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Jorde Collection Up for Sale
By Robert R. Van Ryzin, Bank Note Reporter
December 19, 2012

This article was originally printed in Bank Note Reporter.
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A major state currency collection, offering many items off the market for years, is set to cross the block in North Dakota as Lyn Knight Currency Auctions presents the North Dakota note collection of Glen Jorde on Saturday, Jan. 26. The sale is at the Best Western Fargo Doublewood Inn in Fargo, N.D. The auction is being held in conjunction with the Red River Valley Coin Club’s 53rd annual show, Jan. 26-27, at the same venue.

Jorde, a dealer and collector, has been building the collection for nearly 50 years, ever since he bought his first North Dakota national at a show he visited with his father, Olaf Jorde, in Carrrington, N.D., in 1963. The note that got Glen started was a 1929 $10 on the First National Bank of Northwood, N.D., for which he paid the then princely sum of $50.

Today, Jorde’s comprehensive state collection features, among large-size notes, seven First Charters, 18 Brown Back Second Charters, 16 Second Charter Date Backs and eight Value Backs. Among Third Charters there are 17 Red Seals, 39 Date Backs, and 128 Plain Backs. In small-size notes, there are 12 Type 1 $5s, 50 Type 1 $10s, 46 Type 1 $20s, one Type 1 $50, one Type 1 $100, seven Type 2 $5s, 28 Type 2 $10s, 15 Type 2 $20s, an uncut pair and four uncut sheets.

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These notes cover some 124 towns, 156 large-size issuing banks, 92 small-size issuing banks, and five territorials.

“There’s a lot of variety not just as to the banks but the types,” Jorde told BNR of the collection and the sale. “So it’s going to be an opportunity for anybody interested to go at some notes—some of them having been off the market for over 40 years.”

According to Jorde, who operates Lake Region Coin & Currency in Devils Lake, N.D., the last large sale of a single state was that of Minnesota notes from the Melamed collection. “That was very comprehensive” and “about the same number of notes,” but this is “more comprehensive as to types and rare charters.”

Jorde’s favorite note in the sale is a Dakota Territory $5 No. 1 Brown Back from the Capital National Bank of Bismarck, N.D., charter 2986, signed by Nehemiah Ordway, the bank’s president and governor of Dakota Territory at the time.

“Not only is it unique as a Territorial note from that bank, but it’s got a really interesting story behind it,” he said, detailing Ordway’s shady maneuvering to get the territorial capital in Bismarck. “There’s the note that tells the story right there. So I guess from a historical and rarity standpoint, that’s probably the highlight of the collection.”

Though a dealer himself, Jorde said he chose to consign the notes to auction because doing so would provide more collectors with an opportunity to build their collections.

“What if there’s a note that potentially five collectors would want,” he said. “If I sold it to one collector, the other four didn’t have a shot, right? This way it’s an even playing field. Everybody has an opportunity. It’s totally fair for everybody. And that’s the reason I decided to do the auction.

“As far as duplicates, over the years I’ve sold those myself. But as far as selling the collection, this is the fair way to do it.”

Besides the notes illustrated in the Knight catalog, Jorde provided pictures of the issuing banks or the cities to help flush out the background information.

“He’s doing a lot of history on the towns and also on the signers of the notes,” Jorde said of Knight’s work on the catalog. “There are a lot of side stories about the different officers who signed the bills. I sent over 200 picture postcards to choose from. If I had a postcard of the bank building the way it looked during the issuing period I sent that. If I didn’t, I sent a main street view of the town so a person could see what the town looked like of 100 years ago or so.”

“There’s a lot of historical data that is going to be in this catalog, which is going to make it really unique,” he sad, adding that Andrew Shiva of the National Currency Foundation has been updating the census data, using the collection, so everything in the catalog will be current as to numbers known.

Jorde said he, Knight, and the Red River Valley Coin Club, have been working to get word out about the sale throughout the state. Knight sent out a color pamphlet, “A History of North Dakota Banking Through Their National Bank Notes,” featuring several of the notes in the sale and offering banking history.

“Lyn mailed that to every bank in North Dakota,” Jorde said. “I was in my bank the other day and one of the officers said ‘Hey, we got something interesting in the mail,’ and he was holding up the booklet. So I know it is going out. And also we are going to send news releases to every newspaper in the state. We’re going to do some paid advertising in the state. And we are doing a lot of co-op advertising with the Red River Valley Coin Club.”

Jorde, who collects a wide variety of material related to North Dakota and Dakota Territory, including postal history, trade tokens and stock certificates, says he’s plans to continue collecting, but it’s time to narrow the scope some.

“I’ve been lucky to have been the caretaker of these lovely notes and the collection it has become over the last 50 years and now it’s time to let others enjoy the notes and make them a part of your collection,” he said. “I will always be a North Dakota collector and hope I am able to share the great memories I have had for years to come.”

Catalogs for the Knight sale were to be available by Jan. 1 and are priced at $25 postpaid. For additional information, visit

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