Discovered 1861 Note Realizes $109,250 in Heritage Tampa FUN Currency Auction


The new year got off to a rousing start for currency collectors in Tampa, FL as they participated in Heritage Auctions’ Signature® Currency Auction, Jan. 6-11, held in conjunction with the FUN (Florida United Numismatists) Convention.

$10 1861 Demand Note
This newly discovered Fr. 10a-Handwritten ‘For The’ St. Louis $10 Demand Note realized $109,250 in the Heritage Tampa FUN Currency Auction. Few Friedberg numbers in large size type notes remain to be discovered, and it is the rare day indeed that a previously unreported large size type note arrives unheralded to be catalogued and sold for the very first time, but that is what happened with this extraordinary St. Louis 'for the' Demand Note.

The auction realized more than $7.8 million, including the non-floor sessions, held Jan. 10-11. All prices include 15% Buyer’s Premium.

One of the most closely followed and well-publicized items in the auction was the newly discovered, and certainly rare Fr. 10a $10 1861 Demand Note graded PMG Very Good 8 Net, a handwritten "For The" example from the St. Louis district, which brought $109,250.

"Prior to the recent discovery of the note," said Allen Mincho, Director of Currency Auctions at Heritage, "no handwritten ‘For The’ St. Louis Demand Notes were known in any denomination."

A unique set of Small Size proof notes, furnished by William H. Woodin that included front and back die proofs featuring a $1 1928 Legal Tender Note and $5 through $100 Chicago 1929 FRBNs, was also the subject of much collector interest. The framed grouping brought $86,250.

25¢ Republic of Texas Exchequer Note
25¢ Republic of Texas Exchequer Note. The Exchequer notes are in a class by themselves, one which is on every Texas collector's wish list. Exchequer notes were the last paper money of the Republic and were issued from 1842-45. They were closely controlled and diligently destroyed when redeemed due to their being backed by gold. The note realized $63,250 in the Heritage Tampa FUN Currency Auction.

Another much anticipated lot was the scarce Austin, TX- Republic of Texas 25¢ May 1, 1843 Cr. A11 Exchequer note, which commanded $63,250.

"This piece was found by the consignor tucked away in an old textbook contained in a group lot of old books bought for $10 at a public auction," said Mincho. "It’s one of those great stories about found money, literally, that shows up out of nowhere. Needless to say, we’re thrilled for the consignors who did so well on this and for the smart collector that now owns this note."

Not surprisingly, a number of the high denomination notes brought strong prices: A Fr. 2221-J $5000 1934 Federal Reserve Note graded PCGS Extremely Fine 45PPQ brought $80,500, while a Fr. 2231-G $10000 1934 Federal Reserve Note graded PCGS Extremely Fine 45PPQ finished the day at $74,750 and the Fr. 2220-K $5000 1928 Federal Reserve Note graded PCGS Apparent Fine 15 hammered for $71,875.

$500 1918 Federal Reserve Note
Fr. 1132G $500 1918 Federal Reserve Note PCGS Choice About New 58. A great note in all respects, and the highest grade $500 Federal Reserve Note that was offered to the collecting community in several years. This piece has a distinguished pedigree, having been obtained by our consignor from the Amon Carter, Jr. holdings in May of 1984. For many years, in fact, this example served as the Friedberg plate note. Nicely centered, bright, and flawless for the grade, a wonderful note now available after more than a quarter century in one collection. It realized $51,750 in the Heritage Tampa FUN Currency Auction.

Large Size Type Notes fared well, with the spectacular Chicago District $500, a Fr. 1132G $500 1918 Federal Reserve Note PCGS Choice About New 58 realizing $51,750 and a Fr. 158 $50 1880 Legal Tender graded by PCGS as Choice About New 55, one of nine known, brought $63,250.

$1 1995 Federal Reserve Notes
Low Serial Number Fr. 1922-K* $1 1995 Federal Reserve Notes. Original Pack of 100 Serial Number 1 - 100. Superb Gem Crisp Uncirculated. This first replacement pack is wonderfully margined and near perfect, containing the serial number one through one hundred stars for this mid-1990's Dallas issue. The item realized $47,437 at the Heritage Tampa FUN Currency Auction.

The Low Serial Number Fr. 1922-K* $1 1995 FRN Original Pack of 100 Serial Numbered 1 – 100 created some fireworks for collectors when it sold for $47,437 and, among the error notes offered, the double denomination Fr. 2071-K $20/$10 1974 Federal Reserve Note graded PMG Choice Uncirculated 64 EPQ performed well at $27,600.

The unique Lynchburg, VA – $50-100 1882 Brown Back Fr. 510-522 The Lynchburg NB Ch. # 1522 Uncut Sheet brought a winning total bid of $40,250.

About Heritage Auctions

Heritage Auctions, headed by Steve Ivy, Jim Halperin and Greg Rohan, is the world’s third largest auction house, with annual sales more than $600 million, and 500,000+ registered online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and gain access to a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit

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Who are these people who get these low-serial number notes? I think I’ve seen two notes in ten years starting with four zeroes and none with five or more zeroes. Even ones that make out calendar dates (to use today’s date e.g. A01212011A). Are there dealers who get all these notes? I’ll admit I wouldn’t mind having a $1 bill whose serial number is my birthday.