Once every five years or so, according to currency dealer Stacks Bowers, an 1878 $500 Legal Tender Note surfaces at auction. The last time that this one appeared, in 2007, it brought $517,000. Classified technically as a “Friedberg 185d,” it’s rated ‘Very Fine’ and one of only six known, one of which is in the Smithsonian and another in the Federal Reserve Bank of N.Y. When this example comes up at the ANA World’s Fair of Money Auction in Philadelphia on August 8th, it’s expected to realize $300,000-$500,000.
Previously, the $500 note has been in several illustrious collections, including those of Amon Carter, Frank Levitan, and now the Anderson family, for whom it’s being sold. The extremely rare note features a portrait of Major General Joseph King Mansfield.