My First Find

Having been a dealer/collector for many years I am often asked what made you start a career in currency. Like most of us I began filling holes in Whitman albums first with Lincoln cents, then Indian Head pennies. Later in my 20s, when finances allowed, the focus was on early date Buffalo nickels in VF/EF and also on Mercury dimes.

Around 1990, I received a call from my wife at work who excitedly told me she found something that was neat. Afterward, I couldn’t wait to get home to see what it was. When I arrived, she produced from her purse a Series 1988A $1 Federal Reserve Note Pre-Back Print Foldover Error. She had gotten five consecutive singles from a friend in exchange for a $5 bill. When she went to put the notes in her purse, the flag from the error note popped up. Little did I know that moment would forever change my collecting interests to focusing mainly on U.S. currency.

In 1990 U.S. currency was not as widely sought as it is now, and many coin dealers had a stash of notes in the safe. If you were on good terms with them, they would show you these treasures and perhaps allow you to pull some notes out to buy. Today, demand quickly outstrips supply and popular notes continue to increase in value. I wonder if VF Bisons will ever fall back to $400.

I still remember that first find as if it were yesterday. Today this note resides in my collection as a reminder of how a career can start. It is graded PCGS Currency Choice About New 58PPQ. It even makes mention of my wife Deb finding it in 1990. I enjoy showing it around when given the opportunity to perhaps spark interest in currency collecting among a new generation. I have heard many times that collecting is a gene or inherited trait. To some extent that is true, but if we want to keep our paper money hobby growing, it’s a great idea for all of us to show off our first finds.

For more information on upcoming Stack’s Bowers Galleries auctions or to find out when we will be at a show near you visit To consign to an upcoming auction call 800-458-4646 or email [email protected].

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