By Peter Huntoon
The territorial census just increased by one when this breathtaking Colorado territorial was unearthed in Washington state and was consigned to Manifest Auctions. It ranks as the most exciting territorial find of the year because it is from a scarce territorial bank in a scarce territory and, as you can see it is uncirculated with superb paper quality, strong color and bold bank signatures.
There are now 81 reported Colorado territorials. This one is the equal or better of all the $5s that have been reported. As icing on the cake, it is by far from the smallest Colorado Territory bank from which a high grade Original/1875 series note is reported.
Only $5s were circulated by The First National Bank of Colorado Springs during the Original/1875 series period, which for the bank lasted from 1875 to 1895.
Colorado was granted statehood on Aug. 1, 1876. However, no policy was in force then to cause the alteration of existing territorial Lacey authorized his clerks in 1890 to order alterations on an as-needed basis for the few Colorado territorial plates that were still in use in order to convert them into state plates. When the existing stocks of sheets from those territorial plates became depleted, the clerks simultaneously ordered both the alterations and additional sheets from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
Five territorial plates for five Colorado banks were so altered. The first was the 5-5-5-5 Series of 1875 plate for The First National Bank of Colorado Springs (2179), which was certified March 26, 1890.
A total of 6,428 sheets of Series of 1875 5-5-5-5s were issued through the bank, and the changeover sheet serials between the territory and state notes was 4975/4976. The sheet serial on this discovery is 3958.
By the way, there is another one of these notes that have been reported, a tattered less than very good specimen in the ANA museum collection in Colorado Springs.
The note consigned to Manifest Auctions is scheduled for auction on Oct. 24.
This article was originally printed in Bank Note Reporter.
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