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Press Release - May 12, 2003

CAA-Heritage Announces Results from Central States

Fr. 185k $500 1880 Legal Tender Fine.
Fr. 212-e $100 1865 Interest Bearing Note Very Fine, Restored.
Emeryville, CA - $10 1902 Plain Back Fr. 626 The First NB Ch. # (P)9410
Auburn, NY - $1 Original Fr. 380 The Auburn City NB Ch. # 1285

DALLAS, TEXAS: An exuberant crowd of enthusiastic bidders produced outstanding results in Heritage-Currency Auctions of America’s Spring 2003 Signature Sale held in St. Louis, Missouri on May 1-3 in conjunction with the 64th Anniversary Convention of the Central States Numismatic Society. More than 1450 active participants, including almost 1,000 internet bidders, drove the demand for all types of currency to unprecedented levels. This auction was, at 5,227 lots, the largest currency auction ever held. It produced total prices realized of $4,362,827, including the 15% buyer’s premium, a new record for a Heritage-CAA sale.

This was a sale in which collectors dominated the bidding action and turned in extremely strong results virtually across the board. While 86% of the lots offered actually sold, this figure increases substantially without the inclusion of the Stocks and Bonds (this being the first significant foray into this market by CAA), with over 90% of all currency lots selling. While interest in Stocks and Bonds was somewhat tepid, highlights included a Walt Disney signed stock certificate that brought $16,963. Other miscellaneous items proved popular among bidders, as a fascinating Civil War Diary written by a cousin to the famed outlaw Jesse James fetched $2,300. Confederate Currency continued to show strong auction results, with many items bringing realizations in the upper end or above the estimate ranges. A T5 $100 1861 Train note in CU brought $5,175 against a pre-sale estimate of $3,500 to $4,500, while a T19 $20 1861 in VF fetched $4,255 against a $3,000 to $4,000 estimate. A gorgeous T33 $5 1861 in Choice AU realized $4,025 against an estimate of $2,000 to $3,000, proving again that grade rarity nearly always produces outstanding results.

The Obsolete Currency section, in addition to myriad specimens from all geographic areas both rare and common, offered three outstanding specialized collections. The Bob Vlack Collection of Georgia Obsolete Notes led the way, and was highlighted by an 1840 $100 Chattahoochee Rail Road & Banking Co. note that brought $1,955. The Tom Denly Collection of Boston, Massachusetts Obsoletes produced truly exciting bidding action, with numerous notes generating competitive bidding increment jumps from the floor with shouts across the room. An Atlantic Bank $20 Proof led things off with a $3,910 realization against a $1,250 to $2,250 estimate, while an 1863 signed and issued Merchants Bank $500 note exceeded all expectations by hammering down at $6,900 against a $2,000 to $4,000 estimate. A $500 Proof from the Revere Bank of Boston exceeded $8,000 on a $2,500 to $4,500 estimate. An exciting collection of Vermont Obsoletes followed, with a rare denomination 87 and a 1/2 cents Hinsdillville scrip note fetching $3,450, comfortably at the top end of the $2,000 to $4,000 pre-sale estimate.

One of the largest groups of error notes that CAA has ever offered appeared in Session Three on Friday afternoon. Led off by a nice run of large and small size inverts, this group included a Fr. 944 $10 FRN invert from the Dallas district bank that sold for $4,140, and a Fr. 2119-A* $50 1977 FRN with a mismatched prefix letter that brought $4,830. A 1976 $2 FRN with a double printed third printing brought $9,488, and a large size double denomination error Fr. 868 $5/$10 FRN in Very Good condition fetched $6,613. Interest in Fractional Currency, although not as strong as other parts of the market, was still sufficient to produce prices that were near or in excess of many of the pre-sale estimates. An extremely rare Fr. 1353 50 cent Third Issue Justice that had been restored brought $4,600, while bidding on an exceptional Pink Fractional Currency Shield reached $14,490 against an estimate of $12,500-up. Colonial Currency continued to achieve the strong results that have been seen in recent sales, with many notes finding new collector homes at prices near the pre-sale estimates. An uncut double sheet of 16 Delaware Jan. 1, 1776 notes brought $8,625 against an estimate of $7,500-up.

The strong performance of exceptional Small Size notes, although somewhat slackened from a year or two ago when greatly influenced by speculative demand, was proven once again by a diverse offering of quality material. A high grade $10 1928C FRN in Gem CU brought $8,913, well above the estimate of $4,000 to $8,000, while an unlisted 1934 $100 Mule FRN from the Dallas district bank fetched $3,565 against a $1,500 to $2,500 estimate. An impressive run of high denomination notes was highlighted by a high grade AU $1,000 Star Note from the Atlanta district bank which sold for $6,325, and a circulated $5,000 FRN that reached an impressive figure at $33,350. Strong collector interest was indicated by a Gem CU $1 1935A North Africa Star Note which fetched $3,220, just above the high end of the pre-sale estimate, and by a gorgeous Gem CU $100 1928 Gold Certificate that brought $4,945.

