The results are in from the Spring 2019 Baltimore Stack’s Bowers auction, and the large size notes demanded collectors’ attention. This was especially true of Lot 4037, which was the “only privately held 1891 $1000 ‘Marcy’ Silver Certificate.” Known as “The King of Silver Certificates,” it was PCGS graded VF25.
The initial estimate for the lot was $2-3 million. While it fell short of that estimate, it still cost a pretty penny at $1.92 million. This note is known as the “Marcy Note” because of the portrait of William L. Marcy that appears at right on the note. It was a featured item of the Joel R. Anderson Collection.
According to Stack’s Bowers, the piece once set the world record in 2013 for the highest price ever paid for paper money at $2.6 million. In 2013, however, it was sold by private treaty. This is the first time that the note has ever gone to auction.
Besides this note, two more sold for over $1 million. One of them is the 1869 $500 “Rainbow” Legal Tender Note with a PCGS grading Currency Choice About New 55 PPQ. This note also sold under the estimated price range of $1.5-2.5 million, instead selling at $1,440,000. According to Stack’s Bowers, only “89,360 examples were printed and today only three are known to exist.”
With the other two residing in the Smithsonian and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, this note with serial number N48792 “is the only 1869 $500 Legal Tender Note in private hands.” It is also the one in the finest condition.
Rounding out the top three was the 1869 $1000 “Rainbow” Legal Tender Note with a PCGS grading Currency About New 53. It sold at exactly the same price as the 1869 $500 “Rainbow” Legal Tender Note at $1,440,000.
This note, with serial number 29763 from plate C, is one of only two known to exist. The other example from plate D is “forever held in the collection of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.”
For full auction results, visit www.stacksbowers.com.
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