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Rare $10 Note From Tonopah Sells For $38,187

Updated: Sept. 5, 11:45 a.m.

The only known serial number 1 1929 $10 note from the Nevada First National Bank of Tonopah has sold at auction for $38,187, according to Heritage Auctions. A sale price well below the auction estimate of between $50,000 and $70,000 for the rare bank note.

The note is graded Extremely Fine 40 Premium Paper Quality by PCGS Currency, and is described in the catalog as the only Series 1929 serial number 1 note known from Tonopah.

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A Heritage Auctions spokeswoman in Dallas declined to identify the buyer. The note was sold during the company’s Long Beach Currency Signature Action, which concluded on Friday.

Dustin Johnston, director of currency auctions at Heritage, said in a statement: “Not only does this rare note carry a A000001A serial number, this auction marks the first time it’s been offered for sale in more than 40 years.”

Another Nevada rarity, two 1902 $5 Plain Back, will join the 1929 $10 National Bank Note as another Tonopah rarity in the auction. One of the 1902 $5 Plain Back bill sold for $22,325, while the other note has not been sold, according to Heritage Auctions.

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Heritage Auctions placed a $30,000 estimate for each of n the 1902 $5 Plain Back, which is one of six examples known to exist. The Nevada First Bank of Tonopah was the first bank chartered in the 20th Century in Nevada, opening in 1907.

The bank, which mainly focused on mining, printed $375,100 worth of national currency before it closed in 1932. During its life, The Nevada First National Bank of Tonopah issued 13 different types and denominations of national currency. Out of the 10 banks in Nevada that issued currency, their bank notes are the rarest.
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(Editor's note: Chris Sieroty no longer works for Nevada Public Radio)