Unveiling the Rarity: The Prized 1918 $500 Federal Reserve Note

In the world of numismatics, where collectors hunt for rare and extraordinary currency, the attraction of high-denomination notes is undeniable. Among these coveted treasures, the 1918 $500 Federal Reserve Note has captivated the hearts of collectors for generations. In our November Official Currency Auction of the Whitman Winter Expo we are pleased to present a stunning Choice Uncirculated example, a note which is among the most sought-after currency specimens.

At the heart of this remarkable note is a sharply detailed portrait of Chief Justice John Marshall. Marshall’s dignified visage graces the center, exuding a sense of authority and history. Flanking his portrait are the engraved signatures of two prominent Treasury officials, John Burke and Carter Glass.

While the face design of the note appears relatively open, its true beauty lies in the intricacies of the back design with its exquisitely detailed vignette titled “De Soto Discovering the Mississippi.” Crafted by the talented hand of Frederick Girsch, the scene captures the historical moment of Hernando de Soto’s exploration of the mighty Mississippi River, a pivotal event in American history.

What makes this particular 1918 $500 Federal Reserve Note truly exceptional is its rarity. Currently, it holds the distinction of being the finest graded specimen for its catalog number by PMG. In fact, it is among the finest known examples of its type in the entire world. To put it into perspective, only one other note has achieved an Uncirculated grade for this type, making a grand total of just two Uncirculated 1918 $500 notes graded by PMG.

The note’s appeal is further enhanced by its physical attributes, including massive boardwalk margins and superb centering on both sides. Every detail, from the engraving of Chief Justice John Marshall to the depiction of De Soto’s expedition, is impeccably preserved, making it a true work of art.

For advanced collectors with an appetite for the finest notes that our hobby has to offer, this is your golden opportunity. The 1918 $500 Federal Reserve Note is not just a piece of currency; it’s a window into a bygone era, a testament to the artistry of engravers, and a symbol of rarity that will make any collection truly exceptional.

For more information on our November 2023 Whitman Expo Auction or to consign to a Stack’s Bowers Galleries Showcase or Internet auction visit, email [email protected], or call 800-458-4646.

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