Large Size notes showed impressive strength across the board, with both inexpensive and higher end items realizing exceptional prices. The two most expensive notes in the sale, a Fr. 185k $500 Legal Tender and a Fr. 212e $100 1865 Interest Bearing Note, both sold to a jubilant phone bidder who competed with strong floor bidding. The Fr. 185k $500 Legal Tender, unique in collector hands, brought $161,000, an exceptional result for such a high-dollar item given recent results for this type of material. The Fr. 212e $100 Interest Bearing Note, the only known example with five interest coupons attached, brought $143,750, well above the $125,000-up estimate and an impressive amount more than the $97,750 it realized when last auctioned in May, 1999 as part of the Bass Collection. Black Eagle Silver Certificates continued to produce staggering price levels in a year-long trend that has gradually moved this series to the price levels one used to expect of equally popular Indian Chief or Bison notes, with Superb Gem and Gem quality notes routinely bringing double and even triple the pre-sale estimates. A Fr. 227 $1 1899 Silver Certificate in Gem New brought $1,725 against an estimate of $400-up, while a Fr. 231 Black Eagle with serial number D24D graded Superb Gem New reached $4,888 in spirited bidding, easily bettering the $1,500-up estimate. A run of special two-digit serial numbered Fr. 236 Black Eagles brought prices ranging from $1,600 to $2,500. High end type notes, in grade and in rarity, also performed quite well, as shown with a Superb Gem New Fr. 268 Educational $5 that brought $10,638, and a rare Fr. 316 $20 1886 Silver Certificate in Extremely Fine that sold for $11,500 against an $8,500-up estimate. Determined floor bidding drove a unique Fr. 1068 $50 1914 FRN Star Note to $8,050, and the Large Size portion of the sale was closed out by a nice offering of Gold Certificates that was led by a Fr. 1217 $500 1922 in Choice VF that brought nearly $10,868 and a cut sheet of three unredeemable Fr. 1225 $10,000 1900 Gold Certificates in Choice New that brought $6,613.

Despite strong results throughout the first four sessions of the sale, both bidders and auctioneers were somewhat unprepared for the spirited display of bidding that occurred on Saturday night with the offering of more than 1,700 lots of National Bank Notes. Led off by a fabulous collection of California Nationals, bidding erupted immediately with a unique (for the bank and for the town) First National Bank of Emeryville, CA $10 1902 Plain Back bringing $34,500 and a First National Bank of Gilroy, CA (also unique for the town) $10 1902 Date Back fetching $20,700. A First Charter $20 1875 from the First National Bank of Oakland, CA, one of just six $20 First Charter non-Gold Bank Notes known from the state, sold for $28,750. Notes from other states performed equally as well, with grade and bank rarities setting a frenetic pace. A $5 1902 Plain Back graded Gem CU from the First National Bank of Grass Range, MT went home to an avid collector at $11,213, and First Charter Aces performed particularly well as exemplified by a $1 Original from the First National Bank of Kansas, IL graded Choice CU that brought $2,760 against a $1,500 to $2,000 estimate. The Bill Sabis Collection of New York Nationals proved how futile the pre-sale estimating process can be when an outstanding collection of great rarities meets with a group of enthusiastic bidders, as many notes in this tremendous collection, from the top end to the bottom end, sold for prices in excess of the estimate ranges. A First National Bank of The Thousand Islands of Alexandria Bay, NY Small Size $10 led things off at $8,625 (against an estimate of $3,500 to $6,500), while an Auburn City National Bank of Auburn, NY First Charter $1 spiraled to $25,300 (against a somewhat conservative pre-sale estimate of $2,250-$4,250) in heated floor bidding between two determined collectors. A First Charter Ace from the First National Bank of Skaneateles, NY, unique for the bank and the first ever public offering, brought $18,400 against a $6,000 to $9,000 estimate. A stunningly gorgeous $5 Brown Back with a Circus Poster layout from the First National Bank of Syracuse, NY brought $17,250 in equally spirited bidding. After a much-needed doughnut break, a large group of Texas Nationals performed equally as well, with two determined collectors dueling late into the evening for the possession of these prized rarities. A $10 1902 Date Back from the Coggin National Bank of Brownwood, TX reached $4,888 against an estimate of $1,500 to $2,500, and a $20 1902 Plain Back from the First National Bank of Iowa Park, TX brought $7,475 with a $3,500 to $5,500 estimate. A Choice CU $10 1882 Value Back from the Nocona National Bank of Nocona, TX sold for $6,325 with a $2,500 to $4,500 estimate. The strength of the entire sale was shown in the next to last lot, a group lot of five miscellaneous small size Nationals, when it sold at 3:20 in the morning-three floor bidder cards were still in the air and a live internet bidder finally came away with the prize.

The next Heritage-CAA auction will be held in Cincinnati, Ohio, in conjunction with 20th Annual Greater Cincinnati Numismatic Expo on September 25-27, 2003. For further information about consigning, contact Allen Mincho, 800-872-6467 ext. 327, e-mail Allen@CurrencyAuction.com, Len Glazer, 800-872-6467 ext. 390, e-mail Len@CurrencyAuction.com, Kevin Foley, 800-872-6467 ext. 256, e-mail Kfoley@CurrencyAuction.com, or Jason W. Bradford, 800-872-6467 ext. 280, e-mail Jbradford@CurrencyAuction.com.

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