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silver certificate of deposit from 1880 stacks bowers galleries

Prohibitively Rare 1880 $500 Silver Certificate of Deposit

By Christopher Dahncke, Currency Auction Associate

Author: Chris Dahncke / Friday, July 16, 2021 / Categories: Paper Money of the Week

Our official United States Currency auction for the ANA World's Fair of Money will feature Lot 20264 Fr. 345d 1880 $500 Silver Certificate graded Choice Fine 15 by PMG.  Just two examples of this Bruce-Wyman signed 1880 $500 Silver Certificate of Deposit are known to survive. One note is permanently impounded in the collection of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco while the note offered here is the only privately held example of the catalog number.

These $500 notes were printed and issued in accordance with an Act of Congress passed February 28 1878, and featured the portrait of Massachusetts senator Charles Sumner at right. Sumner is perhaps most notable for being the victim of a vicious caning at the hands of South Carolina representative Preston Brooks on the floor of the United States Senate on May 22, 1856. Brooks had taken offense to an anti-slavery speech titled "Crime Against Kansas" that Sumner had recently given. Sumner was so severely injured that he left the Senate to recuperate. He was reelected in November 1856 and in time was able to return to Washington.

The $500 Silver Certificates of 1880 feature a large brown Treasury Seal at top center with a brown 500 counter below. This catalog number has the engraved signatures of Bruce and Wyman stacked to the lower right of center. The black printed backs display SILVER in large, ornate letters at center.

This example displays darkly printed inks and evenly circulated paper. The design is fully framed by ample margins on both the face and back. The grading service has added a "Minor Restoration" comment to the back of the holder. Any such work appears to be limited in scope and extremely well executed. There are no obviously distracting characteristics about the note to speak of.

Just three examples of this type are privately held and available to collectors. Two examples of the Fr.345c are available to collectors in addition to the note now offered. The Joel R. Anderson example of the Fr.345c sold in our August 2018 ANA auction for $750,000 and then again in our August 2019 ANA auction for the same number. This note last traded publicly in an October 2006 auction for $776,250.

This is without a doubt an elite level note – only one collector can lay claim to a Fr.345d. This is a rare opportunity to obtain a trophy note of this caliber and one that should be eagerly seized upon.

The Stack’s Bowers Galleries August ANA auction has been posted to our website for your bidding and viewing pleasure. To consign your U.S. paper money and world paper money to a future sale, contact a consignment specialist at 800-458-4646 or visit StacksBowers.com. For more information on viewing lots or for assistance in registering to bid, email your inquiry to: [email protected]​.​