Compound Interest Value could be over $123 Million
TORONTO, June 20, 2014 /CNW/ - A 1795 $1000 certificate issued by the
United States Department of the Treasury may be one of the most
interesting pieces of American financial history ever to be offered by
public auction. It will be sold in the Canadian Legacy Sale, presented by Canadian Coin & Currency and Moore Numismatic Auctions
from June 26-28. The certificate has been certified by PMG (Paper Money
Guarantee, LLC) for authenticity, and is in Extremely Fine condition.
Dated 20th of July, 1795, the certificate bears interest indefinitely at a rate of
5.5% per annum, and appears to remain unredeemed. If compounded over
the 219 years since it was issued, this would now total a staggering
redemption value of $123,676,914. While it is unlikely the Department
of the Treasury would redeem this certificate today, it remains an
amazing artefact of an important period of American history.
In 1795, President George Washington was working towards building a
strong and well-financed national government. As Secretary of the
Treasury, Alexander Hamilton was the architect of a new financial
system, establishing a national bank, issuing currency, and raising
revenue. In 1795, this Treasury Certificate was one of the first
sources of revenue for the young country, and may be seen as the
predecessor of the modern "T-Bill". $1000 in 1795 was an enormous
amount of money, and certificates of this value would have been
purchased only by the wealthy and elite of the era.
The certificate measures approximately 7.25 inches by 13 inches and
includes an embossed official seal of Robert Henry Dunkin, Notary
Public for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It also bears the hand
written name of Joseph Nourse, the first Register of the Treasury of
the United States. The certificate was issued to "Arthur Cramond & Co.
of London", and this would have been the company's copy of the
registered loan to the United States Treasury. Research on the original
certificate owner is as fascinating as the certificate itself. Arthur
Cramond & Co. of London was a merchant firm operating in England that
filed for bankruptcy in 1797, two years after the certificate was
issued. While Arthur Cramond remained in London, his brother William
Cramond was a powerful American merchant, property surveyor and land
speculator, acquiring huge tracts of land in Pennsylvania, and building
for himself the first gothic-style mansion in Philadelphia (which
remains today). Unfortunately, William Cramond likely could not enjoy
his stunning new home for long, as he was bankrupt by 1806.
The survival of this early financial document likely stems from
Cramond's failure to provide the certificate to creditors upon
bankruptcy. Today, it survives as a testament to the development of
the United States financial system, and is likely the oldest known
certificate from the Treasury of the United States. While auctioneer
Steven Bromberg says "I hope the piece will be purchased or donated to
a public museum" he also says that he suspects it may end up on display
in a Wall Street office or in the hands of an advanced banknote
collector. When asked about the expected hammer price, Bromberg says he
has "no idea what the item will bring" but that it is one of the most
interesting lots he has ever handled. The historic certificate is
being sold at auction without reserve.
The certificate is lot #2134 in the sale, to be held at the Hilton
Toronto hotel June 26th to 28th, 2014. Bidders can view images and bid live through www.cdncoin.com and iCollector.com.
Additional information and full PDF auction catalogues can be found at www.cdncoin.com.
Statements provided by:
Steven Bromberg, Auctioneer, Canadian Legacy Sale; President Canadian Coin & Currency Corp.
SOURCE: Canadian Coin & Currency Corp.
For further information:
Paula Marques, Auction Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org, 905-883-5300 ext: 204)
Mariam Nader, Communications (email@example.com, 905-883-5300 ext: 281)