Sunday, January 2, 2011

Rare NC 1861 $1 Error Note

Today I thought I'd share an image of my rare (and possibly unique) North Carolina 1861 dollar error note.

It was a Friday in 1996 or 1997 when I bought the note. The coin dealer had a stack of them at $3.5 a piece. They used to sell for $10 in antique stores at the time. I picked out a couple nice ones from the lot. On my way home I was at a traffic light and I reached over to admire my new acquisitions when I noticed that one of the notes had an error. The One Dollar on the reverse is supposed to be aligned nicely in the center and not askew to where the One Dollar from an adjacent note is showing also.

In the spring of 1998 or 1999 I was returning home from the mountains and I stopped by a coin show along the way home. I had planned on stopping by the coin show so I had my prized note with me. I showed it to a currency dealer who I've dealt with in the past and he told me that he's never seen or heard of this error on the Civil War Issue North Carolina $1 notes before. They were printed in sheets of 12 and this could be the only survivor. He appraised it at $120. I'm sure it's value has gone up since then. Imagine what it would be worth if it was a coin and not currency.

I was so excited that on the way home I wanted to punch it. There it was, a road crossing over the highway with bushes along the ramp. I sought my chance and accelerated, thinking there's no place for a cop to hide. I only got up to about 80 mph and it was a 65 mph zone but nevertheless, my radar detecter made a sound. It was a low pitched sound that was different than the normal sound it made. I applied the brakes and as I passed the ramp, sure enough, a cop was coming down the ramp. Since he didn't see anyone breaking free from the rest of the cars around he just stayed in the right land and took the next exit. Phew. I eventually gave my radar detector to a girl that needed more than I did.

In the summer of 2006 or 2007 I was at a coin dealer's shop, but too cheap to buy anything as I wasn't thinking much about collecting anything at that time. I saw a 1861 $1 bill priced at $30 and the One Dollar on the reverse was askew. I should have bought it but the error wasn't as dramatic as mine since the One Dollar from an adjacent note wasn't printed on the reverse. Consequently, as far as I know, I still have a one of a kind error note that if it were a coin, or at least a United States Of America issue currency, I could sell it for 4 or 5 figures. Too bad it's not but here it is.

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