Right off the bat – before we get any hate mail – we’re not trying to be snide with the “…giant leap for your wallet” bit, but instead creatively modifying one of seminal phrases spoken in human history. The 1971 Apollo 14 mission that landed on the moon inspired a generation of space lovers hoping to one day leave human footprints on the not-so-distant destinations of Mars or Europa (one of Jupiter’s moons). Sadly, the USA government must put these aspirations on hold while we figure out a more “down to earth” federal budget situation.
Surprisingly, the 1971 Apollo 14 launch came with a bankroll: in addition to the highest technological gadgets of the era was a lowly 1963A $20 Chicago Federal Reserve Note. Apparently Harold Collins, Chief of the Mission Support Office, had astronauts Alan Shepard and Edgar D. Mitchell bring the banknote along for the ride. Ordinarily, this note would be considered too pedestrian to collect among those pursuing the hobby’s greatest rarities. In this case, however, you have one of Earth’s most important everyday items – USA currency – shot out of the atmosphere, successfully landing on the moon and then making it back again in one piece.
Dr. Frederick Bart of Bart INC. in Minnesota recently circulated an email proudly announcing this treasure is now up for sale. Dr. Bart is author of “The Bible” of error currency guides,
United States Paper Money Errors, an exhaustive compendium that has served as the foundation of the rising popularity of United States Error Note collecting. He frequently partners with Mike Abramson of Executive Currency to put together some of the most remarkable seasonal paper money catalogs featuring fancy serial number notes and other rarities.
As an aside, Dr. Bart recounts how he narrowly missed the opportunity to own this note when it was first put up for auction in 2006.
“Recognizing the importance of the note (and particularly because of the “bullet-proof” documentation), our firm tendered a bid of $100,000 for it. Missing the opportunity ranks highest among disappointments duirng our 30 years in business.”
Fortunately, this wasn’t the end of the story. Bart did some sleuthing and eventually discovered the identity of the note’s owner, who has now decided to pass it along to another lucky paper money collector. Bart writes:
“This item of incomparable historic importance now offered to grace the holdings of an elite collector. A true aficionado…someone who understands that a Bentley or Maserati can be acquired any day of the week, but the privileges of being a custodian of an item such as this come about only once in a lifetime.”
Indeed, this note is truly “out of this world” in all meanings of the expression. Imagine being able to own a piece of human history that BOTH the collecting and non-collecting public could agree is of insurmountable importance. For many, the current pause in manned space exploration has generated nostalgia for the Apollo Era, and naturally anything collectible from that exciting time is of exceeding interest. It might be decades before man sets foot on Mars or any other planetary body for that matter. Thus, the chance to own a banknote with exhaustive documentation and authentication that landed on the Moon could very well be the opportunity of a lifetime.
The note is being offered for consideration with a buying price of $295,000.
Given its significance, the asking price may not be such a “…giant leap…” after all. Will you be the next collector to own this amazing piece of history? Contact Bart, INC. for further information!
Frederick J. Bart
Important note: PaperMoneyAuction.com receives no compensation for publishing this article whatsoever. This piece is meant to be for news and informational purposes only. Anyone interested in the note should contact Dr. Bart directly.