The Mike Coltrane collection auction began with an amazing assortment of 19 War of 1812 era notes. Most sold in 5 or more figures with a Unique note issued from Savannah, Georgia bringing $132,000. These notes are rarely seen, and I would guess that you would not see one on the floor of a major show. The Large Size notes in the auction reflected an effort to secure as many Friedberg numbers as possible in early Demand Notes and early Legal Tender notes with a good assortment of five, ten, twenty, fifty and one- hundred-dollar denominations. Included in Federal Reserve Bank Notes was a St Louis $50 Federal Reserve Bank Note, Fr.150, that realized $33,500. The trend of multiple Friedberg numbers continued through Silver Certificates and Gold notes. A $20 National Gold Bank Note on Charter 2193, the First National Gold Bank of Petaluma, California in XF 45 (a condition almost unheard of in National Gold Banks) sold for $204,000 with buyer’s premium. The collection also included an Original Series $100 New England National Bank of Boston note that brought $21,200 in a well- worn PMG Very Fine 20 holder. The group also included an Albuquerque, New Mexico $100 1882 Date back, one of only 7 known of such Date backs, which sold for $11,400.
High denomination notes were strewn within the collection in Legal Tenders, Silver Certificates, Gold Notes and Federal Reserve notes. This included the Rare St. Louis $50 Federal Reserve Bank Note in PMG Extra Fine 45, which was hammered at $37,200. Speaking of Federal Reserve Bank Notes, there was an impressive array of $1, $2, $10 and $20 FRNBs leading up to the St. Louis $50. A $1 Minneapolis FRBN Fr,735* in Extra Fine realized $13,200; a $10 Atlanta FRBN, Fr.811 in Very fine 20 brought $6,666 and a $10 on Kansas. Fr. 817a. brought home $13,200. Realizing $30,00 was a $20 FRBN, Fr.830. The extensive group of Fractional didn’t live up to expectations, perhaps because of several comprehensive collections auctioned off earlier this year. Less than Gem Fractional notes have been bargains in recent months. Two notes stood out, however, a Fifteen cent 4th issue Fr.1271 in Gem 65 realized $660, as did another Fifteen cent note, Fr.1267, also in Gem. Both notes were ideally centered. This is very unusual in these Fifteen centers. Other notes of the fourth Issue, 10 and$25 cent notes also perform well when well centered. The Lincoln Fifty centers seemed to underperform as three choice uncirculated examples of Fr. 1374 brought $630, $576 and $432 respectively. There wasn’t much action this time around in small Size, as this collection did not focus on that area. I see ups and downs in Federal Reserve notes. When they’re hot, they’re hot, when they’re not, they’re not.
World notes continue to grow in popularity. It seems that all the auction houses are conducting auctions in this area. Queen Elizabeth and colorful South American notes seem to be appealing to a larger audience. It will be interesting to see how prices behave with a number of Big Shows on the horizon. I hope to get to the Chicago World’s Fair of money. I’m also planning ahead to get down to the FUN show in January. In the meantime, contact me at email@example.com.