One of 35 Known ‘Watermelon’ $100 Bills Among Offerings at CSNS Currency Event

One of the banknotes that is among the most popular with collectors will offer a savory treat to its next owner, after it is sold in Heritage Auctions’ CSNS Currency Signature® Auction May 3-5.

The Fr. 377 $100 1890 Treasury Note PCGS Banknote About Unc 50 Details is known as the “Watermelon $100” because of the iconic design on the reverse, in which the zeroes resemble the popular large fruit from the same family as cucumbers and pumpkins.

“Watermelon notes are always in exceptionally high demand, and Watermelon $100s are exceedingly rare,” says Dustin Johnston, Vice President of Numismatics at Heritage Auctions. “The example in this auction is one of only 35 known examples of this beautiful banknote. Eliminate the eight government-held pieces and this is one of just 27 available to the public.”

The offered example is one of the finer known pieces, and can be traced to the holdings of William Philpott and Bob Medlar, who offered the note in a 1972 advertisement. Shortly thereafter, it was acquired by well-known New York collector Frank Levitan, and then it was later offered in the sale of Frank’s Large Size Type collection in 1998. Aside from a PMG Choice 63 EPQ piece, which sold at auction for $372,000 three years ago, no finer example of this rare and popular type note has been offered at public auction since Heritage sold the Tom Flynn collection in 2008, from which a PMG 53 Net example brought a winning bid of $195,500.

Images and information about all lots in the auction can be found at HA.com/3592.

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