Rare US banknote fetches over £320,000


01 May 2021
A 1928 $10,000 Federal Reserve Note (Kansas City) sold for a record-breaking price of £328,650 at a recent Heritage Auction sale.

The extremely rare banknote had been certified by Paper Money Guaranty (PMG) and realised a record-setting $456,000 in a sale presented by Heritage Auctions.

Three other PMG-graded notes also realised prices over $100,000 at the Central States Currency Signature Auction.

The 1928 $10,000 Federal Reserve Note (Kansas City) graded PMG 30 Very Fine nearly doubled its pre-auction estimate of $250,000. Only ten examples of the 1928 Series notes are known to have survived, including two in museums, according to Heritage. The rare piece is also the first of these notes known from the Kansas City District.

The price set a new record for a piece of Small Size US currency.

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A new benchmark had just been established three months earlier by the "Del Monte" error note. That 1996 $20 Federal Reserve Note (St. Louis), graded PMG 64 Choice Uncirculated EPQ with an Obstructed Printing Error, realized $396,000 in another Heritage sale. Its nickname derives from a banana sticker that found its way onto the front of the note between printings.

Dustin Johnston, Vice President of Currency Auctions at Heritage, said:

“Heritage Auctions is always excited to offer trophy notes like this $10,000 note and the 'Del Monte' note. Industry-leading grading gives bidders added confidence. The assurances that PMG certification provides are integral to the value of iconic numismatic rarities.”

Another high-denomination note certified by PMG was the second-highest lot in the auction.

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That note, a 1934 $5,000 Federal Reserve Note (St. Louis) graded PMG 64 Choice Uncirculated, realised $168,000 (approximately £121,000).

Chad Hawk, PMG Grading Finalizer, added:

“PMG is thrilled to have certified so many of the world’s greatest paper money rarities. Given heightened interest in numismatics recently, I have no doubt we will see more PMG-certified banknotes setting records in the near future.”

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Other PMG-certified highlights in the sale included:

  • a 1934 $5,000 Federal Reserve Note (Dallas) graded PMG 58 Choice About Uncirculated (lot 22174) that realized $144,000
  • a Third Issue 10 Cents Fractional Currency graded PMG 40 Extremely Fine (lot 22019) that realized $108,000
  • a group of four 1899 $1 Silver Certificates: two graded PMG 66 Gem Uncirculated EPQ, one graded PMG 65 Gem Uncirculated EPQ, and one graded PMG 58 Choice About Uncirculated EPQ (lot 22057) — with consecutive serial numbers, including a solid 9s and a "100 Million" — that realized $66,000
  • an 1880 $100 Silver Certificate graded PMG 30 Very Fine (lot 22080) that realized $55,200
  • an 1880 $50 Silver Certificate graded PMG 20 Very Fine (lot 22076) that realized $45,000
  • a group of two 1934/1934A $1,000 Federal Reserve Notes (Kansas City) graded PMG 66 Gem Uncirculated EPQ and PMG 65 Gem Uncirculated EPQ (lot 22172) — attributed as a Reverse Changeover Pair — that realized $43,200
  • a 1928 $1,000 Gold Certificate graded PMG 55 About Uncirculated (lot 22182) that realized $38,400
  • a 1776 Continental Currency $20 graded PMG 55 About Uncirculated and pedigreed to Eric P. Newman (lot 22001) that realized $33,600

Prices realized include buyer's premium.

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