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PMG Discovers New Friedberg Variety
by PMG

PMG is thrilled to announce that it has discovered a new variety of the 1915 10 Dollar Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank Note, which has been given the Friedberg number 817b. The Friedberg number refers to Arthur L. and Ira S. Friedberg’s Paper Money of the United States, the authoritative reference of US currency. The discovery note features hand-signed signatures rather than the engraved or stamped signatures seen on previously known varieties and is graded About Uncirculated 58 EPQ. It will be included in an upcoming Heritage Auction Galleries sale.

Chad Hawk, a grader at PMG, discovered the note. Chad commented, “This discovery is very special to me. I’ve been blessed to see some of the world’s finest notes, but this will stick with me forever.”



On its potential impact, Chad noted, “This discovery is important because it will encourage collectors to keep looking, because discovery notes are out there, waiting to be discovered. If more notes of this type surface, we may be able to find out why they began signing and hand-stamping the signatures in the first place. As Federal Reserve Bank Notes were among the first transitions from Nationals to Federal Reserve Notes, this discovery could help us understand more about the transition from signed notes to engraved plates.”

Federal Reserve Bank Notes came into existence with the creation of the Federal Reserve System. Two separate issues were issued: the series of 1915 and the series of 1918, and they are avidly collected and studied. The 1915 10 Dollar Notes from the Kansas City issuing bank carried the signatures of Teehee & Burke (Register and Treasurer of the US) and Cross & Miller (Cashier and Governor of the Federal Reserve Bank in Kansas City).

There was thought to be only two varieties of the note: one with the bank signatures plate engraved (Fr. 817) and another with bank signatures hand-stamped in red with Cross as “Acting” Secretary (Fr. 817a). The discovery note carries the same signatures as both 817 and 817a, but the signatures of Cross and Miller are hand-signed. Glen Jorde, president of PMG, adds that, “This is the first time this has ever been seen on any of the 1915 Federal Reserve Bank Notes, let alone the Kansas City district. This is perhaps the most important discovery in the past 10 years in the Federal Reserve Bank Notes series.”

A Closer Look at the Fr. 817
1915 10 Dollar Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank Notes

Fr. 817
A 1915 Federal Reserve Bank Note from Kansas City, this note carries the signatures of Teehee & Burke (Register and Treasurer of the US) and Cross & Miller (Cashier and Governor of the FRB in Kansas City). Teehee & Burke’s signatures are engraved as well as Cross & Miller’s. The engraved signatures of Cross & Miller indicate the note is a Fr. 817.

Fr. 817a
Just like Fr. 817, Fr. 817a carries the same signatures of Teehee, Burke, Cross & Miller. The difference between each type is how Cross & Miller’s signatures are attributed to the note. For an 817a, Cross & Miller’s signatures are hand-stamped rather than plate-engraved. There is a much smaller amount known of this variety, so these notes bring a much higher premium.

Fr. 817b — THE DISCOVERY NOTE
The newly discovered Fr. 817b carries the same signatures as both the 817 and 817a. The difference here also lies in how the signatures are attributed to the note. For the 817b, Cross & Miller’s signatures are HAND-SIGNED. This is the first time this has ever been seen on any of the 1915 Federal Reserve Bank Notes, let alone the Kansas City district. It is unknown exactly how many exist today. The newly discovered 817b bears the serial number J109A, which may indicate that hand signatures only appeared on lower serial numbers. This is the second-lowest serial number recorded since 1991, but there is no mention of hand-signed signatures.

The collecting of Fr. 817s is popular in district sets of Federal Reserve Bank Notes. The Fr. 817 is a better note to have for district sets for two reasons. First, Kansas City is always a better district due to lower production levels, and second, there are only six districts available for the $10 note compared to the 11 districts that are available in the $1, $2 and $5 denominations.
 



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