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$20 (Counterfeit)


Image Information

Type Currency
Title $20 (Counterfeit)
Date March 16, 1785
Country United States
Grade Very Fine 25
Service PCGS
Denomination $20
Description

Philadelphia, PA - Bank of North America $20 April 20, 1792 Contemporary Counterfeit Haxby PA-465 C214, Hoober 305-59, Newman page 362 PCGS Very Fine 25. The Bank of North America was the first bank chartered by Congress in 1781 and commenced issuing demand notes in 1782, launching the Obsolete banknote period. The earliest stockholders included several Founding Fathers. It was referred to as "The Bank" early on, due to its official functions involving the federal government and its priority in the nation's banking system. The bank issued several series, evolving by using different engraving imprints and styles over eight decades to thwart counterfeiters and issue superbly crafted notes. It eventually became the National Bank of North America in 1864. It "exists" today within Wells Fargo and by its acquisition of Wachovia several years ago. This is an important contemporary counterfeit type, collected in the Colonial note series, and as one of the earliest-dated Obsolete banknotes, genuine or counterfeit. This second series and type is listed in The Early Paper Money of America (fifth edition, page 362). A choice condition "B" position contemporary counterfeit. Engraved obligations cover most of the note. At upper left is an oval "20" counter encircled by thirteen stars. There is a lighter "20" to its right (note its position differs significantly from the Newman plate note sold as Newman Part VII: Lot 18552), showing to the back. A dark oval die with "XX" in left center also slightly shows to the back. At the far left end is a perpendicular TWENTY in shaded letters underneath an ornately engraved BANK. The printed back has the ornate, mirror image TWENTY that shows through the translucent paper to the face as a protector. There are no genuine issued notes known of this general type and there is one "A" position face proof plated in Haxby. Eric studied these notes carefully and observed their paper and plate diagnostic differences such as the position of the "20" at the upper left discussed here, blank backs, and even the use of a red "B" at the upper right. This evidence might indicate several counterfeiters printed false notes from this second series. Noted as "Pen Cancelled" and with an "X" in the center. A foundational type note from the Obsolete canon and extremely relevant to Colonial note collectors due to its Newman listing. Ex: Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society

From Newman VIII (Heritage Auctions, 11/2017), lot 28128, realized $2040. Image and description courtesy of Heritage Auctions, https://ha.com.

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