Sensational Escondido CA Serial Number 1 Note Featured in Spring Expo Auction

We are pleased to present the first public offering of a National from the First National Bank of Escondido, California. This $5 1902 Plain Back bears the coveted serial number 1, and is graded About Uncirculated 55 by PCGS Banknote. This note, lot 30619, will be one of the many highlights offered in our Official Currency Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Spring Expo Auction, available for viewing and bidding at

This is one of two surviving examples from this San Diego County issuing bank. No auction records are listed in Track & Price for this note, although it is the only example listed in their census. National Bank Note Census records two notes in their census; the presently offered example and a serial number 2. The reported serial number 2 has yet to surface at public auction, and no photo of it is on NBN’s census. The First National Bank in Escondido was chartered in January 1927, and issued $23,440 before the bank was liquidated on June 1, 1929 (just a few months before Black Tuesday). At close, just $3,140 was reported outstanding. Interestingly, the bank only issued Plain Back $5’s. Given the few surviving notes, and the low serial number of 1, it can be safe to assume that this and the other reportedly surviving note were saved by sentimental bank employees. The note itself is quite appealing; the paper is bright, the design elements are well inked, and the stamped signatures are bold.

Escondido was incorporated as a city in 1888, with the land having been purchased by investors in 1883. The location was formerly Rancho Rincon del Diablo, but given the land bloom in Southern California during the 1880s, space for development was on the mind of local investors. In 1890 the population census was 541, and that slowly climbed to 755 in 1900; by 1931, the population had grown to 3,421 (compare that to 151,038 in 2020). Two other banks issued currency in Escondido: Charter 7801 First National Bank of Escondido and Charter 8040 Escondido National Bank. A Serial Number 1 is reported to exist from the First National Bank of Escondido, although it is not reported to have traded hands publicly (like the serial number 2 from First National Bank in Escondido), nor is it listed in Track & Price. This will be the first public offering of a Serial Number 1 Escondido note, and California National collectors will surely vie to add this piece to their holdings.

PCGS Banknote comments “Minor Rust”.

We are currently taking consignments for our August 2023 Global Showcase Auction as well as our monthly internet sales. To consign your U.S. paper money and world paper money to a future sale, contact a consignment specialist at 800-458-4646 or visit For more information on viewing lots or for assistance in registering to bid, email your inquiry to: [email protected]​.

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