Seldom-seen Vintage US Banknotes Certified by PMG Offered in Upcoming Heritage Sale

Posted on 8/21/2023

A $10,000 Federal Reserve Note and a $100 Treasury Note are among more than 1,000 PMG-graded notes in the September 13-15 sale.

A rare $10,000 Federal Reserve Note is among more than 1,000 US vintage banknotes certified by Paper Money Guaranty® (PMG®) that are being offered in an upcoming Heritage Auctions sale. Bidding will open in late August for the Long Beach Expo US Currency Signature Auction 3593, which will be held on September 13-15, 2023.

One of the most exciting notes offered in the auction is a 1934 $10,000 Federal Reserve Note (Boston) graded PMG 64 Choice Uncirculated EPQ (lot 21303). The highest denomination of Federal Reserve notes, these were typically used for transactions between financial institutions. The PMG Population Report lists slightly over 100 examples of all $10,000 Small Size Federal Reserve Notes, but only 18 of the Friedberg 2231-A variety, which represent the ones from the Boston Federal Reserve Bank. Of those, none are graded higher than this example. This note has an estimate of at least $275,000.

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In addition, the sale features several other high-denomination notes, including a 1918 $1,000 Federal Reserve Note (Cleveland) graded PMG 66 Gem Uncirculated EPQ (lot 21253), with an estimate of at least $250,000. The exceptional quality of this clean note is confirmed since it is the sole finest example in the PMG Population Report. Easily indentified by Alexander Hamilton's portait and a vibrant blue seal on the note's obverse, there is no larger denomination available for Large Size Federal Reserve Note collectors.

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Another highlight of the auction is an 1880 $1,000 Legal Tender graded PMG 30 Very Fine NET (lot 21161), with an estimate of at least $200,000. With only 15 different serial numbers known to the numismatic community for this Friedberg number, and one being part of an institutional collection, this high-denomination rarity is not often seen on the market. Featuring the portrait of DeWitt Clinton, a three-term New York City mayor and New York governor, flanked by a vignette of Columbus in His Study, this note contains intricate details rarely seen on banknotes on both its obverse and reverse.

Click images to enlarge.

Meanwhile, the sale also includes an 1891 $100 Treasury Note graded PMG 12 Fine (lot 21224), which has an estimate of at least $100,000. The ornate designs on the back of the 1890s Treasury Notes were shelved in favor of a more anti-counterfeiting friendly design with the 1891 series, which featured colorful paper fibers. The PMG Population Report attests to the rarity of the Large Size $100 Treasury Notes, with only 20 examples of the 1890 issues graded and a mere seven examples of the 1891 notes. These notes show David Farragut, the most famous admiral from the Civil War.

Click images to enlarge.

Other PMG-certified banknotes in this auction include:

  • an 1880 $100 Legal Tender graded PMG 63 Choice Uncirculated (lot 21158), with an estiamte of at least $50,000
  • an 1860s $500 Virginia Treasury Note graded PMG 35 Choice Very Fine (lot 20230), with an estimate of at least $50,000
  • an 1880 $50 Silver Certificate graded PMG 20 Very Fine (lot 21206), with an estimate of at least $50,000
  • a Salt Lake City, Utah Territory $2 National Bank Note graded PMG 15 Choice Fine (lot 20826), with an estimate of at least $50,000
  • an 1880 $100 Legal Tender graded PMG 40 Extremely Fine (lot 21159), with an estimate of at least $40,000
  • a 1918 $500 Federal Reserve Note (Dallas) graded PMG 40 Extremely Fine EPQ (lot 21252), with an estimate of at least $35,000
  • a 1928 $1,000 Gold Certificate graded PMG 53 About Uncirculated (lot 21313), with an estimate of at least $35,000
  • an 1891 $100 Silver Certificate graded PMG 25 Very Fine (lot 21211), with an estimate of at least $35,000

Estimates are provided by the auction house.

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