Manning Garrett of Stacks Bowers Galleries was interviewed by a local Nebraska paper about the upcoming sale of a beautiful Blair Nebraska $10 National Bank Note. It's a
nicely written article that gets the numismatic details correct. This type of local publicity is great for numismatics in general, raising awareness of the hobby as well as the artifacts themselves.
Here's an excerpt. -Editor
A $10 bill went a long way in 1905.
Just to get some perspective, a 10 spot at the turn of the 20th century would be equivalent to $270 in 2018. Today, that's half a month’s rent, a weeks worth of groceries or one exceptionally
bad hand at the blackjack table.
It's a lot of money, but it's peanuts when compared to how much a 1905 $10 bank note from Blair might bring at auction this week.
The $10 bill was recently found in an estate in San Francisco, Calif. There's only speculation as to how it wound up so far from home. What is known is it was handed down from an in-home nurse
who worked in the Beverly Hills area.
"We think the most likely thing would be that the person she was caring for came from Blair and either had no relatives or had a special connection with this caretaker," said Manning
Garrett, the director of currency auctions for Stacks Bowers Galleries, which is handling the sale.
The note is exceedingly rare according to Garrett, who said its value stems from multiple factors.
"It's kind of a perfect storm of desirability," he said.
It is one of two notes in existence from the Blair National Bank, which opened in 1905 and operated for 10 years. At that time any "national bank" could issue their own currency.
"Some banks, like let's say the National Bank of New York City, issued millions of bank notes and today you can buy one for $40," Garrett said. "But a bank like Blair was
serving a much smaller community, so they needed a fraction of the bank notes to meet demand."
The first note that was found from Blair was auctioned in 2009 and sold for just over $12,000. It was what is known as a "blue seal" note, referring to the color of the seal on the bill
itself. Blue seal notes were issued from 1908 to 1928. The note up for sale Friday is a red seal, which were only issued from 1902 to 1908, making it much more collectable than the note that was sold
The bill is in pristine shape. The red seal is as bright as the day it was issued and the bottom of the bill is signed by the bank's cashier and president in the immaculate cursive everyone
from that era seemed to have. These signatures add to the rarity.
"When banks first opened, bankers were of course very proud of their money and they'd take the time to individually sign each bank note," Garrett said. "But at a certain point,
you'd get tired of signing every note so a lot of banks would have a stamp of their signature made up."
On Friday, the bill will be auctioned live in Baltimore and simultaneously online and via phone. Garrett said many of those vying for the bill will be local collectors.
“Most collectors specialize in a state,” he said. “So, you’re going to have collectors from Nebraska looking to add a note from Blair to their collection.”
The starting bid for the note is $7,500. It has an estimated value online of $12,000 to$17,000. But Garrett said if the right two or three collectors are interested in this piece, the final bid
could be upward of $40,000.
To read the complete article, see:
115-year old Blair bank note to be auctioned
Wayne Homren, Editor
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