Century-old Fairbanks Alaska five dollar note
coming to auction
A rare early National
Bank Note from Fairbanks, Alaska, with prestigious serial number
and a pedigree from the family of the city's namesake, leads
the offerings in Heritage Auctions' ANA
Currency Signature Auction
, the official auction of the 2012
ANA National Money ShowSM in Dallas, Oct. 17-23.
1902 Red Seal $5 National Bank Note, Fr. 587, First National Bank
of Fairbanks, Apparent Choice New 63, was issued in 1905 along
with $10 and $20 denominations. The city of Fairbanks was named for
a then-U.S. Senator from Indiana, Charles W. Fairbanks, who had
been a key participant in the 1898 negotiations over the border
between Alaska and Canada. The high-grade, low-serial-number note
comes directly from the family of Charles W. Fairbanks, a striking
pedigree that gives an already rare piece of currency even more
importance. The estimate is $200,000+.
A major Featured Collection of U.S. currency auction, The John
Henderson Collection, contains a number of important highlights.
Chief among them is a Fr.
2221-K $5000 1934 Federal Reserve Note, PCGS Very Choice New
. One of seven such notes discovered and offered to
discerning private collectors in 2006, this example with two-digit
serial number 55A is offered at public auction for the first time
with an estimate of $120,000+.
proof for the Fr. 202 $5000 1863 Interest Bearing Note, a
design unknown in issued form, is a rare opportunity to own a
seldom-seen Friedberg number. A fascinating allegorical design with
a woman dropping a pendant into a burning altar bearing George
Washington's portrait adds further interest. The proof is estimated
Further important Federal Reserve currency includes the unique
788a 1915 $5 Atlanta note
with Bell - McCord signatures, PMG
Very Fine 25, estimate $50,000+; a Fr.
1132-G $500 1918 note
from Chicago, PCGS Extremely Fine 40,
estimate $40,000+, and a Fr.
1133-L $1,000 1918 note
from San Francisco, PMG About
Uncirculated 55, estimate $50,000+.
Historic Gold Certificates also are among the highlights. A
1180 $20 "Technicolor" 1905, PMG Gem Uncirculated 65 EPQ, bears
an estimate of $35,000+. A Fr.
1220 $1000 1922 certificate, PMG Choice Very Fine 35 Net, has
an estimate of $40,000+.
Among the noteworthy Legal Tender notes up for bid are a Fr.
161 $50 1880
, PMG Gem Uncirculated 66 EPQ, part of The John
Henderson Collection, estimated at $30,000+, and a Fr.
187j $1,000 1880
, PCGS Apparent Fine 12, with estimate of
An additional Western first-serial-number Red Seal National Bank
588 1902 $5 from The Morgan County National Bank in Fort
Morgan, Colorado, PMG About Uncirculated 55 Net, is estimated at
$25,000+, while a Fr.
382 Original "Ace" from The Wyoming National Bank, Laramie
City, Wyoming Territory, PMG Very Good 10 Net, is one of three
known and is estimated at $37,500+.
This auction is open for bidding now at www.HA.com/currency.
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Seldom Seen Selections: Proof 1849 Gold Dollar,
Open Wreath, No L
The debate over proof 1849 No L, Open Wreath gold dollars boils
down to a four-word question that only seems simple: "What makes a
PCGS has certified no 1849 gold dollars as proofs, but NGC has
certified two. The PR64
Cameo example in
Dallas Signature Auction was the first to be certified, as it
is mentioned in the first (2006) edition of Garrett and Guth,
whereas the PR62 specimen also in the Census Report goes
unmentioned and so must have been certified later. Based on the
Star designation, NGC recognizes this coin's eye appeal and quality
by proof standards, which crystallizes how strongly NGC felt about
the topic when it encapsulated the piece.
Perhaps the only universal criterion for "proof" in U.S.
numismatics is the intent to make a special coin. While there are
varying degrees of quality for regular-issue or business-strike
coins, a proof is meant to be set apart from those peers -- apart
and above. That said, the difference between a quality "prooflike"
business strike and a true proof can be hard to discern, and the
farther back in U.S. numismatic history one goes, the hazier the
boundary gets. This is especially true in the pre-1858 era, when
proof production was irregular and many protocols that apply to
later 19th century issues were not in place.
