Monday, March 31, 2008

Rare Hawaii $500 Banknote on Auction Block

By Heritage Auctions
Sunday, March 30, 2008

Dallas, TX. A piece of rare and never-circulated Hawaiian paper money - a $500 note that was to be issued in 1879 - is being offered at auction in Rosemont, Illinois on April 16-18. The $500 note, which exists only as a set of proof printings of the face and back plates, is so incredibly rare that it remains unpriced in the standard currency reference guides. The pair of proof printings is one of only two known as well. This pair of proofs is included in the catalog for the Official Auction of the Central States Numismatic Society convention, being held in Rosemont, Illinois on April 17-19. The catalog for the auction is now posted by Heritage Auction Galleries on their website.

“With only two such sets known to exist,” explained Heritage currency expert Allen Mincho, “it is understandable that they are unpriced in the Krause reference guide. This set made its public debut at the 1990 auction of the archives of the American Bank Note Printing Company. Designed for the Kingdom of Hawaii, they are printed on proof paper which has been mounted on card stock, as was the custom for ABNCo file copies. The face proof has a folded registry stub as produced which extends over the edge of the card stock.”

“The face of the note,” continued Mincho, “also bears vignettes of King Kamehameha, sailing vessels, a locomotive, and sugar cane harvesting. The obligation clause reads ‘five hundred dollars in silver coin payable to the bearer on demand.’ This design only exists as these proof printings. They have been awarded classification as Pick #5 in that reference guide.”

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Countries Using U. S. Dollar as Legal Tender

By Nutmegcollector

Many countries besides the United States use the U.S. dollar as their official currency, a process known as dollarization.

With the exception of a very brief period during 1941 when Balboa notes were in circulation, Panama has been using the dollar as legal tender since gaining independence in 1903.

Ecuador abolished Sucre in favor of the dollar as legal tender on September 7, 2000.

El Salvador replaced the Colon with the dollar on January 1, 2001.

East Timor began using U. S. dollar as legal tender shortly after declaring itself independence in 2000.

Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands (former members of the U. S.-administered Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands) have all used the U.S. dollar as legal tender since 1944, and chose not to issue their own currency after becoming independent.

The British colony of Turks and Caicos Islands began using the dollar as legal tender in 1973.

The British Virgin Islands began using the dollar as legal tender in 1959.

And, of course, U. S. Virgin Islands of Saint Croix, Saint John and Saint Thomas, U. S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and Puerto Rico also use U. S. dollars.

The following countries currently peg their currency to U. S. dollar:

Bahamas - 1.00 BSD = 1.00 USD
Barbados - 2.00 BBD = 1.00 USD
Belarus - 2150 BYR = 1.00 USD
Belize - 2.00 BZD = 1.00 USD
Bermuda - 1.00 BMD = 1.00 USD
Hong Kong - 7.8 HKD = 1.00 USD
Lebanon - 1500 LBP = 1.00 USD
Saudi Arabia - 3.75 SAR = 1.00 USD

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Where Have All the Banknotes Gone

By Nutmegcollector

Where have all the banknotes gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the banknotes gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the banknotes gone?
Gone to shredders every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Sang to the tune of the popular 1960s song Where Have All the Flowers Gone.

Worn out banknotes today are shredded, then either burned, used as landfills, recycled for use as building materials or even packaged and sold as novelty items.

The average banknote life span:

United States
$1 - 1 year 9 months
$5 - 1 year 4 months
$10 - 1 year 6 months
$20 - 2 years
$50 - 4 years 7 months
$100 - 7 years 5 months

Euro Zone
Ireland 5 Euro - 1 year
Germany 5 Euro - 3 years

$5 paper - 6 months
$5 polymer - 3 years 4 months

$5, $10 - 2 years
$20 - 5 years
$50 - 8 years
$100 - 10 years

Great Britain
5 Pounds - 1 year
50 Pounds - 5 years or more

1000 Yen - 2 years
10,000 Yen - 3-4 years

20 Kronor - 1 year
1,000 Kronor - over 5 years

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Rare Siam Banknotes on Smythe Auction

Manhattan, New York - March 13, 2008 - The R. M. Smythe & Company spring paper money auction on March 20th 2008 will offer 890 lots of paper money at their Manhattan office. One of the more interesting lots of world banknotes will be the specimens of Siam banknotes, in particular the 20, 80, and 100 Tical denominations, are believed to be the only examples know to exist. They once resided in a Paris museum, were purchased by a dealer 15 years ago for $90,000, and recently were owned by the President of the Thailand Numismatic Association.

