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Post Your Low Serial Numbers !!
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29 posts in this topic

This is the lowest SN in my collection, #26. 

It's a Silver Certificate so a bit more than a low-SN modern.  Pretty good quality, off the top of my head didn't cost me more than $100 but can't remember how much.  But aside from my Hawaii, GC, and North Africa notes, I don't recall paying more than $100 for any SC or modern, in case anybody was interested.  I'll try and find my records to see if any have appreicated, I really haven't been active in currency/bills in like 4 years but getting the bug again (thanks, FM ! (thumbsu).

1935C $1 SC FR #1612 front.jpg

1935C $1 SC FR #1612 back.jpg

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On 3/5/2024 at 2:55 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

World War II currency or military coupon from Ukraine ?

I have a couple of MPCs (USA).

German issued currency, designed and distributed for use in Ukraine while under occupation by German forces. 

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Posted (edited)

Sequential low-SN 1957 SC's.  Not sure how rare they are, I don't think sequentials are nor low-SN's...but both in a bill ups the rarity factor.  Ditto for the 66 grade.

I think I paid about $150 each.  I'm not sure what caused that jump in price...I think the fact that they are sequential as a 66 isn't super-rare.  Then the low SN caused a bump, too.  Not sure if G-A block matters a whiff.

1957A $1 SC FR #1620 front #26 & #27.jpg

1957A $1 SC FR #1620 back #26 & #27.jpg

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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On 3/18/2024 at 10:28 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

Sequential low-SN 1957 SC's.  Not sure how rare they are, I don't think sequentials are nor low-SN's...but both in a bill ups the rarity factor.  Ditto for the 66 grade.

I think I paid about $150 each.  I'm not sure what caused that jump in price...I think the fact that they are sequential as a 66 isn't super-rare.  Then the low SN caused a bump, too.  Not sure if G-A block matters a whiff.

1957A $1 SC FR #1620 front #26 & #27.jpg

1957A $1 SC FR #1620 back #26 & #27.jpg

The premium is all in the serial numbers. To bad they weren't from the GF block. xD

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Posted (edited)
On 3/19/2024 at 6:33 AM, Fenntucky Mike said:

The premium is all in the serial numbers. To bad they weren't from the GF block. xD

Just curious, how would that change their value ?

I never understood the whole block thing unless it corresponds to Federal Reserve Bank ?  Like which of the 3 U.S. Mints for coins ?

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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On 3/19/2024 at 10:04 AM, GoldFinger1969 said:

Just curious, how would that change their value ?

GF (GoldFinger). lol

On 3/19/2024 at 10:04 AM, GoldFinger1969 said:

I never understood the whole block thing unless it corresponds to Federal Reserve Bank ?  Like which of the 3 U.S. Mints for coins ?

Some people collect notes by block letters, and certain combinations in some years had very short print runs making them much more difficult to find and desirable to the right person. Also some people collect notes with block letters L & A (Los Angeles), by state initials like A & L (Alabama), or G & F (Gold Finger). Maybe. :baiting:

I believe the first block letter on current U.S. currency, $5, $10, $20, $50 & $100 notes, does correspond to the FRB. All of these notes will have two block letters at the beginning of the serial number and I think the first letter matches the FRB letter code. Modern $1 & $2 bills don't have two block letters at the start of the serial number. 

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On 3/25/2024 at 12:01 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

$35,000 (asking) for a 50's graded bill with SN #1.  Not sure where it might actually be sold...I would think maybe $20,000 or so ?

Seems way high to me, even 20k, but I don't pay much attention to these.

Below is a Serial #1 NBN I was bidding on over at HA last year, it sold for $5,400, the same note sold for a little over 8k in 2016. I would much rather have a serial #1 NBN than a series 1935E serial #1 SC. 

image.thumb.jpeg.6b3434a82c6c9ff3d1131d3f2201d464.jpeg

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On 3/25/2024 at 1:37 PM, Fenntucky Mike said:

Seems way high to me, even 20k, but I don't pay much attention to these. Below is a Serial #1 NBN I was bidding on over at HA last year, it sold for $5,400, the same note sold for a little over 8k in 2016. I would much rather have a serial #1 NBN than a series 1935E serial #1 SC. 

That's a big price drop, 30-40%.  This is an obscure bill....could be illiquid with infrequent sales.

Any reason for the price drop that you might know ?  Not sure where bill prices in general or this type were from 2010-20 but I know they generally ROSE from 2020-23 as people had Covid checks.

