Thursday, September 4, 2014

Stockton Banknote Sets Record At Bonhams

The Coins and Banknotes auction on August 31 in Los Angeles brought in $1.6 million in total sales with 97 percent of lots sold.

The newly discovered Stockton California National Banknote collection led the auction taking in $339,300.

Featured was a Series 1873 $10 Gold Banknote with serial number 1, a Condition Census example. It is particularly special as the extended margin at the top reveals it to be the first note printed on the sheet as well as the first note issued by the First National Gold Bank of Stockton California. Bonhams believes it is a record for this type of large size gold banknote ever at auction.
The gold banknote relates to the California Gold Rush of 1848. The issuance of these banknotes, as redeemable currency for gold coins, became necessary in order to facilitate the large quantities of gold coins in daily transactions where the handling and counting of coins became too time consuming for banks to operate efficiently.

Of the coins section in the auction, the $4 Flowing Hair and Coiled Hair "Stellas" fetched strong prices. As an attempt to accommodate international trade and travel for Americans to Europe, the $4 Stellas contained metallic content stated in the metric system and possessed an approximate value to the Spanish 20 peseta, Dutch 8 florin, Austrian 8 florin, Italian 20 lire and French 20 franc piece, among other denominations.

An 1879 Flowing Hair $4 Proof 62 PCGS sold for $117,000 and is the most available of the four known varieties of Stellas. Another 1879 $4 Flowing Hair Stella Proof 45 PCGS realized $72,540.

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