Serial Number One $1 Million United States Bond$1,000,000 U.S. Treasury Bond of 1963. PCGS Choice About New 55.
Issued on December 15, 1954 to the First National Bank of Boston, this bond and the ones that follow have a storied past. Shortly after Fidel Castro's rise to power in Cuba, he started seizing US held assets on the island. Hundreds of thousands of acres worth of US held land mainly used to produce sugar cane were nationalized as were many US owned business holdings. One of the last US owned interests to be nationalized were the banks, including branches owned and operated by the First National Bank of Boston, First National Bank of New York City, and Chase Manhattan. The nationalization of US banks on September 17 left very little, if any, US owned interests out of the control of Castro and his forces. Unfortunately for US based companies with assets in Cuba, there was little to be done as the lands and physical properties were permanent. The banks however had large deposits on hand, many of them in the form of Treasury Bonds.
Though little could be done, it was very important to keep US assets out of Castro's hands. Some were destroyed, but the bonds on deposit in the banks proved to be a challenge. The Bureau of Public Debt was ordered to cancel the bonds stored in the Cuban bank vaults and to prevent any unnecessary loss to the US banks, they were reissued to each institution in absentia.
The bonds represented here were those locked away in the Cuban vaults of the First National Bank of Boston. Though unredeemable, they were repatriated providing a generation of collectors the ability to own a Bureau of Engraving and Printing produced bond for a fraction of its face value. This piece is the first $1,000,000 Treasury Bond of 1963. Issued on December 15, 1954, it earned interest at a rate of 2 1/2% until the due date of August 15, 1963.
Similar to a $1,000,000 bearer bond offered in our 2005 sale of the Taylor Family Collection, this piece features a vignette of Theodore Roosevelt in the upper left and many of the same design elements used on the 2002 Bond. The large red seal is the same used for large size Legal Tender and Red Seal Federal Reserves Notes. The piece is well margined with a light diagonal bend precluding a full CU grade. Serial number one is featured on this piece, with serial number 2 following this lot. The low serial numbers, indicating the first bonds issued for the 1963 Bond emission, will likely attract even more attention.
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