World currency sales were alive and well and thriving at the ANA convention.
Results from Heritage Auctions’ World Currency Platinum Night sale held on Aug. 17 are impressive. The total realized was $1,349,640, of which 40 lots made five-figure sums with one surpassing a six-figure amount.
Remarkably, nine out of the top 10 lots came from “The Feeling Good Collection” – the result of five decades of dedicated collecting whose primary goal was to seek out the very best of notes with respect to both design and condition.
As suspected pre-sale, the top-priced lot was the gorgeous Zanzibar Government false color 20 rupees specimen dated 1 January 1908 (P-4cs). The intaglio print on this example is black, unlike the green used on issued notes with an underprint in golden yellow and pink.
All examples of Zanzibar’s first and only note issue are rare in any condition. This example came in a most desirable PMG Gem Uncirculated 65 EPQ, and it is perhaps little wonder it was bid up to $108,000 on a starting bid of $50,000.
Two Iraqi issues featured among the top-ten high rollers. First up was a specimen 10 dinars of 1 July 1931 featuring King Faisal I (P-5s). In PMG Gem Uncirculated 66 EPQ, it had no trouble achieving $43,200.
The second note was an issued 1/2 dinar of 1947 of King Faisal II (P-28). Also graded Gem Uncirculated 66 EPQ, it made an easy $25,200.
And the ubiquitous Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation was to the fore. It firstly featured a $5 of 1 January 1923 (P-166). High-grade notes of this popular series are always in demand, and this example came in PCGS Choice About New 55 PPQ. Rarity plus condition are all that is necessary to explain the $40,800 price.
Two other HKSB top sellers were both issues from the bank’s Tientsin branch. The first was a $5 of 1 January 1901 (P-S378). In PMG About Uncirculated 55 EPQ, it sold for $22,800. The second was also a $5 but of 1 June 1907 (P-S381). It made $22,200 in PMG Choice Extremely Fine 45 EPQ.
The rare Deutsch-Ostafrikanische Bank 500 rupien of 2 September 1912 (P-5) was always expected to attract attention. Like all other “Feeling Good” notes, the grade was in the good-as-they-come category. Hence PMG About Uncirculated 53 EPQ explains the record $36,000 price tag. A Very Fine 20 example realized $10,200 last year.
Japan also featured in a new record price. A 200-yen ND (1927) specimen (P-37Bs) took $33,600 in PMG Gem Uncirculated 66 EPQ. All 200-yen notes of this series are rare today. They were printed as insurance against bank runs during the Showa Financial Crisis of 1927. Very few were ever issued. Specimens are among the few examples available, with gem examples seldom seen. The last sold by Heritage came from the Dr. Norman Jacobs Collection in 2011. In About Uncirculated 50 EPQ, it realized $19,550.
Coming in at $22,800 was a rare Costa Rica 10 colones of 5 February 1929 (P-189B). This is one of the only two denominations of this date printed by Thomas De La Rue. At this time, most Costa Rican notes were produced by ABNC. There is suggestion that TDLR-printed notes were a trial or reserve series. That on offer came in a superb PCGS Gem New 66 PPQ.
The sole note not from “The Feeling Good Collection” in the top 10 was a Reserve Bank of New Zealand £50 of 1 August 1934 (P-157). Although graded just PMG Very Fine 25 Net and with a minor split, the redeeming feature of the lot was its low serial number T000037. This saw it score a comfortable $21,600.
Prices are online at www.ha.com.
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