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What has the market been like for 'Nationals?'

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I understand that I may not get too many responses with this being the holiday weekend and all; but I have been studying the Don Kelly book on National Bank Notes for the past year. What is the market like?

 

Is it even worth collecting for states like Pennsylvania (my home state) or should I collect other areas?

 

Any thoughts on this topic are appreciated, as I can't find too much on the internet in the way of National Bank Note collecting.

 

Thanks and Happy New Year!

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I collect mostly for type, and just got a couple $5 notes that were pretty cheap, so I'd guess the common stuff is fairly soft right now. If you collect your state, that might be fun, since Pennsylvania notes are pretty common, so there's a lot of room to collect before you get to ones that are prohibitively expensive. You might try collecting from areas around your home town as a start. I went to college in Lewisburg, and there are even notes from there which aren't hard to find.

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There are a lot of ways to go about it, some just collect by state, then by city, then for each bank acquiring examples of the different issues from those banks (from orginal series to type 2 small size), which can be a very daunting task. I don't collect that way, I am happy enough as a broad type collector, so the actual issuing state, city or institution don't matter much to me. For example, I just bought 2 $5 nationals, one from Milwaukee and one from Richmond. I only needed one, but I guess I bid too strongly since I ended up with both. But they are both interesting, one is the lowest charter in the state (the Milwaukee is charter #64, but was a late issue from 1922, Speelman-White) while the other is a late charter (#10080) but was an earlier issue from 1911 with the Napier-McClung signature combo. Lots of interesting things about them, but even more so if I had any connection to either Milwaukee or Richmond!

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I thank you for your help. I just worry that these are under-collected thanks in part to how much attention Federally issued currency receives. That us why I have always been cautious about this market. It is very easy to overpay.

 

I do have the Kelly book which I love. A lot of work went into that guide...

 

Sincerely,

 

mint

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Prices are pretty soft.

 

This is what worries me. I see a lot of interest in popular large size (and small size) standard currency; but not much action or interest in nationals. That being said, I am having trouble 'gauging' the market. I just don't want to take a 'bath' later in life when I go to sell. This is why I am cautious in this area...

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Your best bet is to find a listing of issueing banks in your state, then find out the amount of outstanding issues of the banks and collect the least outstanding of these. You usually won't be far off the market this way. however collect what you like and the highest grade you can afford. The biggest thing to remember is you cannot predict the future. In 1997 i was diagnosed with cancer and sold my complete type set of Confederate, having been told by all my fellow collectors and dealers that Confederate will never go much higher. Boy was that wrong. I had the type 2 creswell plate note and sold it for $25,000 look at it now. So I did not die like the doctors said I would, and confederate did go higher. YOU CANNOT PREDICT THE FUTURE.

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I think your best bet is to collect notes that "speak" to you... then you won't be as concerned with the monetary aspect. I collect Idaho notes because I am from the state and I miss it. When I add a note to my collection it isn't because I feel it will appreciate althoguh I hope it will.

 

Not having the stress of wondering if the note is a good investment will make the hobby more rewarding for you I feel. Especially since it's unknowable, which notes will do well in the next N years.

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Nationals are a very specialized market usually involving collectors who specialize in their hometown or state. A small group of buyers typically can constitute the marketplace for any particular state. Towns with very few known like Prospect Park, NJ can command lots of demand from multiple buyers.

 

I like quality Nationals and need to buy more as many have sold out. Nationals have interested me more than any other field of currency acquisition. I daydream about going back a couple of decades ago when they were much cheaper.

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