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Press Release - December 16, 2006

Heritage Sets World's Paper Money Record

$2,255,000 for "Grand Watermelon"

DALLAS, TX: A world's record price of $2,255,000 was paid for a United States bank note, more than double the previous record, according to Heritage Auction Galleries of Dallas, Texas ( Heritage brokered the private transaction between two collectors in the sale of the only available red seal $1,000 "Grand Watermelon" note (Fr.379b).

"The only other known red seal Grand Watermelon is in the museum at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco," said Greg Rohan, President of Heritage.

"This note is graded PMG VF-35. It is pedigreed to the famous Albert A. Grinnell collection and was sold at auction by Barney Bluestone for $1,230 in November 1944."

The anonymous seller of the record-breaking bill is described as "a private collector who owned the note for a number of years," and the anonymous buyer was described by Rohan as "a very advanced and sophisticated East Coast collector of art and rare currency."

The $2,255,000 price is more than double the previous record for a Grand Watermelon note, paid in a March 2005 auction for a brown seal, graded PCGS Currency-50. The previous world's record for any bank note was $2,100,000, set this past March each for a Series 1863 $100 denomination Gold Certificate (Fr. 1166c) and a unique Series 1891 $1,000 Treasury Note (Fr. 379c), both privately sold by Heritage.

The portrait on Grand Watermelon notes is Civil War-era General George Gordon Meade who commanded Union Army troops at the Battle of Gettysburg. The Grand Watermelon notes are at the top of the list in the recently-published reference book, The 100 Greatest American Currency Notes, by Q. David Bowers and David Sundman.

For additional information, contact Heritage Auction Galleries, 3500 Maple Ave., 17th Floor, Dallas, Texas 75219. Phone: (800) 872-6467. Online:

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