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On 3/26/2024 at 12:46 AM, GoldFinger1969 said:

That's a big price drop, 30-40%.  This is an obscure bill....could be illiquid with infrequent sales.

First charter NBN's are not that obscure, from this specific bank yes, which is normal,  but overall no. There were thousands of banks issuing these notes, normally there are a handful of known survivors for each denomination for each bank. This note would be an easy sale. 

On 3/26/2024 at 12:46 AM, GoldFinger1969 said:

Any reason for the price drop that you might know ?  Not sure where bill prices in general or this type were from 2010-20 but I know they generally ROSE from 2020-23 as people had Covid checks.

Not sure, two buyers fighting over one note possibly. The price is sold for last year seemed in line with most of the other lots, serial #1, rarity, condition, etc., $5,500 is about right from what I've seen.

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Posted (edited)

I haven't seen -- and I don't think HA and others have cited them -- combinations of rare bills (GC, SC, Large Denomination) in GREAT condition (>65) and also super-low SN (< 10).

In other words....3 important traits/features....I often see 2 of the 3, but not ALL 3 of them.

I think this probably shows that 100 years ago the super-low SN's for what are today special/rare bills were NOT saved or preserved.  I see "Finest Known" or "2nd Finest Known" for bills with 2 of those 3 traits...and often the grades are in the 40's or 50's.

 

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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On 3/26/2024 at 10:19 AM, GoldFinger1969 said:

I haven't seen -- and I don't think HA and others have cited them -- combinations of rare bills (GC, SN, Large Denomination) in GREAT condition (>65) and also super-low SN (< 10).

Pretty low percentage of these in 65+ based on my observations. Granted I'm on the outside looking in as I don't specialize or collect NBN's really, only a few notes I'm interested in from specific banks/areas.

On 3/26/2024 at 10:19 AM, GoldFinger1969 said:

I think this probably shows that 100 years ago the super-low SN's for what are today special/rare bills were NOT saved or preserved.

I'd don't know about that, the number of serial #1's I've seen would seem to contradict that conclusion, but as I said there were thousands of Banks issuing NBN's so percentage wise the number of saved notes with fancy number could be very low I suppose. I wonder if or how many were saved as they were pulled from circulation?

I think someone, an organization, may actually track the serial numbers, The Society of Paper Money Collectors, Track & Price, Greensheet? (shrug)

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SN 00000086....not as low as my others but OK.  I also have my Hawaiian note that is # 00000715 which is low for that bill and grade condition (67) but who knows how many are lower regardless of grade ?  SN's aren't available from the databases. :(

You wonder if the super-low SN's (<10) are often 40's or 50's condition like you see for some of the large denomination GCs where the low SN's at the time of printing were simply not saved by collectors in mint condition.

1957 $1 SC FR #1619 PMG 66 front.jpg

1957 $1 SC FR #1619 PMG 66 back.jpg

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On 3/29/2024 at 12:56 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

SN 00000086....not as low as my others but OK.  I also have my Hawaiian note that is # 00000715 which is low for that bill and grade condition (67) but who knows how many are lower regardless of grade ?  SN's aren't available from the databases. :(

You wonder if the super-low SN's (<10) are often 40's or 50's condition like you see for some of the large denomination GCs where the low SN's at the time of printing were simply not saved by collectors in mint condition.

1957 $1 SC FR #1619 PMG 66 front.jpg

1957 $1 SC FR #1619 PMG 66 back.jpg

What do you consider a low serial number <100, <1000? For U.S. notes I could probably get on board with notes <100 being called low since we have eight digit serial numbers which is a lot for most countries. 

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Posted (edited)
On 3/29/2024 at 1:31 PM, Fenntucky Mike said:

What do you consider a low serial number <100, <1000? For U.S. notes I could probably get on board with notes <100 being called low since we have eight digit serial numbers which is a lot for most countries. 

I'd say under 100 because then you have six "zeros" in a row.  Under 10 is definitely low by any standard, when 1 digit is your SN.

If there are other Hawaiian $1 notes like mine....and they are in my grade (67) or close to it (65 or more ?), I would doubt there are enough survivors/certifieds from the PMG data (figure PCGS doesn't materially impeach the results):

image.thumb.jpeg.62cae3763617b40b160e70eb1fb26cb8.jpeg

You can see that the population in my 67 grade is pretty narrow; even if you go down to 66 or even 65 you are talking a total of under 3,000 bills and most of those probably aren't even < 1,000 SN.