Banque de l'Indo-Chine. Decree of 21.1.1875 and 20.2.1888. Bangkok.

1) 19.12.1898. 5 Ticals. P-S101. Specimen. Emerald green with printed date. Vignette on left depicting oriental woman holding bamboo shoot seated below "France" holding caduceus. Bank of France style of numeration with serial number 000 and block number 0.0. Value in English and French. Faux magenta watermark of woman. Two engraved signatures. Text in Chinese and Siamese overprinted in black on back. Impeccable condition. Uncirculated.

2) 5 Ticals. Specimen. Similar to first specimen but without date, zero numerals or faux watermark on front. Only one engraved signature. Overprint of Chinese and Siamese text absent from back, but Chinese text in the center is printed in emeral green with the rest of the back. Uncirculated.

3) 6.12.1898. 20 Ticals. P-S102. Brown with reclining Neptune holding trident at left. Back has black overprint in Chinese and Siamese. Zero numerals overprinted on front in black along with the magenta faux watermark. Two engraved signatures. Space left blank for handwritten or affixed signature for Le Caissierde l'Agence. Uncirculated.

4) 7.11.1898. 80 Ticals. P-S103. Light blue with two elephants at left and right pillars, two reclining women with a tiger and a water buffalo at lower center. Overprinting similar to that on the 20 Tical note, and signature block of Caissier de l'Agence left blank. Uncirculated.

5) 31.2.1898. 100 Ticals. P-S104. Red with Vasco de Gama at left and Polynesian man with paddle above dragon boat at right. Sailing ships at lower center. Overprintings similar to those in the previous three lots and signature area of Caissier de l'Agence left blank. Uncirculated.

With the authorization of the Ministry of the Colonies, the Bank of Indochina opened a branch bank in Bangkok on 22 February 1897. The printing of banknotes for use in Siam was first considered on April 27, 1897, and a series of four values (5, 20, 80 and 100 Ticals) adopted the design of the first series of notes issued for Indochine but with texts and colors modified. Each value has a different design, and there are various dates.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Bill Garlanded Grooms Face Defrocking

The Wall Street Journal
March 14, 2008 12:15 p.m.

NEW DELHI -- Gifts of money have a special place in Indian custom: Grooms frequently are garlanded with a string of small bills to wish them prosperity and to evoke the spirit of Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth.

But if India's central bank has its way, Indian weddings could be a bit poorer in the future.

The Reserve Bank of India earlier this week issued a statement urging Indians to refrain from activities that deface the bank notes and shorten their life. It asked members of public to stop misusing currency notes for stitching wedding garlands, decorating the place where weddings take place (known as a pandal), or "for showering on personalities at social events."

The central bank added that it has been "taking all measures to supply clean banknotes across the country and has urged members of the public to contribute their mite to its efforts."

The currency most commonly used for garlands and money showers is the 10 rupee note, an orange and brown piece of paper with an image of Mohandas K. Gandhi on one side and an elephant, a tiger and a rhinoceros on the reverse. It is worth approximately 25 U.S. cents.

The central bank's request may fall on deaf ears. Presenting garlands of notes "is part of the ritual to showcase the family's happiness," says Govind, the priest at a Hindu temple in New Delhi.

Sanjay Srivastava, 31 years old and the owner of a small provisions store in a local New Delhi market, is getting married in two weeks. He belongs to a middle-class Sikh family and was out shopping yesterday for the garland that his elder sister will place around his neck while he sits on a white horse waiting to meet his wife-to-be.

"Wearing garlands weaved out of currency notes is an honor equivalent to offering money in front of gods and goddesses," he says.

The discouragement of notes as adornments follows the central bank's earlier attempts to protect its money supply. In January 1999, the Reserve Bank introduced the "Clean Note Policy" for faster disposal of soiled and mutilated notes.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Braille Featured on New Bahrain Banknotes

Gulf Daily News
12 March 2008

MANAMA: The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) held a briefing yesterday to unveil a blind-recognition feature, which is included in the new Bahrain banknotes to be introduced soon.

"The new family of banknotes includes, for the first time, a special feature, which enables people with impaired vision to easily recognise new banknote," said CBB currency issue director Farid Zubari.

A series of short, raised lines, indicating the value of the note, appear at the top right on the front of each note.

The BD1/2 has one line; BD1 has two lines; BD5 has three lines; BD10 has four lines and BD20 has five lines.

