The appearance of the rare $100 1878 Silver Certificate, PCGS Very Fine 35, in Heritage Auction's
FUN Currency Platinum Night marks the first time in 30 years that any $100 1878 Silver Certificate has been available to the collecting public, and the first time in four decades since a specimen has appeared at public auction.
The note carries a pre-sale estimate of $150,000-up, possibly a conservative figure considering not one collector in this generation has ever had the opportunity to acquire any note of this type.
"It's an extraordinary opportunity for the hobby to own the finest of only four known and the first of the two privately held examples to reach auction," said Dustin Johnston, Director of Currency Auctions at Heritage. "Fortunately for collectors, this note's grade is commensurate with its rarity."
All of the short-lived Series 1878 Silvers come countersigned. Five Friedberg numbers are listed for this type, but of the five, two remain unknown while two are represented by a single example ensconced in an institutional or government holding. That leaves the Friedberg 337b as the sole collectible example of this type and denomination. While four specimens are reported, two of the four repose in government hands, one in the Smithsonian and a second in the display which can be found in the vaults of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
The piece offered is considerably the finest of the pair in public hands, with the other example previously having been graded Fine-Very Fine prior to its last public appearance in a 1989 Fixed Price List. This note brings with it a distinguished numismatic pedigree, having been discovered by Dr. Howard Carter as part of the famed Oat Bin Hoard.
It served as the plate example in both the Donlon and Hessler references, and was previously owned back in the 1970's by Dean Oakes and Morey Perlmutter before a single auction appearance in October, 1976, after which it disappeared from public view until its appearance in Heritage Auctions' Jan. 9-14 FUN Currency Auction in Orlando.