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Bidders Braved Cold Nights for Jorde Auction
By Steve Frendin, Bank Note Reporter
February 27, 2013

This article was originally printed in Bank Note Reporter.
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The nights and the days were very cold in Fargo, N.D., the week of Jan. 20-26, with actual temperatures in the 20-below-zero range, and wind chills of 30 below. However, the weather did not stop, or even slow down the weekend events. Glen Jorde’s collection of North Dakota National Bank Notes were at auction courtesy of Lyn Knight Currency Auctions, Overland Park, Kan.

Both of these men are to be commended for bringing this big-time event to this chilly venue. Things kicked off Friday night with a “Round Table Discussion.” Lyn Knight gave stocking caps to the participants. Embroidered on the caps were the words: “The North Dakota Collection, ‘Cold Nights, Hot Notes’ Jan. 26, 2013.”

The auction was held in conjunction with a two-day coin show hosted by the Red River Valley Coin Club. The auction and coin show were located in the same hotel, which helped attendance at both events.

The room was packed for the 4:30 p.m. start. The crowd, estimated at 150, overflowed into the hallway. Local interest in this collection was high, and it didn’t take long to get the blood pumping.

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Item No. 23, a Bismarck territorial Brown Back, serial No. 1, sold to a well-known collector for $85,000 after some spirited bidding. Bismarck is the capital of North Dakota.

Prices do not include the 15 percent buyer’s premium.

Other notable notes were a Casselton territorial for $8,000; Red River Bank of Fargo, $14,000; First National Bank of Harvey, Brown Back, Serial No. 1, $25,000; and a Wahpeton territorial, found in an auction purchase box of books, at $20,000. Additional premium notes included: five territorials, 18 Brown Backs, 17 Red Seals, and four uncut sheets.

On a personal note, having an interest in nearly all items in the collection, I actually bid on just one item, a $100 1882 Date Back from Grand Forks. This turned out to be a rare note, with only one of its type in private hands and one at the Smithsonian. My highest bid was $7,250 and was immediately swallowed up by the eventual winning bid of $7,500. I had the feeling that the winning bidder was willing to go much higher.

Other interesting acquisitions, included a local dealer, able to post the winning bid on at least one of his hometown Casselton notes. On the low end was a small-size note from Lidgerwood, selling for $80. The fact that only half the note remained was likely the reason. Pre-auction estimate was $20-40.

Actual demand did not live up to pre-auction estimates, with 20 percent of the notes selling below the catalog low estimates, and 5 percent of notes failing to garner a bid.

At the end of the day, temperatures were above zero and everyone was looking forward to the 30 degrees forecast for Sunday.

For additional auction information, visit

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