This month, Dallas-based Heritage Auctions plans to auction off an extremely rare, 1905 $5 bill from the First National Bank of Fairbanks, Alaska. This item is 1 of 4 national currency notes of its kind ever printed; it dates from Series 1902, has a red seal and features President Benjamin Harrison. The minimum starting bid is $120,000 — and it is expected to sell for $200,000 to $300,000.
The Alaskan bank originally gave the bill to Vice President Charles W. Fairbanks in 1905 as a memento from the city named after him. Held for decades as a treasured family heirloom, the bill’s color has slightly muted, but it has been kept in uncirculated condition with no wear. Although some minor restoration has been performed to the back corners, it is not expected to affect the selling price of this extremely rare piece of history.
The note has been certified by PCGS as Apparent Choice New 63 and also mentions the minor restoration on the back corners. The embossing is strong with full original paper wave and full margins. The bill also displays a bold blue serial number, a Treasury serial number and bold signatures.
Due to an increased interest in these rare notes, the Fairbanks family recently decided to consign with Heritage Auctions, realizing that the significant value of the uncirculated note had dramatically increased over the years. Out of the four notes of its kind, one sold in 1997 for $93,500 and another resides at the University of Alaska Museum of the North in Fairbanks. At the time of publishing, the whereabouts of the 4th note is unconfirmed.
The auction is open to the public and will be held during the American Numismatic Association National Money Show in Dallas, the third week of October 2012, at the Dallas Convention Center. The Heritage Auction live floor session is scheduled for 6 p.m. CST Thursday, October 18, 2012, and Internet bidding ends at 10 p.m. CST the night before the floor session.
You can bet — with such a scarce and pristine piece of history up for the taking — that this auction will be a highlight of the show and, perhaps, an event to go in the Fairbanks family history books.
If you’d like more information about this historic auction, please refer to the following websites:
Heritage Auctions: www.ha.com
National Money Show: www.nationalmoneyshow.com
Amy Richey – Bellevue Rare Coins