Eureka Serial #1 Banknote in GreatCollections’ Feb. 25 Auction


A rare banknote from the First National Bank of Eureka, California is set for auction by GreatCollections on Sunday, Feb. 25. This banknote, bearing the serial number one, was released in 1902 and is among just three in existence.

Fr. 608 Eureka, California 1902 First National Bank $5 Plain Back Note
Fr. 608 Eureka, California 1902 First National Bank $5 Plain Back Note Serial Number 1 Elliott / White PCGS Banknote About Unc 50

Recently, the note was graded for the first time by the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) of Santa Ana, California. The bank issued four serial number one notes, with two others identified previously, making this the third to be unearthed. Notably, it features broad lower margins (from Plate D) and has received a PCGS grade of About Unc 50.

The name "Eureka" holds significant prominence on a national banknote, closely associated with the California Gold Rush, as well as being the official motto of the State of California. Derived from the Greek word meaning "I have found it!", Eureka embodies the spirit of discovery and achievement. The town is located in Northern California, approximately halfway between San Francisco and Portland, Oregon.

The auction is being sold unreserved on Sunday, Feb. 25. To find out more, visit or telephone 1-800-442-6467.

About GreatCollections

GreatCollections, the official auction house of the American Numismatic Association, specializes in auctioning certified coins and banknotes, handling transactions from start to finish. Since its founding in 2010, GreatCollections has successfully auctioned over 1.5 million certified coins, making it one of the leading certified coin companies in the United States with annual sales in 2023 exceeding $210 million. Ian Russell, owner/president of GreatCollections, is a member of the prestigious Professional Numismatists Guild, member of the National Auctioneers Association and was recently named the ANA Harry J. Forman Dealer of the Year. For more information about GreatCollections, visit or call 800-442-6467.

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um if i read that right there are at least three serial number 1 notes – that means it isn’t a serial number by definition (because, you know, the numbers were not issued in series)


I don’t know much about old paper currency value, but ‘1’ does seem to be a lame serial number. Couldn’t they have made it 0001 at least. I wonder what it’ll fetch at auction. One thing’s for sure, the $5 bill would buy you a hell of a lot more than it does now!