The briefing, held at the Saudi-Bahraini Institute for the Blind (SBIB), also included the presentation of special brochure in Braille, which provides information about the new banknotes.

The brochure has been produced by the CBB, in conjunction with the SBIB.

The CBB presented 500 copies of the Braille brochure to SBIB board member Noora Mohammed Al Mannai and director Abdul Wahid Khayat.

Also present were CBB head of currency issue Abdulla Al Sulaiti and head of vault Fahd Al Arabi.

Students of SBIB, gathered at the briefing session, also got a chance to feel and touch the new banknotes, to familiarise them with the blind-recognition feature.

The CBB will begin releasing the new banknotes into circulation in the coming few weeks, at a date to be announced soon.

The existing currency will remain legal tender until further notice from the CBB.

The new banknotes and the existing banknotes will co-circulate for a period of time, to allow for all existing banknotes to be returned to the CBB in the normal course of business.

Each denomination of new banknotes has a new design, while some denominations have a new colour as well. All of the new notes incorporate enhanced security features.

The CBB has begun working with the financial services industry to ensure a smooth introduction of new Bahrain banknotes.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

$1.9 Millions for Rare Australian Banknote

Katie Miller
10 Mar 08

The first banknote printed in Australia has become the nation's most expensive money, selling for a record $1.909 million at Broadbeach yesterday.

The 10 shilling note was the showpiece item of the International Auction Galleries Australian and World Rare Coin and Banknote Auction at the Sofitel.

The note was bought by Sydney trader John Pettit for a client with an extensive private collection.

"He's got one of the best Australian banknote collections and he wants this as the iconic piece in his collection," said Mr Pettit, of John Pettit Rare Banknotes.

The banknote was printed on May 1, 1913, and presented to Governor-General Thomas Denman's daughter Judith by Labor prime minister Andrew Fisher.

Ten shillings in 1913 would be just shy of $50 in today's money, which means the note sold for more than 38,000 times its equivalent face value.

Mr Pettit said he believed it was a good deal.

"When you look at what early Australian cars are selling for, to me this is not expensive for what it is," he said. "It's always going to be relevant to our history."

"It's a note that all collectors know because of the photograph of the Governor-General's daughter holding it up when it was being printed."

Mr Pettit said the whereabouts of the piece had been unknown until it turned up in a letter file in a drawer in England in 1999.

The historic banknote, with the serial number M000001, returned to its homeland when it was bought by an Australian collector eight years ago.

There were three bidders still in the running for the item at $1.85 million before the final two contenders battled it out.

The hammer came down at $1.66 million but a 15 per cent buyers premium was added, taking the final price to $1.909 million.

The sale made the piece Australia's most expensive banknote or coin, easily topping the $1,223,250 paid for an Australian 1924 George V £1000 banknote in November.

"This breaks the record well and truly," said Mr Pettit.

"We (the bidders) all obviously had similar thoughts as to what its ultimate value was.

"With the share market the way it is at the moment it is ushering more funds into our market and that's reflected in the record prices."

Mr Pettit said the private collector, from a location he would not disclose, was going to allow him to display the banknote for a time for his clients but it would not be on show to the public.

He said the 10 shilling note was one of 500 allocated to MPs, with note 501 onwards circulated publicly.

"I have just handled number four and five recently but number two and three are not known," he said.

"They were given to the Governor-General and his son."

International Auction Galleries managing director Paul Hannaford said the final price on the banknote had been a surprise.

"It was perhaps 300,000 more than we were expecting but that's the nature of it," he said.

Friday, March 7, 2008

The Caucasian Euro

By Nutmegcollector

It’s no accident that the new Azerbaijan currency, the manat, resembles euro. Robert Kalina, the same Austrian designer who designed the euro, also designed the 2005 series (issued 2006) of Azerbaijan banknotes. Even the symbol for the new manat resembles a rotated euro sign. No wonder Azerbaijanis have taken to calling the new currency "The Caucasian euro."

Thursday, March 6, 2008

"Holy Grail" of Australian Numismatics

Queensland, Australia (PRWEB) March 6, 2008 -- The Rare Coin Company is poised to set yet another world record when it bids to acquire the very first Australian Commonwealth Banknote ever printed, the 1913 Ten Shilling note. Rob Jackman, the Company’s founder will attend the International Auction Galleries auction at the Sofitel Hotel Gold Coast in Queensland on Sunday 9th of March 2008 from 3pm. It is estimated that the banknote is valued at $1.3 to $1.4 million dollars and that the auction will attract a number of major coin dealers and private collectors.

