"The Great Northern Hoard" of paper money
acquired by Littleton Coin Company

(Littleton, NH) - An extraordinary accumulation of 19th and early 20th century U.S. paper money, apparently the largest of its kind seen for many years by knowledgeable U.S. currency dealers, has been acquired intact by Littleton Coin Company of Littleton, New Hampshire.

Described as "The Great Northern Hoard," it contains nearly 8,300 bank notes. The highlights include:

  • 1,358 large-size type notes ranging from Very Good to Choice Crisp Uncirculated, including 278 Large-Size Federal Reserve Note $1, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100 denominations
  • 14 examples of the 1918 $2 "Battleship" Federal Reserve note
  • 31 of the 1899 $2 Silver Certificates
  • 168 pieces of 1917 $1 Legal Tenders
  • 87 of the 1917 $2 Legal Tenders
  • 51 of the 1907 $5 Woodchoppers
  • 231 examples of 1899 $1 Black Eagles
  • 579 of the 1923 $1 Silvers
  • 31 of the 1899 $5 "Chief"
  • 22 of the 1901 Legal Tender $10 "Bison"
  • 21 of the 1896, $1, $2, and $5 Educational series; and 53 examples of early 1862-1891 large-size type notes

There are also 215 large and small size Gold Notes; 566 Hawaii and North Africa overprints;17 Gem Crisp Uncirculated 100-note original packs of early small-size notes, including a rare pack of 1934 C $10 Silver Certificates, which few dealers or collectors have ever seen. 112 Choice to Gem Crisp Uncirculated $1 1928 and 1934 Silver Certificates, the popular so-called "Funny Back" notes; and a variety of more than 2,000 Uncirculated Series 1935 $1 Silver Certificates ranging from Choice to Gem.

David Sundman, president of Littleton Coin Company, was exuberant about the purchase: "I am especially excited about this hoard. In our 55-plus year history of buying and selling notes, my father Maynard Sundman and I have seen and bought a lot of currency. But 'The Great Northern Hoard' is Littleton's largest purchase of U.S. paper money from one source."

The accumulation is valued at nearly a third-of-a-million dollars at cost.

"A $325,000 purchase would not be considered much for a coin 'deal' these days, but it is a major acquisition in the paper money arena," said Sundman, a long-time paper money collector.

"Our source is from the Northern-Midwest area, and wants to remain anonymous. As he is still actively accumulating additional currency we hope to purchase, he wants to keep his identity secret and confidential."

Sundman emphasized that the Gem CU small-size packs in this purchase are especially noteworthy.

"There is increasing interest in collecting small-size notes, as the prices of large-size notes have increased dramatically, particularly in the past six years. What I find remarkable in this group of original packs is their pristine condition, and the quantity of the tough packs, such as the pack of 1934 C $10 Silver Certificates we valued at over $20,000," he explained.

"Obviously, this large accumulation was carefully collected over a period of years by our Northern-Midwest source. A lot of our friendly dealer competitors would love to have bought this deal, kept some of the better notes, and flipped the remainder to us. It is a real find to buy it intact. I believe Littleton was ultimately successful in purchasing "The Great Northern Hoard" intact, because of our strength. Littleton Coin is a family company, one of America's oldest and strongest numismatic firms. Sellers who contact us know that we purchase for our retail customers exclusively, and do not wholesale or sell at a discount, so we can and do pay very fair prices."

Sundman pointed out that collecting U.S. paper money has exploded in popularity in the past 10 years, and dealers today are hard pressed to locate enough stock.

"Collecting U.S. paper money would be even more popular, if there were more notes available like those we found in this hoard. I think the main reason for the growth in collecting paper currency the past 5 years is that there is more awareness by the greater numismatic hobby of the relative cheapness of collecting currency. Today, more U.S. collectors know that U.S. paper currency is extremely scarce, in comparison to U.S. coins. A rare note sells for a fraction of a comparably rare U.S. coin. As a result of the increased popularity of collecting currency, today our only problem is finding enough good U.S. paper money like this to offer our retail customers."

All of the notes in "The Great Northern Hoard" will be offered exclusively to Littleton retail clients.

This is the latest major hoard acquired by Littleton in recent years.

  • 1996: The New York Subway Hoard consisting of 23,000 rare coins originally pulled from New York Transit Authority subway and bus fares during the 1940s, '50s and early 60s.
  • 1997: separate hoards of 112,000 Indian Head/Buffalo nickels; 40,000 Liberty nickels; 3,671 Flying Eagle cents
  • 1998: The Midwest MegaHoard, an accumulation of more than 1.7 million Indian Head cents, Liberty nickels, and Indian Head/Buffalo nickels weighing 7.6 tons, and a separate hoard of 300,000 Indian Head/Buffalo nickels.
  • 2000: A collection of 65 pieces of 1860s era paper money including a previously unknown example 1866 $20 gold certificate that Sundman arranged for the surprised owner to sell at an auction for $242,000.

"Just when you think that maybe we've seen the last 'discovery' of a major collection or hoard, another one surfaces. It is always exciting to see coins and bank notes that are a century old, yet considered 'fresh material' on the market," said Sundman.

Littleton Coin Company was founded in 1945 by Maynard and Fannie Sundman at the close of World War II. The family-owned company has provided friendly service to collectors for over 57 years. Now one of the largest coin and paper money mail order companies in the United States, the company employs approximately 350 New Hampshire and Vermont residents.