Currency Favorites

Posted on 8/30/2011

PMG's Adam Howerton describes some of the favorite notes he's seen and graded.

During my short time at PMG I have had the opportunity to see truly incredible banknotes of historical and numismatic significance, outstanding quality and rarity. In addition, the sheer number of notes that we grade on a daily basis has afforded me the excitement of handling notes that are of interest to me as a private collector.

One such note originates from the First National Bank of Asheboro, NC. The collecting of National Bank Notes has long maintained a strong presence in the US currency market due to the localized demand by collectors to obtain banknotes issued in their current or previous residences. A particularly fine example of a National Bank Note issued by the FNB of Asheboro is the Series 1902 Plain back $10 (Fr. #626) on display in PMG’s North Carolina Currency Gallery.

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As the town that I grew up in and the place that I was first introduced to the hobby of collecting paper money and coins, Asheboro will always maintain a sentimental place in my psyche. In a way very unique to most hobbies, numismatics offers the opportunity to collect objects of varying investment value and connect with my own interests while also fulfilling my desire to continually acquire new knowledge.

To this end, another of my favorite banknotes combines my passion for numismatics, history, music, and teaching in one beautiful vignette appearing on the reverse of multiple one dollar issues from the Central Bank of the Bahamas. Featuring the Royal Bahamas Police band, I find these notes (Bahamas P-43, 57, 69, 70, & 71) to be not only aesthetically pleasing, but also a distinctive reminder of my time as a percussionist in high school and college. I am fortunate enough to continue my interest in music by instructing percussion students in the Tampa Bay area and I am always pleased to see an example of this particular note cross my desk.

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Above photos courtesy of

In 2001 the Central Bank of the Bahamas changed the portrait on the face of this family of banknotes from that of Queen Elizabeth II to Sir Lynden O. Pindling. Credited with leading the Bahamas to majority rule in 1967 and independence in 1973, Sir Pindling’s addition to the Bahamian one dollar note makes the note interesting due to its historical undertones and also adds a layer of complexity to collecting the series with the addition of another variety. Additionally, the same design appears on the one dollar issue for the Central Bank of the Bahamas’ C.R.I.S.P. (Counterfeit Resistant Integrated Security Product) series that entered circulation beginning in 2008 for the one dollar note.

My own particular interest in banknotes derives from my past and interests. The most compelling characteristic of numismatics – however – is that there is truly no “right” or “wrong” way to participate in the hobby. Whether your concentration is in small-size or large-size US notes, banknotes from a particular country or geographic region, a particular subject area, or you simply want the finest known example of any banknote that you can acquire, collecting paper money affords each of us the opportunity to participate in a constantly growing global community of enthusiasts and investors.

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