One of just two known examples of an extraordinary hand-signed, triple signature 1882 $100 gold certificate lived up to its billing — and then some — when it sold for $750,000 to lead Heritage Auctions’ Long Beach Expo US Currency Signature® Auction — Long Beach to $10,682,198 Oct. 5-7.
The event was part of an extraordinary week of Heritage Long Beach Expo auctions. The Harry W. Bass Jr. Core Collection Part I US Coins Signature® Auction reached $20,459,645, then the Long Beach Expo US Currency Signature® Auction — Long Beach brought $10,682,198. Last but not least, the second Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature® Auction finished at $17,875,326 boosting the three events to $49,017,169, setting a new all-time record for any Long Beach Expo numismatic auction total.
The only privately-owned example of this exceptional banknote — the other is in a much lower grade and was transferred in 1978 from the Treasury Department to the Smithsonian Institution — this Fr. 1202 $100 1882 Gold Certificate PMG Very Fine 30 from The Allan J. Goldman Collection finished atop a list of 10 lots that drew six-figure results.
"You have to remember, only the first 9,000 that were printed and issued were hand-signed by Thomas C. Acton, who served as the superintendent of the New York Assay Office, Assistant U.S. Treasurer and the founder and president of the Bank of New Amsterdam," says Dustin Johnston, Vice President of Currency at Heritage Auctions, "and of those, only two are known to have survived — a microscopic survival rate. With the other known survivor secured in the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian, this is a remarkable example that immediately assumes a prominent position in its new collection."
A Fr. 2230-E $10,000 1928 Federal Reserve Note. PMG Choice About Unc 58 soared to $504,000 — exceeding its pre-auction estimate by $104,000.
The sole finest-graded 1928 $10,000 Federal Reserve Note represents the ultimate combination of rarity and condition: it is one of just 10 known for the type … and two of those are housed in museum collections.
"This note captured the title for most expensive Small Size type note when it last sold," Johnston says. "On Thursday night, it recaptured the title."
A Fr. 2231-B $10,000 1934 Federal Reserve Note. PCGS Banknote Choice Unc 64, once a part of the famed $1 million display at Binion’s Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, more than doubled its pre-auction estimate when it climbed to $312,000. This historic banknote, with serial number B00003059A, was part of the renowned display that was composed of 100 Series 1934 $10,000 FRNs on the New York district framed by a large gold-color horseshoe. The open end of the horseshoe was on the bottom and the notes were exhibited in five columns of 20 notes each; the note sold in this auction is one of the nicest examples featured in the display.
Also unique in private hands was a Fr. 1203 $100 1882 Gold Certificate PMG Choice Fine 15, which drew a winning bid of $300,000. All of the major Gold Certificate offerings were from the first issuing period, prior to 1891. Among the most important of these rarities is the Fr. 1203, featuring the Signatures of Blanch Bruce and A.U. Wyman, who served jointly in the Treasury from April 1883 to April 1885. This magnificent note is one of just three known examples; the two others are part of the Federal Reserve Bank Collections in Richmond and New York.
Another high-denomination prize in the event was a Fr. 2220-F $5,000 1928 Federal Reserve Note. PMG Choice Very Fine 35, which rode a surge of more than a dozen bids to $216,000. Track & Price has enumerated just 19 serial numbers for the 1928 Series as compared to 109 for the 1934 Series. The serial number on this note is F00000077A and has been included in the census data for years. The 1928 notes have the "redeemable in gold on demand" obligation clause, while the 1934 notes sport the "redeemable in lawful money" obligation clause.
Other top lots included, but were not limited to:
Unique in private hands, a New Orleans, LA – $50 1875 Fr. 444 The Hibernia National Bank Ch. # 2086 PMG Very Fine 30: $174,000
The finest known Fr. 174 $100 1880 Legal Tender PMG Choice Uncirculated 64: $156,000
A Fr. 1200 $50 1922 Gold Certificate PMG Superb Gem Unc 67 EPQ — the sole finest large-size $50 gold: $102,000
Complete results can be found at HA.com/3589.
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