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Press Release - January 9, 2006

Famed "Del Monte" Note Brings $25,300 at Auction!

Dallas, Texas: The renowned "Del Monte" note, offered at auction by Heritage Galleries & Auctioneers (HG&A) realized $25,300 in their current Signature Auction on January 2, 2006, being in conjunction with the Florida United Numismatists (FUN) Convention in Orlando, Florida. It sold to an anonymous Texas collector.

"This is a very strong price for this exceptional note," said Dustin Johnston, Director of Currency Auctions for HG&A, "and represents more than twice the price realized when the note was originally sold on eBay just a few years ago. There has been quite a lot of interest in this storied issue, and bidding was spirited on the auction floor, due, in no small part, to the exceptional amount of pre-auction publicity that this particular lot received."

"There are few items that create an indelible memory like this unique U.S. Currency error," said Johnston. "This error note really appears to be more of a publicity stunt by a company's fruity advertising department than it is a coincidence. The object is a simple sticker, one that is commonly seen on nearly every bunch of Bananas that makes its way to a grocery's produce section in the U.S. - a banana sticker with the Del Monte logo."

"This colorful error is commonly referred by those in the collecting fraternity as 'The Del Monte Note,' and the story about how this sticker got on this 1996 $20 Federal Reserve Note is as exotic as the Ecuadorian Banana sticker itself. The error is referred to as a 'retained obstruction,' or a note that was printed with a foreign object on the paper. Most obstructions fall off shortly after printing leaving a blank area of paper missing the design, but errors with objects that 'stick' to the note are very rare. Objects seen on other obstruction errors include a Band-Aid, paper fragments, scotch tape, and wood shavings."

"What makes this note truly special," Johnston continued, "is the stage of the printing process at which the sticker affixed itself to the note. United States Currency is essentially printed in three stages: the first printing is the back of the note, the second printing provides the face devices, and the third, final printing includes the Treasury Seal and the serial numbers. When this note was printed at the Fort Worth facility of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, it went through first and second printings before the sticker found its way onto the surface. The sticker's placement is ideal, as it covers part of the second printing details and is overlaid by part of the Treasury Seal and serial number from the third printing."

"Everyone with an interest in currency collecting knows about this note and it is often brought up in conversation," said Johnston. "It is truly a pleasure to see it back in the marketplace stirring up interest in collecting and turning heads everywhere, even of those individuals who do not have a particular interest in currency collecting. This error is as fun today as it was the day it was discovered by an Ohio resident in his ATM withdrawal."

Images, descriptions, and prices realized from all previous Heritage auctions, are available in the Permanent Auction Archives at the Heritage website.

To purchase a catalog for any Heritage Auction, please contact Nicole Jewell at Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc., 3500 Maple Avenue, 17th Floor, Dallas, TX, 75219 or visit to order by credit card.

For additional Heritage press releases, please visit

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