Rare U.S. silver certificate expected to lead August ANA auction

A U.S. silver certificate described by auctioneers as “extremely rare” is expected to lead Stack’s Bowers’ American Numismatic Association (ANA) auction, with bidding underway until the Aug. 18 close date.

The 1880 $500 silver certificate, certified by Paper Money Guaranty (PMG) as Choice Fine-15, will cross the block as Lot 20264 with an estimate of $700,000 US-$900,000 US. It is one of just two examples known to survive with a signature combination of Register of the Treasury Blanche Bruce and Treasurer Albert Wyman. The other known example is permanently displayed in the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco collection.

“This is without a doubt an elite-level note, essentially unique to the collecting public,” said James McCartney, the director of numismatics with Stack’s Bowers. “This is a rare opportunity to obtain a trophy note of this caliber, certified by PMG, and one that should be eagerly seized upon.”

The front of the $500 note features a portrait of Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner, who served for 23 years until his death in 1874. Sumner is notable for being the victim of a vicious caning by South Carolina Representative Preston Brooks on the Senate floor in 1856 after Sumner gave an anti-slavery speech.

The back of the note displays the classic brown back design, which was no longer used after the 1880 series of silver certificates was produced.

“Seeing this incredibly important note being offered at auction is thrilling for those of us who authenticate and grade paper money collectibles,” PMG grading finalizer Chad Hawk said.

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