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Notes performed well at Long Beach

By Bill Brandimore


Word from the Heritage Auctions’ sale at Long Beach, Calif., is in, and the auction seemed well-received. Collectors were willing to pay solid prices for notes, although notes with problems were heavily discounted.

If you’re bidding in auctions and are not interested in value growth, but just want some nice-looking notes, explore lots without EPQ or PPQ, and especially focus on notes with repair notations. They look really nice, but are the work of persons eager to fool collectors. The fact is, third-party graders don’t miss much. So there are bargains out there, but know that they will be a tough sell later on.

If you’ve thought of pressing out a fold or erasing a pencil mark, be aware that your note is worth more as is than with your improvements.

I also believe that the same note quality will frequently sell for less in the Internet-only outlets than in the main auction. You still get to compete with other buyers, but you have a greater chance of getting a bargain. Patience is the best bidder’s trait.

Also, double check your want list. I recently had a friend call me to tell me that he had once again bought a note he already had. He forgot to cross it off his want list.

Unfortunately I have made the same mistake. If you’re not getting any younger, check your records, or take a list with you to the show or the auction. Mark your catalog accordingly and avoid mistakes.

Speaking of shows, the Michigan state show is coming up the Friday after Thanksgiving. If you live within driving distance of this show, it’s worth your while to check it out. It will be held at Macomb Community College, Expo Center - South Campus, 14500 E. 12 Mile Rd., Warren, Mich.

This show has always featured a nice selection of U.S. paper, although it’s a bit light on world currency.

I had the pleasure of giving a talk at the Birmingham, Mich., coin club on Sept. 20. It was a nice meeting, with about 20 folks in attendance, and included a short auction. If your club is within reasonable driving distance of metro Detroit, I’d be happy to visit your club also.

If you don’t belong to a club, give it some thought as the company of other collectors can be very rewarding. Clubs and books add a wide amount of enjoyment and information.

Do you visit online auctions? This can be a nice source for interesting additions to your collection. It also will give you a good feel for the market. I had to be brought kicking and screaming into the Internet era. But now that I’m here, it’s pretty neat.

If you haven’t explored the Newman Portal on the Internet, you’re missing out. Find it at and be impressed. More and more appears every time I go there.

The Numismatists of Wisconsin and the Paper Money Collectors of Michigan publications are among the latest additions, and the Fractional Currency Collectors Board is getting ready to join. Rare out of print books can also be found there. Check it out.

In the mean time, I’d enjoy your questions and comments. Contact me at

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

More Collecting Resources

• The Standard Catalog of United States Paper Money is the only annual guide that provides complete coverage of U.S. currency with today’s market prices.

• When it comes to specialized world paper money issues, nothing can top the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, Specialized Issues .