The finest known example of the rare “Triple Signature” Fr.1175a 1882 $20 Gold Certificate will be offered in the Stack’s Bowers Galleries Official Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Winter Expo. The United States Currency Session will begin Thursday, October 29th at 6 PM EST.
The engraved counter signature of Thomas C. Acton boldly graces the center of this early $20 Gold Certificate. Acton, a prominent New Yorker, was assistant U.S. treasurer and had previously been commissioner of the New York City Police Department and superintendent of the U.S. Assay Office in New York. Originally Acton hand signed earlier versions of this design as seen on the ultra-rare Fr.1175. When that became a daunting task his engraved signature was added to later versions of the note.
This example we will offer in Baltimore features excellent print quality with bold inks on the portrait of President James Garfield at right. The rarely seen small brown Treasury Seal is found on this type and there are brown serial numbers. A brilliant orange back print vividly details the iconic vignette of a bald eagle in flight with lightning bolts clutched in its talons and a large 20 counter at left. This outstanding note is graded Very Choice New 64 PPQ and stands alone at the top of the PCGS population report for this Friedberg number. This same note is also the example that appears at the top of the PMG population report as Choice Uncirculated 64 EPQ.
Just 27 examples of this rare Friedberg number are known in all grades. The presently offered note was offered in an October 17, 1990, Stack’s auction where it realized a then impressive sum of $20,900. The market has evolved quite a bit in the 25 years since and this note will carry an estimate of $200,000 to $300,000 when it crosses the auction block next month.