Got an email from Lyn about the upcoming auction. The message from Mike warrants posting:
In our March Floor Auction we are featuring over 550 lots of special serial numbered US Paper Money. These came from dealer Mike Abramson. As many of you know Mike has been the market maker in fancy serial numbered notes for several decades and has announced his retirement in early 2020. This consignment is the last group of notes Mike has been able to secure in his search for rarities from this popular area of paper money collecting. We are pleased that Mike has chosen our firm to sell these notes. He’s used LKCA multiple times over the years and we’re happy to assist with his last consignment. We thought it would be worth your while to read the background story to this large consignment, as written by Mike himself:
I started as a collector of special serial numbered banknotes back in 1967 when I bought my first note from Ted Gozanski at Superior Currency, across the bridge from Duluth, MN in Superior, WI. I dabbled on and off picking up fancy serial numbered banknotes as a young man until I sold my personal collection in 1988. Since that time I have acted solely as a dealer, and haven’t collected in 32 years. But I have to admit that every time I had the opportunity to buy a major collection of special serial numbered banknotes, my insides started churning with excitement. Today’s consignment to Lyn Knight is the last time I’ll have the opportunity to offer a truly impressive group of notes to the collecting fraternity. This assemblage of over 550 lots of special serial numbered banknotes came from a retired armored car company employee, who was the currency vault manager for nearly 40 years. The resultant notes you are seeing today have been hidden away for decades and represent, to the best of my knowledge, the last great accumulation of special serial numbered notes from any existing supplier. Here’s why I strongly believe this to be true:
For over twenty years From 1988 through 2009 I contacted hundreds of banks and armored car companies in hopes of finding a regular supplier of fancy serial numbered paper money. Most of my inquires were met with strong responses, mostly telling me to never contact their company again. The owners and or managers of these companies wanted nothing to do with me, nor my idea of pulling out radars, repeaters, solid s/n’s and ladder s/n notes for profit. I made thousands of attempts to buy these notes and 99.99% of the time was rejected. Over time I did get lucky and was able to find an employee at a bank or armored car company who had the desire, the ability and the authority to purchase special serial numbers from their place of employment and sell them to me. Through continued solicitation I found a total of five major domestic suppliers over my entire career. In the mid 1990s at my peak, I was buying as many as 150 radars, 150 repeaters, 20 partial ladders, two solid serial numbers and other fancy serial numbers from three different suppliers each month. This went on with some regularity until 2009, when the effects of bank mergers were taking a toll on my ability to buy. As major money center banks such as Wells Fargo, Citi, Bank of America, JPMorgan/Chase and others bought up smaller banks, these “majors” put in different control measures making it increasingly difficult for employees to purchase these notes. By 2009 all my domestic suppliers had dried up as none of them were able to do what they had been doing for years. It has been over a decade since I’ve had a single regular domestic bank vault or armored car company vault manager sell me fancy serial numbers. What few I’ve been able to buy came from random overseas bank suppliers and liquidating collectors.
All through the years I was aware that there was an individual on the east coast who had been accumulating special serial numbers, but when I had approached him every five years or so, he always told me that he liked the notes too much to sell them. In mid 2019 I made the decision to retire on 2-1-2020 and contacted this armored car company employee to tell him about my upcoming retirement. He had been receiving the Executive Currency catalogs that my partners the Barts and I had produced since the year 2000, and knew who we were. So when I contacted him about six months ago he came to the conclusion that I was the right person to sell his collection to. I was thrilled that he chose me. It took weeks to go through his accumulation and select out the best serial numbers for this sale. I would offer the following comments before you review the catalog:
- I am firmly convinced that there is no other regular major domestic supplier of fancy serial numbers left in the U.S. of this material. Granted a few recent issue special serial numbered notes show up for sale occasionally on the internet, but NOTHING remotely like what are viewing in this catalog.
- When looking through this catalog you could be thinking how much more of this material exists? I have consigned everything I bought to Lyn Knight, and he is offering 99.9% of my notes in this auction, keeping only four lots out for future auctions.
- If you are overwhelmed with the selection or if you feel you’ll be able to buy material like this again in the near future, I would urge you to think again. I’ve been chasing this material for 53 years, and this is the last of the last suppliers I could find after working this market for five decades.
- The quality of these notes is exceptional. Unless noted in the catalog, every note is at least Crisp Uncirculated, with perhaps 1/3 being Choice Uncirculated and the remainder Gem banknotes.
- What is remarkable about many of these lots, is the number of matched serial numbers. Look closely at each lot and you’ll be amazed at how many sets of notes are included with incredible numbers of matched fancy serial numbers. These sets cannot be re-assembled at any price. Even if you haven’t collected fancy serial numbers in the past, I would urge you to consider salting away several of these incredible matched serial numbered sets.
It has been a true pleasure to serve collectors and dealers for the past five decades. I enjoyed every minute of it.