If successful, this will be the second time in less than four months that The Rare Coin Company has set a new world record for the price paid for an Australian banknote at public auction. In November 2007, the Company paid $1,223,250 dollars for an Australian 1924 George V One Thousand Pound banknote, which was sold at auction by Nobles Numismatics in Sydney.

Further background information about the 1913 Ten Shilling banknote:
On the 1st of May 1913 the first official Commonwealth banknote was printed with a number of important personages in attendance, including Andrew Fisher, The Governor of the Commonwealth Bank Dennison Miller, the Governor General Thomas Denman, and the Lord Mayor of Victoria. A quick demonstration of the printing process was followed by a ceremony where the first banknotes were then produced by a hand numbered machine press. The Governor General’s daughter, Judith, was then involved in operating the lever of the hand press to produce the first Australian Banknote, with the serial number M000001, and was subsequently presented with this important note. Thomas Denman and his family returned to England upon the completion of his term, and the note then remained with the family’s descendants until it was returned and sold in Australia in 2000 by Mr. Barrie Winsor. The note is still in its original Government House envelope, inscribed in old ink "Judith’s 10/- Note, May 1st 1913".

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Zimbabweans Labour Under Weight of Weak Dollar

From Times Online
Philippe Naughton
March 5, 2008

Shoppers in Zimbabwe no longer need worry about carrying their purchases home: the chances are that their groceries weigh less than the banknotes needed to buy them.

The Zimbabwean dollar tumbled to a new low of 25 million to a single US dollar today, just four months after breaking through the one-million barrier. With Zimbabwe dollars mostly available in bundles of 100,000 and 200,000 notes, a US $100 note now buys nearly 20kg of local notes.

Under Robert Mugabe's economic meltdown, Zimbabwe has the world's highest inflation rate of 100,500 per cent. Currency dealers say that political uncertainty ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections on March 29 is also encouraging people to hang on to their hard currency.

At the same time, they added, the central bank is pumping out Zimbabwean dollars to pay for election costs and buying greenbacks on the black market to pay for power, petrol and vehicle imports ahead of the elections.

The value of the Zimbabwe dollar weakened steadily against hard currencies throughout last year but its fall quickened dramatically in recent weeks.

With industry and production collapsing, Zimbabweans have become heavily dependent on imports of the corn meal staple and basic goods.

Until last year, the former agricultural power was self sufficient in canned and processed foods, household goods, soap, toothpaste, toiletries and other items now imported from neighbours Malawi, South Africa and Zambia and from as far afield as Egypt, Germany, Iran and Malaysia.

According to latest official poverty line data, an average family of five needs a monthly income US$35 to survive, even in poverty. But most farmhands and other lower paid workers earn less than the equivalent of US$10 a month - and the formal unemployment rate is 80 per cent.

New Technique to Detect Counterfeit Banknotes

By Toru Yoshizawa

New sensor systems are being developed to scan banknote security features such as holographic patterns, ink fluorescence, watermarks, microprinting, and intaglio patterns.
Currency counterfeiting victimizes governments, individuals, and corporations. In recent years, technological advances in printing have allowed counterfeiters to improve their product while making the identification of forged currency more challenging. The situation is particularly acute in high-tech countries like Japan. The Bank of Japan has four kinds of banknotes in circulation: the 10,000, 5,000, 2,000 and 1,000 yen notes. In November 2007, the amount in circulation of the highest value denomination notes was estimated at 69 trillion.

In 1998, the total number of seized counterfeit notes of all denominations was 807. However, more than 20,000 notes were seized in 2002, and 25,000 in 2004, meaning that the total number of detected counterfeit banknotes increased 32 times during these six years. This was largely due to the widespread use of advanced color copying and printing machines.

Figure 1. Effect of intaglio printing: authentic banknote (left) and copied note (right).

To stem counterfeiters, the Bank of Japan issued three new bank notes (10,000, 5,000, and 1,000 yen) in November 2004 with enhanced counterfeiting detection features that were explained to the public (ref. 1). The security features of the former 10,000 yen notes were the watermark, the use of ultrafine line printing, and luminescent ink. The new notes incorporated additional features, such as holograms that change color when the note is tilted, and vertical watermark bars that become visible when the note is held into light. These bars are quite difficult to reproduce with a personal computer or color-copying machine because their pattern is incorporated when the paper is manufactured. Other anti-counterfeiting features include the use of latent images, pearl ink, and intaglio (raised) printing.

