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Rare PMG-certified 1880 $500 Silver Certificate Offered in SBG August Auction


An extremely rare Silver Certificate certified by Paper Money Guaranty (PMG) is the top lot in the Stack’s Bowers American Numismatic Association Auction of US Currency. Online bidding is already underway for the sale, which will be held on August 18, 2021.

1880 $500 Silver Certificate graded PMG 15 Choice Fine – front

The 1880 $500 Silver Certificate graded PMG 15 Choice Fine (lot 20264) has an estimate of $700,000 to $900,000. It is one of just two examples known to survive of Friedberg# 345d, which features a signature combination of Register of the Treasury Blanche Bruce and Treasurer Albert Wyman. The other is permanently displayed in the collection of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

The front of this $500 note features a portrait of Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner, who served for 23 years until his death in 1874. Sumner is most notable for being the victim of a vicious caning by South Carolina Representative Preston Brooks on the Senate floor in 1856 after Sumner gave an anti-slavery speech.

1880 $500 Silver Certificate graded PMG 15 Choice Fine - back
1880 $500 Silver Certificate graded PMG 15 Choice Fine – back

The back of the note displays the classic brown back design, which was no longer used after the 1880 Series of Silver Certificates were produced.

“Seeing this incredibly important note being offered at auction is thrilling for those of us who authenticate and grade paper money collectibles,” PMG Finalizer Chad Hawk said. “I am certain that PMG certification will encourage collectors to bid confidently for this ultra-rarity.”

“This is without a doubt an elite level note, essentially unique to the collecting public,” said James McCartney, Director of Numismatics with Stack’s Bowers. “This is a rare opportunity to obtain a trophy note of this caliber, certified by PMG, and one that should be eagerly seized upon.”

Another significant offering in the auction is an 1880 $1,000 Legal Tender Note graded PMG 30 Very Fine NET (lot 20173).

1880 $1,000 Legal Tender Note graded PMG 30 Very Fine NET
1880 $1,000 Legal Tender Note graded PMG 30 Very Fine NET

Only 14 examples are known of Friedberg# 187j, which has a signature combination of Register of the Treasury Judson Lyons and Treasurer Ellis Roberts. It has an estimate of $150,000 to $250,000.

The note features vignettes of Columbus in his study and DeWitt Clinton, who drove the building of the Erie Canal. The 1880 $1,000 Legal Tender Notes were issued over a period of about three decades, and all of their other signature combinations are also extremely rare or unique.

Other highlights among the more than 350 PMG-certified notes in the auction include:

  • an 1865 $50 Interest Bearing Note graded PMG 20 Very Fine NET (lot 20174) with an estimate of $100,000 to $150,000
  • an 1882 $50 Gold Certificate graded PMG 30 Very Fine (lot 20322) with an estimate of $100,000 to $150,000
  • a 1934 $5,000 Federal Reserve Note (Richmond) graded PMG 58 Choice About Uncirculated EPQ (lot 20461) with an estimate of $100,000 to $150,000
  • a 1934 $10,000 Federal Reserve Note (New York) graded PMG 61 Uncirculated (lot 20462) with an estimate of $100,000 to $150,000
  • a 1934 $5,000 Federal Reserve Note (New York) graded PMG 30 Very Fine (lot 20460) with an estimate of $70,000 to $90,000
  • an 1880 $100 Legal Tender Note graded PMG 45 Choice Extremely Fine (lot 20172) with an estimate of $60,000 to $80,000
  • a 1922 $1,000 Gold Certificate graded PMG 45 Choice Extremely Fine (lot 20335) with an estimate of $60,000 to $80,000
  • an uncut sheet of four Macon, Georgia 1902 $5 Red Seal National Bank Notes graded PMG 58 Choice About Uncirculated (lot 20507) with an estimate of $50,000 to $80,000
  • an 1880 $100 Legal Tender Note graded PMG 63 Choice Uncirculated (lot 20170) with an estimate of $50,000 to $70,000
  • an 1875 $100 Legal Tender Note graded PMG 30 Very Fine and pedigreed to the D. Brent Pogue Collection (lot 20169) with an estimate of $30,000 to $50,000

All estimates are provided by the auction house.

About Paper Money Guaranty® (PMG®)

Founded in 2005, PMG is the world’s largest and most trusted third-party paper money grading service, with more than 6 million banknotes certified. PMG has established the industry’s highest standards of accuracy, consistency and integrity. Every note that PMG certifies is backed by the comprehensive PMG Guarantee of authenticity and grade, which gives buyers greater confidence. This results in higher prices realized and greater liquidity for PMG-certified notes. To learn more, visit PMGnotes.com





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