Didn'tt know that 8-digits (or more) isn't the case around the world, interesting.  (thumbsu

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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On 3/29/2024 at 2:37 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

Didn'tt know that 8-digits (or more) isn't the case around the world, interesting.  (thumbsu

Most notes from different countries that I look at have under 8 digits in their serial numbers, some have over but not many. Just an observation, I don't have hard evidence to back it up, going with my gut on this one. 

On 3/29/2024 at 2:37 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

I'd say under 100 because then you have six "zeros" in a row.  Under 10 is definitely low by any standard, when 1 digit is your SN.

If there are other Hawaiian $1 notes like mine....and they are in my grade (67) or close to it (65 or more ?), I would doubt there are enough survivors/certifieds from the PMG data (figure PCGS doesn't materially impeach the results):

image.thumb.jpeg.62cae3763617b40b160e70eb1fb26cb8.jpeg

You can see that the population in my 67 grade is pretty narrow; even if you go down to 66 or even 65 you are talking a total of under 3,000 bills and most of those probably aren't even < 1,000 SN.

I think you're underestimating the amount of high quality material out there not yet having seen the inside of a TPG. Hawaii 1$ SC notes with serial numbers under 100 that would grade between 65 & 67, ok, it may not a big number since there was only 35MM printed with only one set of block letters having been used starting with the number 1. I did a quick search over at HA and in their archive they list four different two digit Fr. 2300 having been sold and twenty five three digit serial numbers, the median grade, for those that were graded, was 64 with one 67 and two 66. A 67 three digit does seem to be a bit of a unicorn but I think for each three digit serial number or lower graded there is probably double, or more, either in collections or waiting to be found.

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Posted (edited)
On 3/29/2024 at 3:58 PM, Fenntucky Mike said:

I think you're underestimating the amount of high quality material out there not yet having seen the inside of a TPG. Hawaii 1$ SC notes with serial numbers under 100 that would grade between 65 & 67, ok, it may not a big number since there was only 35MM printed with only one set of block letters having been used starting with the number 1. I did a quick search over at HA and in their archive they list four different two digit Fr. 2300 having been sold and twenty five three digit serial numbers, the median grade, for those that were graded, was 64 with one 67 and two 66. A 67 three digit does seem to be a bit of a unicorn but I think for each three digit serial number or lower graded there is probably double, or more, either in collections or waiting to be found.

So the HA archive allows you to check by SN or Low SN in their search engine ?  I don't think I knew that when I played around with it a while back. 

Interesting, thanks Mike ! (thumbsu

Yeah, The Unicorns -- multiple key traits -- makes it tougher.  My point is....I don't think there are for the special bills -- Silver Certificate, Gold Certificate, Large Denominaton Bill, Large Denomination Gold Certificate, Hawaiian or North African bills, etc. -- both a low or super-low SN....AND....pristine graded condition...for lots of bills.  A few, as you cited -- but not lots. 

I also can't believe with the passage of time we haven't seen the super-low SN's and high grades come out of whoever had them and the inheritor then submitted them for grading.  All these valuable bills came out before 1945....most before 1934....if an adult got 'em, they're dead by now and their kid/inheritor has to be pushing 90 or more....so again, they should be changing hands IF they exit once the owner passes on.

I do think today's modern bills (2000 and later ?) with super-low SN's (<10) are saved in high-graded condition even though I'm not sure they're worth lots of $$$.  I think the high values for low-SN's of the past is precisely because most of the low-SN's were NOT saved and/or were not saved in HIGH graded condition.

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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On 3/30/2024 at 2:45 AM, GoldFinger1969 said:

So the HA archive allows you to check by SN or Low SN in their search engine ?  I don't think I knew that when I played around with it a while back. 

Not that I know of, I searched for Fr. 2300 low serial number and looked at each note and checked off all the low serial numbers. I probably missed a few notes using a narrow search description like that but it's good enough to get a general idea of availability for low serial numbers. 

On 3/30/2024 at 2:45 AM, GoldFinger1969 said:

I also can't believe with the passage of time we haven't seen the super-low SN's and high grades come out of whoever had them and the inheritor then submitted them for grading.  All these valuable bills came out before 1945....most before 1934....if an adult got 'em, they're dead by now and their kid/inheritor has to be pushing 90 or more....so again, they should be changing hands IF they exit once the owner passes on.

There is a lot of raw material out there and I tend to think that more and more "special" notes will continue to trickle out into the market, note collectors aren't as eager to have their collections slabbed either. If an adult cherrypicked notes pre '45 they've long since changed hands but the frequency at which they turn over is key, I would think that most notes of this type ended up in strong hands and only turn over every 10-20 years.? I also don't think that when someone is handed down a note from a relative that they start seeing dollar signs where with coins every circulated Morgan and Peace dollar is perceived as being valuable. 

