by Bill Brandimore
There were no big auctions in July so I focused on moderately priced notes in Heritage weekly auctions. As I mentioned a few columns ago there are good bargains to be had in this venue. One reader emailed me to say he got a good deal on a North Africa $10. This past month I saw some good values on Federal Reserve Notes…some way back in the 28’s, others in more recent notes. The 1969B Federal Reserve Notes seem to be good notes to look for in all denominations and there have been some buys in that area recently. The 1950 E Series, one limited to just a few districts, seemed soft and that is a good thing for collectors, as that is a nice series to mine.
Look for 63 and upgrades in these later districts, but don’t be afraid to settle for Very fines in some of the tougher 1928 and 1934 series notes. Also, you should look for a Schwartz/Lindquist 9th or 10th issue Small size catalog if you don’t already have one. When pursuing FRN’s, Star notes at 640,000 printings and lower are the better notes and more likely to rise in price. Take a look at the population reports at PMG and PCGS/Legacy listings to get further information and listings. Some of the modern issues, such as the 1988A and 1981 $5 Minneapolis notes were 128,000 printings. Surprisingly the 1977A Minneapolis note with a 128,000 printing is readily available. Someone put some away. Those population listings are good in all areas, especially Large Size, as when you see notes with very few high-grade populations you know lower grades have a better chance to grow in value. Your studies will bear fruit when you comb the Tuesday auctions or online sections of major auctions. Just be patient. If I’m lucky I find a note I need every year or two in my FRN collections.
Those Tuesday night auctions also include World Currency and I find myself entranced by the beauty of some really inexpensive notes. American Banknote was in South America in a big way and some of the notes from Mexico. Columbia, Bolivia, and other South American venues really display the quality of those 19th and early 20th century engravers. Those same engravers also worked on Obsolete notes right here in the US. Collecting vignettes can be rewarding and economical if you can live without a Santa Claus or Polar Bear attacking a Whaling boat. I really like those notes, but just can’t invest that much. If you like really unusual items, look into prisoner of war camp notes.
The Military Payment Certificate collectors have a great meeting every Spring. The Festers, as they call themselves have a lot of fun down in Northeast Ohio. I will alert you to the dates for their 2020 meeting when I get them. This is one gathering that presents more than just a small Bourse, but also great programs and fellowship that is worth participating in, much like Memphis and now Kansas City provides. In the meantime, join a club. It introduces you to other collectors and is educational as well. Feel free to contact me by Email. I’m interested in your thoughts. I’m at firstname.lastname@example.org