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Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio   |   The August 2018 ANA Auction   |   23 August 2018 Sort by Lot-NumberSort by Estimate
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Session 4, Lot 2027

Estimate: 200'000 USD   |   Starting price: 120'000 USD Price realized: 336'000 USD
Interest Bearing Note
Unique Fr. 212f 1865 $500 Interest Bearing Note

Friedberg 212f (W-3980). 1865 $500 Interest Bearing Note. PCGS Currency Very Fine 25.
There were 175,682 $500 Interest Bearing Notes printed for the June 15, 1865 issue, yet today just this one example remains. It is unique as a design type. A portrait of Alexander Hamilton is at center while a large mortar is in an oval frame at the lower left and George Washington is portrayed within an oval frame at the lower right. Large green Roman numeral Ds flank Hamilton's portrait and a large green security panel is at bottom center. These notes bore interest at a rate of ten cents per day or 7.3% per annum and were payable semi-annually. The printed signatures of Colby and Spinner are found in the signature spaces. A red spiked Treasury Seal is at right while blue printed serial numbers are to the lower left and upper right.

This note appears to have an untold story in its history as it seems to have originally been issued and redeemed as serial number 78116. Somehow the note escaped the Treasury after redemption and the last digit of the serial number was removed in an attempt to redeem the note again. Furthermore, the name of the payee was removed from the face as well. It appears the Treasury Department caught on to the plot and added the correct serial number in handwritten ink below the right serial number. The note was also punch cancelled multiple times in order to permanently cancel it. An inked inscription on the back of the note states "Writing has evidently been removed from the payee mark on this note SMC June 26/68." It is likely that the inscription comes from National Currency Bureau head Spencer Clark. One coupon is still attached at the right edge, its serial number also altered. A portion of the bottom left margin of the note is absent and a number of small pinholes can be seen when the note is candled. The grading service makes mention of restored splits on the back of the holder. Any restorations have been deftly executed.

Not only is this note unique, it has an interesting story to go with it. Perhaps in the National Archives there is some information about its redemption and re-redemption. We are not aware of any other note with a similar scenario.

This note was last offered publicly in a February 2005 auction where it realized $115,000. We expect that realization to be eclipsed when the final bid is called for this lot.

PCGS Population: 1; none finer.
From Stack's sale of March 1981, lot 578; Lyn Knight's sale of December 1998, lot 115; Heritage Auctions' sale of February 2005, lot 16765.

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