By Steve Carr
Everyone has debated whether to buy or pass on a coin. Hopefully, if we buy we are happy. If we pass, we also hope we were right. Sometimes, the decision we make seems correct. Sometimes, we have regrets. These are the ones, sadly, that get away.
I had an experience like this about a year ago. Along with coins, I also enjoy collecting National Bank notes from my home state of Kansas. Kansas nationals are fairly common, but some of these common banks only appear every four or five years. And sometimes, you just never see another one.
Nationals are neat because they come, on large size notes, with a plate date on them. This date meant many different things, including the date the plate was put into use or a batch date chosen for unknown reasons. Finding a note with your birthday is truly cool – and I have always wanted to get a note like this.
Imagine my joy finding a $5 Series of 1882 Brownback on The Citizens National Bank of Minneapolis, Kansas on eBay. What made this note most interesting was its plate date. It was November 3, my birthday!! I only knew about one other bank in Kansas with a November 3 plate date, the First National Bank of Westmoreland. Only two notes are known on this bank, both tightly held, so I had no hope here. Four Minneapolis $5 Brownbacks and a total of 12 large size notes are known and this note started at $1500.
Do I buy? The note was impaired. It was in a CGA Fine 15 holder but had a hole on the right side. The top margin was also a little rough. The cashier’s signature was a little smeared while the president’s was gone. The starting price seemed high, though, with 12 large size notes known. Add to that the fact that no one was watching or bidding on it.. Maybe it will fail to sell and be re-listed at a lower price. I decided to wait.
Lo and behold, a sniper bid at the last second took it off the market. My attempt to save a little money backfired. I have always regretted not buying this note. Will another ever appear again during my remaining collecting years? I sure hope so, but you never know.
If you have one of these or know where one is, I would be interested in talking with you.