PMG-certified Vintage US Note Realizes $480,000 in Heritage Sale

Posted on 9/19/2023

Two other rare high-denomination US notes also realized six figures in the September auction.

A vintage US banknote that realized nearly half a million dollars was among more than 1,000 paper money rarities certified by Paper Money Guaranty® (PMG®) in a recent Heritage Auctions sale. The PMG-certified notes were offered as part of the Long Beach Expo US Currency Signature Auction 3593, which was held September 13-15, 2023.

Leading the way was a 1934 $10,000 Federal Reserve Note (Boston) graded PMG 64 Choice Uncirculated EPQ (lot 21303) that exceeded the low end of its pre-auction estimate by more than $200,000. Realizing an astounding $480,000, this is the highest denomination of Federal Reserve Note, with these notes typically used for transactions between financial institutions. None are graded higher than this example out of only 18 Friedberg 2231-A varieties that are listed in the PMG Population Report.

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Meanwhile, other high-denomination US notes also earned six figure-prices, including a a 1918 $1,000 Federal Reserve Note (Cleveland) graded PMG 66 Gem Uncirculated EPQ (lot 21253), which realized $228,000. This exceptionally clean note stands out with its easily identifiable portrait of Alexander Hamilton and a vibrant blue seal on the note's front. The quality of this note is unmatched in the PMG Population Report, with it being the sole-finest example among the group.

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Another highlight of the auction was an 1880 $1,000 Legal Tender graded PMG 30 Very Fine NET (lot 21161), which realized $192,000 in the sale. Of this particular Friedberg number, only 15 different serial numbers are known to the numismatic community, including one that is in an institutional collection. The high-denomination rarity features intricate details seldomly seen on banknotes, such as 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.

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Other PMG-certified highlights in this auction included:

  • a 1908 $10 Silver Certificate graded PMG 66 Gem Uncirculated EPQ and pedigreed to the Jupiter Collection (lot 21200) that realized $78,000
  • a 1901 $10 Legal Tender graded PMG 67 Superb Gem Uncirculated EPQ (lot 21140) that realized $66,000
  • an 1860s $500 Virginia Treasury Note graded PMG 35 Choice Very Fine (lot 20230) that realized $66,000
  • a 1918 $500 Federal Reserve Note (Dallas) graded PMG 40 Extremely Fine EPQ (lot 21252) that realized $52,800
  • an 1875 La Crosse, Wisconsin $2 graded PMG 65 Gem Uncirculated EPQ (lot 20846) that realized $52,800
  • an 1880 $100 Legal Tender graded PMG 63 Choice Uncirculated (lot 21158) that realized $51,600
  • a 1907 $1,000 Gold Certificate graded PMG 30 Very Fine (lot 21263) that realized $49,200
  • an 1882 $100 Gold Certificate graded PMG 65 Gem Uncirculated EPQ (lot 21258) that realized $40,800
  • a 1928 $1,000 Gold Certificate graded PMG 53 About Uncirculated (lot 21313) that realized $34,800
  • a Salt Lake City, Utah Territory $2 National Bank Note graded PMG 15 Choice Fine (lot 20826) that realized $33,600

All prices realized include a buyer’s premium.

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