An 1861 $50 Interest Bearing Note, graded PCGS Currency Very Fine 25, from the Joel R. Anderson collection, was sold by Stacks and Bowers for $1,020,000 against an estimate of $300,000 – $500,000.
Only two examples from the entire series of such notes are in private hands. A special Act was passed on 2nd March 1861 for issuing $10 million worth bonds or Interest Bearing Notes starting with $50 denomination holding a 6% rate of Interest per annum. Due to the Civil War, people did not accept the idea of bonds, Instead, Interest Bearing Notes of $50, $100, $500 and $1000 were issued by the National Bank Note Company using “cycloidal configurations”. 46,076 examples of the $50 denomination were issued.
The note features Justice with sword and scales, portrait of Andrew Jackson, portrait of Salmon Chase, counters with 50, overlapping petals, the cycloidal configurations, with text “UNITED STATES / FIFTY / TREASURY”, signature of Treasury Clerk G. Luff with handwritten “for the” before the text REGISTER OF THE TREASURY; signature of United States Treasurer Francis E. Spinner, The reverse is blue in the cycloidal configurations format, with text “Pay to Bearer”, space for signature of the holder, text “NATIONAL BANK NOTE COMPANY”, 1860 cycloidal configurations patent date.
The designs are bright and sharp. There are minor signs of restorations in certain areas but it has no cancellations. The other example of this type is redeemed and cancelled. It is with the Bureau of Public Debt in Washington D.C. Other notes of this series are found in Proof or Specimen form.
Image courtesy: Stacks and Bowers