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Reader's Showcase: Georgia Series of 1902 Red Seal


Ardent Georgia national bank note collector and dealer Bobbie Mills won this significant number 1 Georgia Series of 1902 red seal from a recent Stack’s Bowers sale. It is only the second Georgia number 1 red seal recorded in the National Currency Foundation census. The other is a $10 from The First National Bank of Fort Valley (7459) with provenance to the Grinnell sale in 1946, and has not been seen since. Interestingly, the Hawkinsville bank was small, having a circulation of $50,000 and a rather short life, being liquidated in 1924. The note carries good penned signatures of W. N. Parsons, president, and Morgan Thompson, cashier. 

Hawkinsville, a rural town of about 4,600 people and the seat of Pulaski County, is located 130 miles south-southeast of Atlanta. It was named for Benjamin Hawkins, a delegate to the Continental Congress. 

The fact is, number 1 red seals are currently seriously underrepresented for a state with the number of issuing banks as Georgia. A total of 396 number 1 red seals of all denominations were issued from Georgia banks. 

The Hawkinsville bankers consumed 2,600 sheets of 10-10-10-20 red seals, which is 2.6 times their circulation, meaning that even before the red seal era for them was over, most of the red seals they received were replacements for red seals that wore out in circulation.