Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    Extremely Rare $500 Legal Tender Type

    Fr. 185a $500 1874 Legal Tender PMG Very Fine 25. This note was introduced to the numismatic community when it appeared in our September 1996 Auction. The discovery increased the number of known Series 1874 pieces to five, though that number is misleading. Two pieces are permanently impounded in the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and the Smithsonian Institution and a third is reported but it lacks sale information, its grade is even unknown. The last, and presumably the only other piece in collector's hands, appeared at public auction once; it realized $44,500 in 1983. As a basic type, this note is incredibly scarce. The design encompasses fourteen Friedberg numbers made up of the 1874, 1875, 1878, and 1880 Series' and many different signature combinations. In total those fourteen Friedberg numbers show only thirty six survivors but more than two thirds of the notes are permanently impounded in various museum and government collections, thus only eleven of those specimens are presumably available to collectors.

    At left stands the allegorical figure of Victory, her face long and her posture, a state of calm. Below her rests a tipped cannon and unspent cannon balls, the remnants of a war that affected a nation in a way that can never be captured in a single vignette. At right is Major General Joseph K. Mansfield, one of only a few men immortalized on United States currency for their contributions to the Civil War. The power of Charles Burt's design really comes to light with the knowledge of Mansfield's fate. Victory looks to Mansfield who was himself a casualty of the Union victory at Antietam. He was taken in his prime on the bloodiest day in American history where more than 22,000 soldiers were killed or wounded in battle.

    Our previous physical description of this incredible Legal Tender rarity included a detailed account of the overall eye appeal, "At a glance, the colors and brightness give the impression of a fully uncirculated note. The seal, the two large red "D's" and the "500" between them are all bright red -- not the annoying pink that so often occurs on 1874 Series notes." PMG's grading opinion includes the comment, "Restoration", though thorough examination of this note reveals little more than a few closed pinholes, a refreshing departure from the heavy repairs usually associated with major currency rarities as well as the other known examples of this type. After years of maturing, this market may only now be able to fully appreciate this rarity.




    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    Calculate Standard Domestic Shipping

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2007
    4th-6th Thursday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 11
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 13,645

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    15% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2019 April 24 - 29 Central States Currency Signature Auction - Chicago.

    Learn about consigning with us

    Thank you for your quick response. I am a member of Heritage Auctions and I am happy to say that it is truly a great platform.
    Mohammed J.,
    Durban, KZ
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2018 December 5 - 7 HKINF World Currency Signature Auction - Hong Kong
    2018 December 5 - 7 HKINF World Currency Signature Auction - Hong Kong
    REALIZED SO FAR $1,814,223