Over 10 days in early August, Stack’s Bowers Galleries conducted five sales of world paper. Two were held at ANA in Denver and three in Hong Kong. The total realized over all five catalogs was $1,313,715.
In the ANA sale one note ruled them all: an extremely rare Philippines 500 pesos Silver Certificate of 1906, P-33c. It is one of just two examples certified by PMG who assigned it a Very Fine 25 Net Rust grade. Certainly the piece had been round the tracks but for Philippine collectors it is a key note. Its desirability was clearly demonstrated when it was bid-up to $39,950 on its $20,000-30,000 estimate.
It was not the top-selling lot on the day. However, it took a group of six 1960s Qatar & Dubai specimens to beat it into second place. The six were false color specimens, one to 100 riyals, P-1cs to -6cs, that graded PMG Gem Uncirculated 66 EPQ to Superb Gem Uncirculated 67 EPQ. With Middle Eastern issues running hot these days it was not unexpected when the six realized $58,750.
The catalog included a Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas 100,000 piso of 1998, P-190, produced to commemorate the Centennial of the First Republic. These large and colorful notes were presented to diplomats and government officials. Few were available to collectors. They are seldom offered at auction. Described as in “Gem Uncirculated” condition it raced to $15,275 on a $15,000-20,000 estimate.
Among other desirable singlet lots was a Canada $5 of 1924, P-35. This is a scarce note in any condition with only a third of printed notes entering circulation. Queen Mary features at the center and the engraved date of May 26, 1924 is that of her birthday. Graded PMG About Uncirculated 50 EPQ, it realized an easy $14,100.
But 10 days later in Hong Kong it was all about China. The appetite for Chinese paper rarities is proving insatiable. If China has not already eclipsed the Middle East bank note market it is at least running neck-to-neck. Three examples of high rollers will have to suffice.
The Qing [Ch’ing] Dynasty led off with a 100,000 cash of Year 8 (1858), P-A8b. This was the highest denomination of this imperial series and is regarded as rarer than the Board of Revenue 50 tael issue. The S-B cataloger reported the last public sale as in 2011. Graded PCGS Extremely Fine 40 PPQ, it took $27,600 on a $20,000-25,000 estimate.
Inevitably bidders were queuing up for one of the early high denominations of the People’s Bank of China. A 5,000 yuan of 1951, P-857Ca, in PCGSBG About Uncirculated 55 had no problems in taking $18,000.
And issues, or even non-issues, of private banks of China are attracting increasing attention. A Shun Yee Bank 100 coppers (NIP) in PMG 25 NET Rust managed a comfortable $13,200.
These are but a taste of the five sales. Full lot details and prices realized can be found at Stack’s Bowers website: www.stacksbowers.com. They are well worth a browse.
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More Collecting Resources
• When it comes to specialized world paper money issues, nothing can top the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, Specialized Issues .
• 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.