Rare Canadian chartered note found at New York flea market

A rare 165-year-old banknote issued by a relatively short-lived Canadian chartered bank was recently found at a flea market in upstate New York.

Issued in 1854 by the Niagara District Bank in St. Catharines, Ont., the $5 note was offered at a market this September for $43, according to a report published Oct. 22 by Coin World.

Collector Jason Scozzafava purchased the note and sent it to Paper Money Guaranty, which returned it with a grade of Very Good-10 and a “Raised” designation. It’s believed the note was actually a $1 bill altered contemporarily to pass as $5; however, even “raised” notes from this bank are considered rare.

Chartered in 1853, the Niagara District Bank began issuing $1, $2, $5 and $10 notes – all with similar designs, allowing them to be fraudulently “raised” – a year later.

The bank, which issued notes until 1872, was eventually amalgamated with the Imperial Bank of Canada in 1875.

Scozzafava is now planning to auction the note.

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