An Important Opportunity!
1878 $100 Silver Certificate
One of Just Two in Private Hands
Here is another rarest of the rare note from the Joel R. Anderson Collection—one of just two known, and the first note of this type to be offered at auction in more than 40 years!
Silver Certificates of Deposit are a series of 1878 and 1880 made in high denominations and mostly used by banks, not in general commercial circulation. They are a very rare and little-known product of the Bland-Allison Act of February 28, 1878, which authorized the Morgan silver dollar. It was not until the Series of 1886 Silver Certificates that notes backed by silver dollars held by the Treasury were made denominations from $1 up.
The Joel R. Anderson Collection is in itself the rarest of the rare. Joel’s goal was to obtain the finest example of every type of large-size federal note from 1861 to 1928. Year after year he pursued this goal and in time formed a collection equaled by no other.
Part III will be showcased on Thursday evening, October 25, at the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Expo, of which we have been the exclusive auctioneers since it was founded. As one of the most dynamic shows in the circuit, it is a must-attend for thousands of collectors and dealers. We would be delight to have you participate in the sale in person and are at your service during lot viewing and the sale itself. Or, you can do as many of our buyers do (who would have thought this ten years ago!) and participate in real time on the Internet. Either way you will be part of a once in a lifetime event. And as you know our auctions are not only sales, they are events that echo in the halls of numismatics for many years.
Our catalog description is given below:
Lot 3035. Friedberg 337b (W-3616). 1878 $100 Silver Certificate of Deposit. PCGS Currency Very Fine 25.
This is the first time in more than 40 years that a Triple Signature 1878 $100 Silver Certificate has been offered at auction. The bust of President James Monroe is seen at left on this note which is printed on blue tinted security paper. A large red Treasury Seal is at top center while a red ornate 100 counter is centered below it. This example features engraved signatures of Register Scofield, Treasurer Gilfillan and Assistant U.S. Treasurer A.U. Wyman. Earlier versions of this type featured an autographed signature of the assistant U.S. treasurer but the process of signing all of those notes by hand quickly became burdensome and the signature was engraved on the plate for later issues.
Again we quote the Whitman Encyclopedia, which included extensive historical information on this and other series:
Silver Certificates of Deposit commence with the Series of 1878, depicting President James Monroe on the face. These are specifically designated "CERTIFICATE OF DEPOSIT" on the face, "SILVER CERTIFICATE" on the back. On the face the inscription "SILVER" is laid out in a series of vignettes, one for each letter, connected together in a straight row, below "One Hundred" and above "DOLLARS." Below, "100" is in ornamental red letters. Printed on blue-tinted paper (Willcox patent of 1866).
Series of 1878 notes bear two printed Treasury signatures of Scofield and Gilfillan plus, on some varieties, the hand-signed countersignature of another Treasury official. This extra signature proved to be a cumbersome idea, and at least one pf these names, A.U. Wyman, was augmented by signatures printed in the plate. Likely, Thos. Hillhouse’s signature was added to a plate, as in other denominations, but no such note has been recorded. All have a large red Treasury seal at the top. On this seal, for this denomination and other countersigned notes in this series, the key faces to the right (with the handle at the left).
Just six Triple Signature $100 Silver Certificates are known among five different varieties. Two examples have autographed signatures of the assistant U.S. treasurer, both are permanently housed in government or institutional collections. There are four examples known of this Fr.337b (W-3616), with the engraved signature of A.U. Wyman. This note and the Oat Bin Hoard example (no. A20438) are the only Triple Signature $100s in private hands. The Oat Bin Hoard and many other caches of numismatic treasures are delineated in detail in Lost and Found Hoards and Treasures, by Q. David Bowers (Whitman Publishing, 2015).
This note is sharply printed in bold inks with wonderful details remaining. The paper is amply margined and free of any distractions. The grading service makes mention of "Minor Restorations" on the back of the holder. Those appear to be well executed and relegated to the bottom margin.
The last Triple Signature $100 to sell at auction was the Oat Bin Hoard note which sold for $7,000 in an October 1976 Kagin’s auction. The presently offered note last appeared on a Stack’s fixed price list for a then hefty sum of $59,000 in January 1989. The market for ultra-rarities such as this is far more advanced today. It has been decades since collectors have had the opportunity to secure an example of this type and we expect spirited bidding when this great trophy note crosses the auction block.
PCGS Population: 1, none finer.
From Koike Illustration; James M. Wade; Robert F. Schermerhorn; Stack’s Fixed Price List of January 1989.