Their purpose is to prevent forgery using personal computers and peripheral equipment such as scanners and printers, to facilitate the detection of counterfeit notes, and to improve automatic inspection in cash distributing machines. Finally, they also assist the visual inspection of notes and help maintain confidence in the currency.

The introduction of these new security features seems to have reduced the number of forged new notes in circulation. Most of the counterfeit notes now seized are of the old type that are still in circulation. However, forging techniques are also becoming more advanced, and measures are still required to address the issue of automatic discrimination between legitimate and forged banknotes in vending machines, since most counterfeit notes are distributed in machine transactions. (Japan has more than 5.5 million vending machines, note validators and game-playing machines.)

To cope with the situation, a project team was set up two years ago with members of the Yamanashi Institute of Technology, Yamanashi University, Kyonan-Seiki Co., and the nonprofit organization 3D Society. The group is developing a new sensing system with the financial support of the Kanto regional branch of the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, in cooperation with the Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, the Chiba Institute of Technology, and the Tokyo University of Agriculture & Technology.

Last December, the team reported the successful development of sensors for checking banknote holographic patterns, ink fluorescence, microprinting features, and watermarks. For example, the new 10,000 yen note bears the words “NIPPON GINKO” (“Bank of Japan”) printed in microletters, with additional microletters of different sizes included in the background design. One group focused its efforts on a microprinting sensor to analyze these microletter qualities. When a reference pattern is overlaid on a legitimate banknote, a distinct moirĂ© pattern is produced. If however, the note is forged, a blurred, poorly contrasted pattern appears.

Another group used the 3D information provided by intaglio printing, which raises the ink of letters or features much higher than occurs with conventional anastatic printing. This feature is impossible to duplicate or produce using a letter press, an office printer, or a copying machine (see Figure 1). To detect authentic intaglio, the team applied a novel optical 3D profilometry method (ref. 2 and 3) previously used in automotive and semiconductor industrial applications for measuring the 3D profiles of structures, die, bumps, etc. A prototype device incorporating this technology is presently undergoing testing, and a note validator equipped with the new sensors is expected to be commercialized by the end of the year.

Toru Yoshizawa
Department of Biomedical Engineering
Saitama Medical University
Hidaka, Japan

3D Division, Opton Corp.
Seto, Japan

Toru Yoshizawa is a professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Saitama Medical University and a professor emeritus in the Department of Mechanical Systems Engineering at the Tokyo University of Agriculture & Technology. His major research interests are focused on optical metrology with emphasis on 3D profilometry, interferometry, and their applications to mechanical engineering. He also works for Opton Corp. as a technical adviser for the development of optical 3D measuring systems.


1. Security Features of the New Bank of Japan Notes
2. T. Yoshizawa, H. Fujita, Y. Otani, M. Yamamoto, Three-dimensional imaging using liquid crystal grating projection, Proc. SPIE 5202, pp. 30-37, 2003.
3. T. Yoshizawa, T. Wakayama, H. Takano, Applications of a MEMS scanner to profile measurement, Proc. SPIE 6762, pp. 67620B, 2007.

Thomas M. Flynn Collection of U.S. and Canadian Currency

By Heritage Auctions on Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Dallas, TX. The entire, renowned Thomas M. Flynn Collection of U.S. and Canadian Currency, including more than 1,000 large size notes encompassing nearly every Friedberg number from one through 1225, will be offered with no reserves by Heritage Auction Galleries. The collection will be offered as part of the official auction of the Central States Numismatic Society convention April 16 through April 18 in Rosemont, Illinois at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 555 North River Road, a stone’s throw from O’Hare International Airport.

Tom Flynn has been a familiar face to nearly everyone in the currency field for more than four decades. He started collecting United States currency in the mid-1960’s and expanded his collecting focus to include Canadian currency a few years later. Unlike most collectors of his day, who were content to collect by seal type or signature combination, Tom’s horizons were much wider, as he soon decided his goal would be to own an example of every United States note issued by Friedberg number and every Canadian note issued by Charlton number. While no collection can ever be complete, Tom pursued his dream with passion for more than four decades, with truly marvelous results.

