1861 $10 Demand Note Sold for a Whopping $168,000

14 Nov 2017  Tue

The collection of Eric P. Newman was sold for a total of $1,990,281 on 1st and 2nd November at the 8th Heritage Auction’s sales of the collection in Dallas. 688 obsolete notes, a cross-section of paper money and financial Americana from Colonial times to 1928 were offered in the collection.

A major highlight was a $10 demand note of 1861 payable at St. Louis which sold for $168,000. The extremely rare note, graded Very Fine 30 by PCGS Currency is the finest of the four known examples. Two are in private collection and one is showcased at the Museum of the American Numismatic Association.

It is one of the few American Banknotes with a portrait of a living person - President Abraham Lincoln. It was illegal to depict living persons after 1873. The note is also among the first issues of federal paper currency. It was used because there was a shortage of gold and silver coins during the Civil War. $5, $10, and $20 notes were printed, payable New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Cincinnati or St. Louis. American Bank Note Co. produced these notes because the BEP did not exist during those days. The rarest of them were the ones printed for St. Louis, with only 48,000 issues. The Newman example was one of the last. Notes worth $60 million were issued and less than 1 percent is listed as outstanding on government books. The remaining notes were redeemed, lost, or destroyed.

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