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Goldfield notes never circulated

Certified proof. Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Accession number: NU*297219.

Certified proof. Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Accession number: NU*297219.

By Peter Huntoon

I profiled the 150 sheets of 10-10-10-20 brown backs sent to The First National Bank of Goldfield, Iowa – the only notes the bankers received – in my April 2018 "Proof of the Month" column because those 600 notes represented the fifth-smallest total sent to an Iowa bank during the note-issuing era and because Goldfield is such an unexpected town name for Iowa.

Steve Sweeney, co-author of Iowa National Bank Notes, advised that he thought none of the notes were put into circulation. I dug out the ledger page for the bank at the National Archives and confirmed that he was correct.

The bank was organized May 12, 1900, and the bankers received their charter on May 26 upon depositing $7,500 to secure their circulation. Their 10-10-10-20 plate was certified Aug. 16, and 150 sheets were shipped to them on Sept. 4.

They decided to liquidate their bank on Sept. 20 and reorganize under a state charter as Bank of Goldfield, so they returned their sheets, which were logged into the redemption ledger on Oct. 6 as 450 $10s and 150 $20s. Next to those totals is written “no issue.” It doesn’t get more definitive than that!

Thus, the Goldfield bankers joined a select club of national bankers who returned their entire stock of notes before circulating any. Membership in that club included The Kidder National Gold Bank of Boston, Mass., and The First National Bank of Paia, Territory of Hawaii. Too bad for collectors.

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

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