On 3/30/2024 at 2:45 AM, GoldFinger1969 said:

I do think today's modern bills (2000 and later ?) with super-low SN's (<10) are saved in high-graded condition even though I'm not sure they're worth lots of $$$.  I think the high values for low-SN's of the past is precisely because most of the low-SN's were NOT saved and/or were not saved in HIGH graded condition.

I agree, but I would say 1960 and later low SN notes in high grades are encountered with some frequency. The sell prices, for modern true low serial number notes <10 are strong. 

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Posted (edited)
On 4/1/2024 at 6:47 AM, Fenntucky Mike said:

There is a lot of raw material out there and I tend to think that more and more "special" notes will continue to trickle out into the market, note collectors aren't as eager to have their collections slabbed either. If an adult cherrypicked notes pre '45 they've long since changed hands but the frequency at which they turn over is key, I would think that most notes of this type ended up in strong hands and only turn over every 10-20 years.? 

But if it isn't "slabbed" how many of these people can correctly maintain their mint state bills over the decades ?  It's more difficult IMO to properly preserve a bill than a coin.

We're almost 40 years since the creation of the 2 main TPGs....that's a long time...how many people have accumulated bills since then OR had one for years/decades before the TPGs and...despite having a very valuable piece of currency....never sold it or submitted it ?  I would think very few.  Maybe an uninformed heir or heiress who is independently wealthy and for whom even valuable coins or notes doesn't change their lifestyle.  But for even those considered "noveau rich" back 40 years ago I have to think a $500 to $5,000 bill maybe with the GC status and/or a super-low SN....you're talking a 6-figure note if in pristine condition.  That 'aint chump change !! xD

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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On 4/2/2024 at 2:08 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

But if it isn't "slabbed" how many of these people can correctly maintain their mint state bills over the decades ?  It's more difficult IMO to properly preserve a bill than a coin.

I disagree, 100 notes takes up much less space than 100 coins, you can by a mylar sleeve for a note which is damn near as good as a slab, and I don't think that notes are as susceptible to environmental conditions like humidity or hot and cold conditions as coins. 

On 4/2/2024 at 2:08 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

We're almost 40 years since the creation of the 2 main TPGs....that's a long time...how many people have accumulated bills since then OR had one for years/decades before the TPGs and...despite having a very valuable piece of currency....never sold it or submitted it ?  I would think very few.  Maybe an uninformed heir or heiress who is independently wealthy and for whom even valuable coins or notes doesn't change their lifestyle.  But for even those considered "noveau rich" back 40 years ago I have to think a $500 to $5,000 bill maybe with the GC status and/or a super-low SN....you're talking a 6-figure note if in pristine condition.  That 'aint chump change !! xD

I still think that there is a lot of high quality/dollar material out there but I could be sheltered a bit since I collect mainly world notes. High dollar U.S. notes could be closer to your assessment of most having been tagged and bagged. 

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Posted (edited)
On 4/2/2024 at 5:49 PM, Fenntucky Mike said:

I disagree, 100 notes takes up much less space than 100 coins, you can by a mylar sleeve for a note which is damn near as good as a slab, and I don't think that notes are as susceptible to environmental conditions like humidity or hot and cold conditions as coins. I still think that there is a lot of high quality/dollar material out there but I could be sheltered a bit since I collect mainly world notes. High dollar U.S. notes could be closer to your assessment of most having been tagged and bagged. 

If they are there, we should see some increases in coming years.  The populations for rare bill types PLUS super-low SN AND/OR high-grade condition....is very low.  So if you are right Mike -- and you could be (thumbsu -- we should see creeping population bumps for these very rare bills in high-grades (even medium-grades).

Remember...for many of the recipients of GCs and large denomination bills...they were either businesses or wealthy individuals who NEVER thought about preserving a bill for financial gain because quite frankly they were already rich or a business with plenty of $$$.  How many individuals really wanted a $5,000 bill 100 years ago with or without the GC label...and in great condition...and then could afford to "sit on it" and not use the actual FV ?  Maybe a true collector with big $$$.

That's the good thing about being a coin collector back then...the FV's were much lower which meant you paid much less given many times the purchase price was just FV plus a nominal percentage. xD  A $1,000 or $5,000 bill cost at least that amount.....every $20 Double Eagle was probably buyable for < $50 in mint state with the exception of the MCMVII UHR (even the MCMVII HR !!!).

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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