Saturday, November 22, 2008

United States $50 1913 Gold Certificate Sold for $28,175.00

Bower and Merena Auction #13140
Baltimore November 18-22, 2008

The highest banknote price realized was a United States $50 1913 Gold Certificate. PCGS graded Gem New 65PPQ. Sold for $28,175.00.

PCGS has certified just 32 of this number in all grades combined, with a scant six reaching the "60" level or higher. This is one of only two to be vetted by PCGS as meriting the coveted 65PPQ designation and not a single note has been certified by them at a higher level. The collector who prizes both rarity and superior condition is the logical buyer for this exceptional note that will immediately enhance the stature of the collection it enters when the hammer falls today. We note a PMG 66 sold by Heritage at its FUN, 2008 auction for $43,125 and a CGA 65 by Lyn Knight at his 2006 Memphis auction for $21,850. Our result today for this well centered premium $50 Gold should fall somewhere in the middle of our estimate. Est. $22,500 - $30,000

The note on the left is not the same one sold. It's the same type but having a much lower grade.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Straits Settlements $50 1925 Note Sold for $11,000

Mavin International Auction 19
Singapore 7 & 8 November 2008

The highest price note sold was a Straits Settlements $50, 24 September 1925, King George V, (P.12a; Tan S12b), serial no. B/5 77904, pressed, small nick top right margin, paper still crisp, good very fine.

Estimated: US$9,500-12,000
Realized: US$11,000

The note on the left is not the same one sold. It's the same type but with a differenr serial number.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Presidential Campaign 2008 Remembered in Banknotes

By Nutmegcollector

I created these novelty notes as memorabilia for the Presidential Campaign of 2008.

Bank of Indiana served state well during its short life

By James Glass
November 8, 2008

In the early years of statehood, Indiana existed without a banking system. The state chartered a couple of banks in Vincennes and Madison had been chartered to issue bank notes for circulation in payment of debts, but they did not last. A national Bank of the United States operated during the 1820s, but it had no branches in Indiana. Trade was often by barter, and there was no easy way for individuals or businesses to obtain loans.

Finally, in 1834, at the urging of Gov. Noah Noble, the Indiana General Assembly chartered a State Bank of Indiana that was a combination of public and private enterprise. The state owned half of the stock in the new bank and loaned private investors about two-thirds the cost of each share purchased. This substantial public expenditure was judged necessary to gain public confidence in the bank and to furnish it with capital for operating, issuing currency notes, and making loans. The state obtained the funds needed to make loans for stock purchases by selling a large bond issue to investors in London. The new bank also had the advantage of being designated a repository for U.S. Treasury revenues. President Andrew Jackson decided to deposit such revenues in state banks being established across the country.

Initially, the State Bank of Indiana consisted of 10 branches in the main cities of the time -- Madison, Lawrenceburg, Richmond, Lafayette, Indianapolis, Terre Haute, Vincennes, Bedford and Evansville. In the late 1830s, three additional branches were created in Fort Wayne, South Bend and Michigan City. The branches had some autonomy, with their own officers and boards of directors, but were also subject to the supervision of the parent bank. Provisions were made for conservative management: Losses by one branch were to be made up by the other branches; the parent bank served to audit the operations of the branches and could close them if deemed prudent; and no legislator or state office-holder could serve on the boards of the branches or parent.

When the state's massive Internal Improvements project of building canals and railroads ran out of funds in the late 1830s, the State Bank, although it had been providing loans for the project, was able to extend enough credit to the state to avoid bankruptcy. During the national Panic of 1837, the State Bank of Indiana was one of the few banking institutions in the country not to default on its obligations. It even made payment of hard money (specie) to the U.S. Treasury when most other banks suspended payment of gold or silver to redeem paper bank notes.

In the 1850s, public resentment of the state's monopoly in banking caused the framers of the 1851 constitution to authorize private banks and forbid state ownership of a bank. The State Bank of Indiana allowed its charter to expire in 1857 and wound up its affairs, paying the state a profit of nearly $3 million. Part of the bank's charter provided that it set aside 121/2 cents of every dividend to create a fund for state public education. During 25 years of existence, the fund underwrote the beginnings of publicly financed schools in Indiana.

Three buildings of the State Bank branches survive, all in the Greek Revival style. One in Terre Haute, at 219 Ohio St., has been restored by John Hesler Sr. and now houses the law offices of Hesler and his son John Hesler II. The younger attorney says the 1836 building is the oldest commercial building in Terre Haute and retains its original banking room with dome overhead.

In New Albany, Develop New Albany Inc. in 1997-98 saved the deteriorated branch building of 1837 at 203 Main St. and restored the exterior and part of the interior. After six years as a banquet facility, the structure is now for sale and features a dining room with a sweeping domed ceiling and skylight.

Finally, in Vincennes, the Indiana State Museum and State Historic Sites recently opened the 1838 branch bank at 112 N. Second St. for guided tours and special events. The old banking room is adorned with six Doric columns standing in a circle. At the rear is a room in which fur trading may have been conducted originally.