Further complicating matters for the 1849 No L, Open Wreath gold
dollar proofs is that the mintage was relatively small and many
coins were saved, so the proportion of "prooflike" survivors is
high — muddling the question of whether true proofs exist. The one
coin that has the most published acceptance of any claimed proof
1849 gold dollar ("unquestioned" according to Bowers,
"indisputable" per Garrett and Guth in their Encyclopedia of U.S.
Gold Coins), acquired in 1849 and now in the National Numismatic
Collection of the Smithsonian Institution, has been harshly cleaned
on the reverse; effectively, it is called a proof based on one
side's "prooflikeness," for its acquisition the same year it was
struck is mere circumstantial evidence.
The existence of proof 1849 No L, Open Wreath gold dollars
rarely has been in question, even as the statuses of various coins
have come under scrutiny. Mint records do not indicate the striking
of any proofs, but as the historical record shows for other coins,
this is hardly a disqualifier. Walter Breen gave multiple estimates
of the number of proofs extant, never more than a dozen; David
Akers too evolved with time, from "seven to eight" with two auction
appearances in his landmark book series from the 1970s to "nine or
10" in his 1984 cataloging of a coin he believed to be a proof.
The overriding question for the example in our Dallas auction is
not "What makes a proof?" but rather "What else could this coin
be?" The deep mirrors, pale sun-yellow or glossy "black" depending
on the angle of the light, do not suggest a "prooflike" trick but
an honest attempt at making a coin special; the same goes for the
frost on Liberty's portrait, the 13 stars around that show complete
centers (!), and the reverse wreath. Light linear flaws through the
letters ITE of UNITED suggest die cracks, but this alone has little
bearing on the coin's seeming proof status. Three parallel
depressions between the left ribbon end and the U of UNITED may
serve as a pedigree marker.
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Website Tips: Adding images
of items to MyCollection
The Heritage "MyCollection"
feature allows you to link your collectable automatically to any
image you choose.
To link an image to your item, go to its listing within
Click on the corresponding link.
This will bring up a menu that will allow you to edit specific
information corresponding to your coin.
On the right side of this page are two boxes entitled "Image
One" and "Image Two". To get your picture to appear, just click on
the browse button and find the image. For space reasons, images are
limited to 2 MB each.
To save the images and any other changes, click on the Update
button. Once you go back to your collection listings, you will see
the image(s) appear.
Of course, once you have started up any collection under
MyCollection, any item that you have ever bought directly
from Heritage will be automatically added to your
MyCollection. You need do nothing more in order to have a
complete listing of these items, including purchase price and
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This Week's Top Ten
The ten most valuable patterns to be sold in Heritage
1874 Bickford Ten Dollar, Judd-1373, R.8, PR65 Deep Cameo PCGS.
Sold for $1,265,000.
1792 One Cent, Judd-1, Pollock-1, High R.6, MS61 Brown PCGS.
Sold for $1,150,000.
1879 Liberty Head Quintuple Stella, Judd-1643, Low R.7, PR62
PCGS. Sold for $862,500.
1792 Disme, Judd-10, High R.6, PR62 Brown NGC. Sold for
1792 One Cent, Judd-2, Low R.7, VF30 PCGS. Sold for
1877 Fifty Dollar, Judd-1549, R.7, PR67 Brown NGC. Sold for
1915 Panama-Pacific Half Dollar in Gold, Judd-1960, R.8, PR64
NGC. Sold for $460,000.
1875 Sailor Head Ten Dollar, Judd-1443, R.8, PR64 NGC. Sold for
1878 Liberty Head Half Eagle, Judd-1570, Unique, PR65 PCGS.
Sold for $402,500.
1792 One Cent, Judd-1, High R.6, VF30 NGC. Sold for
A repeat appearance of one coin has been omitted. Coins commonly
collected along with regular issues, most notably gold Stellas,
have also been omitted.
Do you have a suggestion for a future top ten list? Send
it to us!
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