Comprising over one thousand notes encompassing nearly every Friedberg number from 1 through 1225, Tom’s large size note holdings include a plethora of rarities. A listing of highlights would be far too numerous to mention, however, the range of notes is spectacular, from a high grade $100 Watermelon pedigreed to the collection of Amon Carter, Jr., to a $50 National Gold Bank Note, which, by coincidence, was obtained directly from Amon over thirty years ago. Of special mention is Tom’s complete set of large size Federal Reserve Bank Notes by Friedberg number, the only complete set that has ever been assembled by any collector. Unlike many type note collectors, Tom also acquired National Bank Notes by Friedberg number. Included in his collection are a host of numbers that are simply never seen, with many coming from populations of under five or seven pieces.
Tom was known as a specialist in small size notes, and this section of the collection is replete with rarities as well. From the 1933 $10 Silver Certificate with fancy serial number 999 to the many low number Federal Reserve Bank Notes, small size collectors will have a field day in obtaining trophy items which have been off the market for decades. While Tom never made an attempt to acquire star notes by Friedberg number, a significant number of rare stars will be offered as well, including such items as an uncirculated $1 1928D Silver Certificate, and an R and S star pair as well.

The collection also includes a set of Fractional Currency by Friedberg number (although this set is less complete than Tom’s other collecting ventures) as well as a complete set of regular issue Military Payment Certificates.

Tom’s other love was Canadian currency, and this collection is likely the best ever offered at public auction in this country. Not only are many Dominion and Bank of Canada rarities present, but Tom’s collection of Canadian Chartered Bank Notes (a field akin to United States National Bank Notes) is easily the best auctioned anywhere in the past two decades. Included are plate notes from the Charlton reference, high grade examples, and notes from banks so rare they are available only when the collections of major specialists are dispersed. For collectors of Canadian currency, this is easily the event of the year and perhaps of the decade.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

"D. B. Cooper" Skyjacking Ransom Notes Certified

PCGS Currency News
February 13, 2008

(Newport Beach, California) – Nearly two dozen $20 denomination notes from the infamous 1971 “D. B. Cooper” skyjacking have been certified by PCGS Currency on behalf of the owner who found them a quarter-century ago.

The bills belong to Brian Ingram, 36, of Mena, Arkansas who was eight years old in 1980 when he found the only ransom cash ever recovered from the infamous skyjacking.

“Even though the notes were damaged from apparently being in the Columbia River for years, we were able to match serial numbers with those on the FBI’s list of the $200,000 in $20 bills the skyjacker had when he jumped from the jetliner. There was even a Series 1963A star note,” said Laura A. Kessler, Vice President of PCGS Currency ( of Newport Beach, California, who headed the certification team.

Kessler carefully separated some of the notes and note fragments that were affixed together for decades, revealing serial numbers or Federal Reserve District seals.

Ingram plans to keep one note and sell the rest. Some of the notes will be displayed for the public to see in person for the first time at the Long Beach, California Coin, Stamp & Collectibles Expo in the Long Beach Convention Center, February 14 – 16, 2008.

“This is the only identifiable group of United States currency that can be directly linked to such an historic and infamous event. The only comparison of such significance would possibly be the Lindbergh ransom money, but none of those notes is known to have survived for collectors today, said PCGS Currency President Jason W. Bradford.

Ingram personally brought the notes to California for certification and will attend the opening of the Long Beach Expo on Thursday, February 14.

“I was eight years old and on vacation with my parents on February 10, 1980, when I found about $5,800 of the ransom money along the banks of the Columbia River near Vancouver, Washington,” Ingram recalled.

“We were going to make a fire along the river bank. I was on my hands and knees smoothing out the sand with my right arm, and I uncovered three bundles of money just below the surface. My uncle thought we should throw it in the fire.”

His family turned the money over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Eventually, the FBI returned 25 bills to them along with dozens of fragments that contained little or no trace of serial numbers. Most of the notes have lightly written initials of FBI agents who inventoried and examined the items soon after they were discovered by Ingram.

Ingram carefully kept the notes for decades in the protective pages of photo albums.

A specially made PCGS Currency holder insert was created for the certified notes. The encapsulation insert depicts the famous 1971 artist’s sketch of the sunglasses-wearing skyjacker and includes the words, “D. B. Cooper 1971 Ransom Money.” Illustrated certificates of authenticity, signed by Ingram, Bradford and Kessler, are being prepared for each of the notes.

No grades are being assigned because of the deteriorated condition of the notes, and, therefore, they will not appear in the PCGS Currency Population Report. An inventory of the certified money will be available later.

No trace has ever been found of the skyjacker, known as “Dan Cooper” or “D. B. Cooper,” or any other money he had when he parachuted in a rainstorm from a Northwest Airlines 727 jetliner over rugged terrain somewhere between Seattle, Washington and Reno, Nevada on November 24, 1971.