• Glass, of Indianapolis, is director of the Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology, Indiana Department of Natural Resources. He can be reached at

Friday, November 7, 2008

Some Interesting FAQs on U. S. Paper Money

By Alan Herbert, Bank Note Reporter
November 04, 2008

Q. I can't believe that the $1 Federal Reserve Notes weren't printed before 1963. I thought they dated back to World War I?

A. There were $1 Federal Reserve Bank Notes beginning with the 1918 series, but not Federal Reserve Notes, which are a different class of note. The year 1963 is correct for the debut of the $1 FRN.

Q. Has Thomas Jefferson's home, Monticello, appeared on any other coins or paper money besides our nickel?

A. There was a Monticello Bank that was organized in 1852 at Charlottsville, Va. Several of the notes issued by this bank carry the design of the north front of Monticello, in a quartering view similar to the original Felix Schlag nickel design. The notes were issued in $1, $2, $5, $6, $7, $8, $9, $10, $20, $50 and $100 denominations.

Q. What is the average amount of coins and paper money that U.S. households have on hand at any given time?

A. A 1985 survey by the Federal Reserve System determined that the average is $100 in coins and paper money per household in the United States. A rather startling figure was also reported. They discovered that about 75 percent of the coins and paper money that is on the government books as outstanding is nowhere to be found. It's a rather big sum, since the estimate is that about $154 billion has "disappeared."

Q. What is the record for the number of times a denomination appears on a printed bank note?

A. Some years ago I ran across the statistics on a prime candidate, the Confederate $10 note of Sept. 2, 1861, depicting an Indian family in the center. It has the word "TEN" repeated 16 times in each of 34 columns, or a total of 544, plus the large "TEN," two Arabic 10s in the lower corners and three Roman "X" numerals, for a total of 550 times. Just imagine what they would have done if they had printed a back design on these notes as well.

Q. How many of the state-chartered banks issued $10,000 notes?

A. The only listing I can find is for the Girard Bank of Philadelphia as being the one such bank to issue that large a note. The bank issued the notes in the 1830s and 1840s. James Haxby's Standard Catalog of U.S. Obsolete Bank Notes, 1782-1866, shows a proof of the note.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

New U. S. Presidents Series Novelty Notes

By Nutmegcollector

I created these notes for fun. They are not legal tender. These notes are known as fun notes, fantasy money, novelty bills or non-negotiable banknotes.

This series includes all the Presidents of the United States from George
Washington to President-elect Barack Obama.

The front features copies of actual signatures of the President and the Vice
President. The back shows the name of the President, term of office, dates of
birth and death.

Barack Obama (1961-)

44th President, 2009-

George Washington (1732-1799)

1st President, 1789-1797

John Adams (1735-1826)

2nd President, 1797-1801

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

3rd President, 1801-1809

James Madison (1751-1836)

4th President, 1809-1817

James Monroe (1758-1831)

5th President, 1817-1825

John Quincy Adams (1767-1848)

6th President, 1825-1829

Andrew Jackson (1767-1845)

7th President, 1829-1837

Martin Van Buren (1782-1862)

8th President, 1837-1841

William Henry Harrison (1773-1841)

9th President, 1841-1841

John Tyler (1790-1862)

10th President, 1841-1845

James Polk (1795-1849)

11th President, 1845-1849

Zachary Taylor (1784-1850)

12th President, 1849-1850

Millard Fillmore (1800-1874)

13th President, 1850-1853

Franklin Pierce (1804-1869)

14th President, 1853-1857

James Buchanan (1791-1868)

15th President, 1857-1861

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

16th President, 1861-1865

Andrew Johnson (1808-1875)

17th President, 1865-1869

Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885)

18th President, 1869-1877

Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893)

19th President, 1877-1881

James Garfield (1831-1881)

20th President, 1881-1881

Chester A. Arthur (1829-1886)

21st President, 1881-1885

Grover Cleveland (1837-1908)

22nd and 24th President, 1885-1889, 1893-1897

Benjamin Harrison (1833-1901)

23rd President, 1889-1893

William McKinley (1843-1901)

25th President, 1897-1901

Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919)

26th President, 1901-1909

William Howard Taft (1857-1930)

27th President, 1909-1913

Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924)

28th President, 1913-1921

Warren G. Harding (1865-1923)

29th President, 1921-1923

Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933)

30th President, 1923-1929

Herbert Hoover (1874-1964)

31st President, 1929-1933

Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945)

32nd President, 1933-1945

Harry S. Truman (1884-1972)

33rd President, 1945-1953

Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969)

34th President, 1953-1961

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)

35th President, 1961-1963

Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1974)

36th President, 1963-1969

Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994)

37th President, 1969-1974

Gerald Ford (1913-2006)

38th President, 1974-1977

Jimmy Carter (1924-)

39th President, 1977-1981

Ronald Reagan (1911-2004)

40th President, 1981-1989

George H. W. Bush (1924-)

41st President, 1989-1993

William J. Clinton (1946-)

42nd President, 1993-2001

George W. Bush (1946-)

43rd President, 2001-2009