Federal Reserve Notes, the currency found today in Americans’ wallets. They offered a larger canvas for engravers, featuring iconic depictions of key figures from US history, including President Ulysses S. Grant, famed explorers Lewis and Clark and Native American celebutante Pocahontas.

The 1880 US $10 Legal Tender Note is a stunning example of the artistic design that has contributed to the popularity of Large Size US notes. The front of the note features a portrait of Daniel Webster, a US Secretary of State in the 1840s and 1850s, as well as a vignette that depicts Pocahontas being presented at the royal court in England.

The front also has a small illustration of a bald eagle that resembles a donkey’s head when it is viewed upside-down. This gave rise to its nickname among collectors: the “Jackass Note.” It also features a large, spiked red seal.

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