1890 Grand Watermelon $1,000 Treasury note to auction for $2m


2015-06-26 13:34:39


1890 Grand Watermelon $1,000 Treasury note to auction for $2m

The 1890 Grand Watermelon $1,000 Treasury note is the only example on the market

An 1890 small-seal Grand Watermelon $1,000 Treasury note will carry an estimate of $2m to Heritage Auctions' January 8-10 auction in Orlando.

The note allowed the holder to redeem the value of the note in silver or gold coin - the idea being that the US government would be able to control which bullion would be released depending on market values.

US Treasury note WatermelonThe front of thenote features a depiction of Union general Gordon Meade

As the result of a complex set of financial circumstances, the Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890 was passed - meaning the Treasury was obligated to purchase a significant amount of silver each month which would be released slowlyin order to artificially inflate its value and boost the economy.

This had the opposite effect of creating a major surplus - decreasing its value.

The low value of silver caused the majority of investors to cash in their notes for gold coins - leading to a major depression in 1893 and the withdrawal of the notes from circulation.

US Treasury Grand Watermelon reverseThe note is named for the three zeros on the reverse that resemble watermelons

The example in the sale is the only known small-seal watermelon on the market - making it exceptionally rare.

It is almost identical to the 1891 Watermelon that set a new world record for a US banknote at Heritage Auctions in April of this year, achieving $2.5m.

The only differences are the dates, the signatures and the fact that the 1890 note carries three large zeros resembling watermelons on the reverse, hence Grand Watermelon.

The 1891 note only has two - hence its Watermelon moniker.

We have a range of rare coins available to purchase.

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