Rare PMG-certified Walrus Skin Note Takes Top Spot at Kagin's Auction
Posted on 3/16/2021
A selection of rare notes certified by Paper Money Guaranty® (PMG®) starred at a Kagin’s auction held on March 12, 2021. The top PMG-certified lot of the sale was a Russian-American Company 1816-52 50 Kopeks Walrus Skin Note graded PMG 63 Choice Uncirculated (lot 6003) that realized $72,000.
Walrus Skin Notes were used as official currency by the Russian-American Company, which operated in Alaska, California and Hawaii in the 1800s. Due to varying levels of literacy among those who used the notes, they were printed in different shapes and colors, depending on the value. For example, the top corners of the 50 Kopeks note were clipped, while the top corners of the 10 Kopeks note were hole-punched.
|Russian-Alaskan 1816-52 50 Kopeks Walrus Skin Note graded PMG 63 Choice Uncirculated. Realized: $72,000
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Other PMG-certified Russian-American Company notes featured in the sale included:
- an 1816-52 1 Ruble graded PMG 50 About Uncirculated and pedigreed to the Clifford and Ford Collections (lot 6006) that realized $57,600
- an 1816-52 50 Kopeks graded PMG 50 About Uncirculated EPQ (lot 6004) that realized $40,800
- an 1816-52 1 Ruble graded PMG 40 Extremely Fine (lot 6005) that realized $38,400
- an 1816-52 10 Kopeks graded PMG 61 Uncirculated (lot 6001) that realized $36,000
- an 1816-52 25 Kopeks graded PMG 62 Uncirculated (lot 6002) that realized $33,600
A rare piece of PMG-certified Hawaiian Scrip was also a top highlight in the session. The Kingdom of Hawaii ND (1844) “Bernard Money” Hookahi Dala (2PE-7) graded PMG 50 About Uncirculated (lot 6011) realized $48,000. Bernard Money was printed for John Bernard, a Frenchman who leased 150 acres of land on Kauai from the Hawaiian government to form the archipelago’s first successful coffee plantation. This unique note is the only one known to exist.
|A Kingdom of Hawaii ND (1844) "Bernard Money" Hookahi Dala (2PE-7) graded PMG 50 About Uncirculated. Realized: $48,000
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Other PMG-certified Hawaiian Scrip highlights in the sale included:
- a Kingdom of Hawaii, 1835 (ND 1837) Ladd & Company Hapawalu (2PE-1) graded PMG 63 Choice Uncirculated (lot 6008) that realized $13,200
- a Kingdom of Hawaii ND (1844) Wailuku Female Seminary Hapaumi (2PE-6) with Edward Bailey Counterstamp graded PMG 35 Choice Very Fine (lot 6010) that realized $9,600
- a Kingdom of Hawaii ND (1844) Wailuku Female Seminary Hapaumi (2PE-5) graded PMG 63 Choice Uncirculated (lot 6009) that realized $8,400
The auction included an assortment of other desirable PMG-certified banknotes, such as:
- a 1918 $500 Federal Reserve Note (Chicago) graded PMG 35 Choice Very Fine (lot 7033) that realized $38,400
- a Providence, Rhode Island 1902 Red Seal $50 National Bank Note graded PMG 30 Very Fine (lot 7125) that realized $20,400
- a Washington, Pennsylvania 1902 Red Seal $100 First National Bank graded PMG 15 Choice Fine (lot 7124) that realized $9,000
- a 1901 $10 Legal Tender graded PMG 65 Gem Uncirculated EPQ (lot 7026) that realized $9,000
- a Fitchburg, Massachusetts 1875 $2 National Bank Note graded PMG 35 Choice Very Fine (lot 7095) that realized $6,000
Prices realized include buyer’s premium.
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