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Arizona Territory Red Seal $5 found

By Peter Huntoon

Feast your eyes on this fabulous note that just came in from the cold from Arizona territory! This $5 Series of 1902 Red Seal from The Globe National Bank is huge news because it is the very first $5 Red Seal reported from the Territory of Arizona from the only bank that issued them.

Sensational first-reported $5 Series of 1902 Red Seal from the Territory of Arizona. This Globe note was shipped to the bank from the Comptroller of the Currency’s office on March 16, 1907, in the first shipment of $5s consisting of 5-5-5-5 sheets 1 through 830.

The discovery of this type from this bank has been up there at the pinnacle of my dream list for decades. Manning Garrett of Stack’s Bowers reeled it in.

It has surprisingly nice grade for such an improbable find. The note is a clean, well centered, modestly circulated piece with great eye appeal.

There were a total of 27 note-issuing banks in Arizona, of which 18 issued territorials. Only nine received Series of 1902 red seals. All issued from 10-10-10-20 sheets, but only the Globe National utilized $5s. Only 1,250 sheets of them (5,000 notes) were printed and issued.

There were two national banks in Globe, The First National and The Globe National, with the Globe National being the shortest lived and smaller. It operated for less than four years, from Apr. 25, 1906, to Jan. 11, 1910, when it was absorbed by The First National Bank. In contrast, The First National operated from 1903 until 1924 before being reorganized as the Copper Cities Bank under a state charter.

The circulation of The Globe National Bank was $50,000 during its life, whereas the circulation of The First National was $100,000.

Globe was a major copper mining town, with fierce banking competition in 1907 in the form of the Old Dominion Commercial Co. (1896), The First National Bank (1903) – formerly Bank of Globe (1899), a branch of the Gila Valley Bank and Trust Company (1904) – formerly Miners and Merchants Bank of Globe (1903), and Globe Bank & Savings Co. (1907). The foregoing dates were when the various enterprises were organized.

The Globe National was the fifth on the scene, having been organized by Abijah G. Smith. Smith was one of the founders of the Gila Valley Bank and Trust Company, who resigned in 1906 to organize the competing Globe National. The Globe National Bank was organized Apr. 12, 1906, and received its charter April 25.

It wasn’t clear sailing for Smith at The Globe National. The bank fell victim to the Panic of 1907 and was declared insolvent on Nov. 9. Globe was a major copper mining town, and the economy there took a hit during the Panic of 1907. The panic was triggered by a failed attempt in October by speculators to corner the market on the stock of the United Copper Company – not a Globe firm. This brought down the Knickerbocker Trust Company, New York’s third largest trust, and the price of copper fell through the floor. The contagion spread across the economy and nation, wherein the stock market fell 50% from the previous year high, liquidity vanished, and banks across the country failed right and left.

Both the Globe National Bank and First National Bank of Globe suspended in the face of runs, the Globe National on Nov. 9, 1907, and First National on Nov. 21. Their fundamentals were sound, so both were restored to solvency. The larger and older First National was the first to stagger back to its feet on Feb. 29, 1908, followed by the Globe National on May 23.

There were too many banks in Globe, so the officers of the Globe National sold out to the First National in 1910.

There currently are nine reported 1902 Red Seals from the Territory of Arizona; specifically, seven $10s, one $20, and this $5. The fact that this note is a $5 makes it particularly special. See Table 1.

Prior to 2018, the only reported note from The Globe National was the only known Red Seal $20 from the territory. That note arrived on the market back in the 1960s.


Table 1. Reported Series of 1902 Red Reals from the Territory of Arizona

$10 6579 GlobeFirst NBR573384-2202-A
$10 6591 NogalesSandoval NBA500839-1-A
$10 6591 NogalesSandoval NBA500840-2-A
$10 6591 NogalesSandoval NBA500840-2-C
$10 6591 NogalesFirst NBR14109-809-A
$10 6633 Douglas First NBN552545-1302-A
$10 7182 Bisbee First NBN116138-1084-B
$5 8193 Globe Globe NBK965279-231-A
$20 8193 Globe Globe NBR18850-575-A

Miraculously, a second note turned up on the bank earlier this year, a $5 1902 date back handled by Lyn Knight that also was huge news. The appeal of that note was that it is the first and only $5 1902 date back Arizona territorial to turn up so far.

The fact is, large size $5s on Arizona in general, and on Arizona territory specifically, are prized because the numbers issued were small. Consequently, they constitute a small faction of the large size survivors. Table 2 contains the counts by type.


Table 2. Number of reported Arizona large size notes by type and denomination.

Arizona Territory

1875 4
1882 Brown Back 48,400
1882 Date Back 31,110
1902 Red Seal 171
1902 Date Back 17,210


This article was originally printed in Bank Note Reporter. >> Subscribe today.


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