Tuesday, March 20, 2018

115-year old Blair bank note to be auctioned



A $10 bill went a long way in 1905.

Just to get some perspective, a 10 spot at the turn of the 20th century would be equivalent to $270 in 2018. Today, that's half a month’s rent, a weeks worth of groceries or one exceptionally bad hand at the blackjack table.

It's a lot of money, but it's peanuts when compared to how much a 1905 $10 bank note from Blair might bring at auction this week.

The $10 bill was recently found in an estate in San Francisco, Calif. There's only speculation as to how it wound up so far from home. What is known is it was handed down from an in-home nurse who worked in the Beverly Hills area.

"We think the most likely thing would be that the person she was caring for came from Blair and either had no relatives or had a special connection with this caretaker," said Manning Garrett, the director of currency auctions for Stacks Bowers Galleries, which is handling the sale.

The note is exceedingly rare according to Garrett, who said its value stems from multiple factors.

"It's kind of a perfect storm of desirability," he said.

It is one of two notes in existence from the Blair National Bank, which opened in 1905 and operated for 10 years. At that time any "national bank" could issue their own currency.

"Some banks, like let's say the National Bank of New York City, issued millions of bank notes and today you can buy one for $40," Garrett said. "But a bank like Blair was serving a much smaller community, so they needed a fraction of the bank notes to meet demand."

The first note that was found from Blair was auctioned in 2009 and sold for just over $12,000. It was what is known as a "blue seal" note, referring to the color of the seal on the bill itself. Blue seal notes were issued from 1908 to 1928. The note up for sale Friday is a red seal, which were only issued from 1902 to 1908, making it much more collectable than the note that was sold in 2009.

The bill is in pristine shape. The red seal is as bright as the day it was issued and the bottom of the bill is signed by the bank's cashier and president in the immaculate cursive everyone from that era seemed to have. These signatures add to the rarity.

"When banks first opened, bankers were of course very proud of their money and they'd take the time to individually sign each bank note," Garrett said. "But at a certain point, you'd get tired of signing every note so a lot of banks would have a stamp of their signature made up."

These stamps used cheap ink that would fade to almost nothing in a matter of years, decreasing the value of the note. Signed notes on the other hand, retain their signatures quite well.

The most astounding thing about the bill is the simple fact that it still exists. Most bills were swapped out when the newer blue seals were issued beginning in 1908.

“Everyone wanted their money to be as fresh as possible,” Garrett said. “So, if someone brought in a raggedy old red seal from five or 10 years ago, they’d swap it out for a fresh blue seal and send the old one off to Washington D.C., to be destroyed.”

Even if they managed to avoid the incinerator, red seals had to be passed down for generations without being thrown out or spent. This included surviving the 1929 stock market crash and the subsequent depression, when bankers lost more money than anyone and $10 might’ve been the difference between an empty stomach and a full one.

“It was tough to hold on to a $10 bill in ’29 if you were broke,” Garrett said. “Even after that, these notes had to get through two generations until the 1960s when this stuff started to become collectable.”

Garrett said the existence of this bill means someone recognized its potential a long time ago.

“Really for something like this to be around today, someone in the early 1900s had to understand its importance and then relay that importance for 80 years,” Garrett said. “And now, finally it has collector value and other people start to appreciate it.”

On Friday, the bill will be auctioned live in Baltimore and simultaneously online and via phone. Garrett said many of those vying for the bill will be local collectors.

“Most collectors specialize in a state,” he said. “So, you’re going to have collectors from Nebraska looking to add a note from Blair to their collection.”

The starting bid for the note is $7,500. It has an estimated value online of $12,000 to$17,000. But Garrett said if the right two or three collectors are interested in this piece, the final bid could be upward of $40,000.

And just in case that leaves someone wondering how much $40,000 would be worth in 1905 — that’d be $1,057,836.45.


Article courtesy Casey L. Sill, Washington County Pilot-Tribune & Enterprise Mar 20, 2018


Monday, March 19, 2018

Switzerland to release 200 franc note of the new series in August 2018



The hi-tech banknote with a design showcasing Swiss technology will be unveiled on August 15th and go into circulation a week later, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) said in a statement on Monday.

The note - the final design of which is still under wraps - will join the stylish new 10-franc, 20-franc and 50-franc notes that have been gradually rolled out over the last two years.

Each note in the state-of-the-art new series depicts a characteristic of Switzerland, illustrated by various graphic elements including a hand and the globe, which appear on every note.

For the 200-franc note, it is Switzerland’s technological side which will be featured.

The heavy-duty 1,000-franc note and the 100-franc note are expected to be released in 2019, the SNB said late last year.

The new Swiss notes have “state-of-the-art anti-counterfeiting protection” which includes design features that can only be seen under a microscope or using UV light.

Older banknotes from the eighth series, released in 1995, will remain legal tender until further notice.



Sunday, March 11, 2018

Canada unveiled a new 10 dollar polymer banknote featuring an iconic woman


The Bank of Canada unveiled a new 10 dollar polymer banknote featuring Civil Rights pioneer Viola Desmond.

Desmond will be the first black person and first woman with no royal blood to appear on a Canadian banknote.

In 1946 she sat in the "Whites only" section of a cinema in New Glasgow. For that she was arrested and fined.

Her act of defiance preceded Rosa Parks by 11 years, but only recently she has been recognized for her actions.



Saturday, March 10, 2018

Thailand unveiled a new series of banknotes depicting King Rama X


The Bank of Thailand unveiled a new series of bank notes depicting the country's new King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun (Rama X).

The 20, 50 and 100 Baht notes will be released on the 236th Anniversary of the founding of the Chakra dynasty April 6, 2018. The 500 and 1,000 Baht will be issued on the King's birthday July 28, 2018.