PMG Graded World Banknotes a Hit at the Official World Paper Money Auction of the ANA World’s Fair of Money

Several important World Banknotes were up for grabs on August 8 where Stack’s Bowers Galleries and Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio joined to sell over $7 million of collectible currency. The Wednesday morning session commenced at 10 a.m. containing 374 lots of scarce to rare foreign banknotes. Several key rarities were made available to eager collectors who commonly seek the finest available material. Many of the specifically high-grade offerings were those sighted atop PMG’s current population data. Those items generally reside in a Gem or Superb Gem state of preservation with quality incredibly difficult to surpass. When encapsulated within a PMG Gem Uncirculated 65 EPQ holder, banknotes are to show with striking original paper, color and detail along with ample centering and margins. Further high grades from PMG will begin to creep upon perfection with the highest grades giving no clue to the naked eye of a single numismatic distraction.

A particularly striking lot in the sale was 20052 which presented a note certified at the PMG Superb Gem Uncirculated 68 EPQ grade level. A Bermuda Pick 17 color trial specimen printed by Bradbury Wilkinson and Company of a Five Pound Denomination received the shocking grade and was described as follows:

“One of the most technically outstanding notes we are offering in this sale with this note being perfect to the naked eye. Seen with a precise impression and detailed inks throughout along with picture frame-like centering and margins. Deeply embossed and a scarce type in any state. Surely a note which will see spirited bidding. PMG Pop 1/ none finer.”

Other pieces shown as the finest known included a significant rarity in any grade, a Danish West Indies 1905 10 Francs note. The note certified at an appealing PMG Very Fine 30 EPQ level, exhibiting stunning original paper as the “EPQ” designation would attest to. Even at this mid-grade Very Fine level PMG has yet to handle a finer piece. Offered as lot 20098, the piece saw rigorous bidding on the floor and via the phone. Opening to the floor at less than $5,000 the note quickly ran up past $10,000 and ultimately cost the new buyer $15,275. An important specimen note was also seen from the Danish West Indies being a Pick 9s 50 Francs note in a PMG Superb Gem 67 EPQ grade. The lot carried a presale estimate of $1,000 to $1,500 and ultimately cost the new buyer $1,840.

While the market for worldwide collectible currency certainly is an intriguing one with several different markets for the country-specific collector, the advent of the Internet and third-party certification has enhanced the number of new collectors seeking banknotes from the world over. The peace of mind coming with a “slabbed,” note is not only from the quality, but of the authenticity, attribution and protection. With certified world coins become increasingly more mainstream, world banknotes are seen quickly gaining momentum when offered certified as well.

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