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    Vivid Fr. 1137 $5 National Gold Bank and Trust Company of San Francisco Note

    San Francisco, CA - $5 1872 Fr. 1137 The National Gold Bank & Trust Company of San Francisco Ch. # 1994 PMG Very Fine 20.
    This is a vivid and attractive $5 National Gold Bank Note with superior eye appeal. It is the much scarcer San Francisco issuer. Notes from this bank are fifteen times rarer than the First National Gold Bank of San Francisco issues and are underrated comparatively.

    Mike collected this distinctive series by denomination, bank, and variety. He nearly achieved one of the more difficult feats within large-size type collecting: a full denomination set of National Gold Bank Notes from $5 to $100. Only the extremely rare $50 type (known from just three banks) eluded him. However, he attained the unique $100 Union National Gold Bank of Oakland, which we sold in November. Like the five notes in that first Coltrane sale, the quartet of notes offered here includes rarer banks and one of the finest $20 notes known from any issuer.

    The National Gold Bank Notes were a western phenomenon and staple of Gold Rush-era currency. It was a hard-money economy, and other United States paper money (such as Legal Tender notes) was not payable in specie on demand. These issues were created by their own act of July 12, 1870, authorizing nine chartered California banks (and one Boston bank that did not circulate notes) to issue them. Like all national banks created by the initial National Banking Act of 1863, their circulation was backed by bank deposits made to the Treasury Department in U. S. bonds. Their distinctive appearance and obligation, "Will Pay the Bearer on Demand FIVE DOLLARS IN GOLD COIN," at the bottom sets them apart from other National Bank Notes. The face designs of all denominations were identical to their respective Original Series National Bank Note types (the special act date is in the bottom border of the $5 notes, but not on the higher denominations), but were printed on special golden-yellow paper. This distinctive paper would easily differentiate them from other large size notes not payable in gold coin. The common back design was unique to the series. Within a brown frame, a montage of assorted United States gold coin obverses and reverses (engraved in black ink) is contained within the central cartouche. The special coin vignette was engraved with a "trompe l'oeil" effect. Curiously, there is an 1871-dated Liberty double eagle at the center, though the initial notes were issued in 1870.

    This note, plate position D serial 1695/K244297 appears on the Track & Price census which numbers just 13 $5 examples, one of which is laminated. The printing clarity and color are excellent. PMG notes "Professional Restoration," and this is the case as any workmanship is difficult to see. Ex: our 2020 FUN sale, lot 21155 (realized $9,006); our 2017 Long Beach sale, lot 20296; our Currency Auctions of America, 2000 FUN sale, lot 2404. An underrated bank in this series.
    From The Mike Coltrane Collection.

    More information about California National Bank Notes.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2021
    24th-25th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 486

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