Rare proofs, specimen up for auction

While the annual winter Florida United Numismatists (FUN) Convention was cancelled due to the pandemic, the event’s auction will instead be held at Heritage Auctions’ headquarters in Dallas, Texas.

The top-billed lot of the Jan. 21-22 FUN World Paper Money Signature Auction offers a set of front and back proofs for Canada’s 1924 $50,000 “bank special” (also known as a “bank legal”).

“Like the $100,000 Gold Certificates of the United States, these massive denominations were used only to ease bank-to-bank transactions and reduce the amount of cash needed to facilitate large transfers,” according to auctioneers. “The Canadian bank specials were payable to the bearer, but only banks established under the Bank Act of Canada.”

Both certified as Choice Uncirculated-64 by Paper Money Guaranty (PMG), proofs are “perfectly matched for grade and eye-appeal,” auctioneers added, despite the face proof having a “minor split.” The oversized design on both pieces includes counterfeit-deterring lathework alongside King George V and his wife, Queen Mary, using the “younger” versions of their vignettes from the high-denomination notes of 1911.

“The overall layout and intricate engraving make for an impressive display, something that is as impressive as any design worldwide”

They’re expected to bring at least $30,000 US as Lot 28065.

Lot 28086 offers the finest graded 1937 Series $1,000 specimen note with an estimate of $12,500 US-plus.


The finest graded 1937 Series $1,000 specimen note will also cross the block as Lot 28086.

Certified as Superb Gem Uncirculated-67 EPQ (exceptional paper quality) by PMG, the note is described as “an important and very rare specimen, especially in top grade.” At the time of cataloging, no higher-graded issues – notes or specimens – exist in the PMG Population Report.

“Red overprints and hole punched cancellations were applied to confirm specimen status,” according to auctioneers. “This design is quite rare in any format, as only 15,000 regular notes were issued, along with only small groups of specimens, which were necessary within the banking industry.”

It’s expected to sell for at least $12,500 US.

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