Sleeper Notes?

Discussion in 'Paper Money' started by logantrky, Jun 2, 2016.

  1. logantrky

    logantrky Member

    In numismatics, we always hear and talk about "sleeper coins" or "sleeper sets."

    As much as I love my silver coin collection, I think that paper currency has a lot more to offer when it comes to the ratio of number printed to collector cost. For instance, there are some notes with under 20,000 printed that can be had for MUCH less than a coin of the same mintage. A popular coin with this low of a mintage would be highly collectible and very pricey.

    Granted, I know we are talking apples and oranges. However, I think paper money has a lot to offer with (assumingly) a lot fewer collectors.

    With that being said, I look at the entire hobby of currency collecting as one big sleeper. Us younger collectors look at money primarily as PAPER, not coins. IMO, I can see paper money collecting really taking off in the coming years as the younger collector base expands.

    I'd be interested to know what everyone thinks of the future state of currency collecting, as well as particular notes that you may believe are 'sleepers.'
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  3. bdunnse

    bdunnse Who dat?

    I find it easy to fill holes in my coin albums at a maximum face value of $1 per coin. I find it hard to collect $100 bills!
  4. logantrky

    logantrky Member

    True. My point was that the # printed compared to collector cost seems to be pretty different compared to coins. It just seems that currency provides better bang for your BUCK. :)
  5. KSorbo

    KSorbo Well-Known Member

    I started collecting large size type notes a few years ago and now have several examples, all in problem free certified holders. During my previous collecting days a couple of decades ago I would have happily purchased such notes but didn't have the opportunity, because without eBay or Heritage and the like there wasn't much selection. Now, with the internet, digital scans and TPG grading I am able to collect with lots of choices and little downside risk, as I can easily turn around and sell notes and only pay eBay fees.

    When considering the extremely low survival of notes versus coins, even a few thousand "new" collectors like me could really fuel some higher prices.
  6. bdunnse

    bdunnse Who dat?

    That's fine, but keep in mind it's relative mintages, not absolute mintages that are important.
  7. KSorbo

    KSorbo Well-Known Member

    BTW I think large size notes in general are sleepers. Even the "common" ones like 1923 SC's only number in the tens of thousands. The older small size notes are also undervalued in my opinion. Those of us who grew up with those designs may find them boring but there is a whole generation of young people now who wouldn't recognize them.
    logantrky likes this.
  8. logantrky

    logantrky Member

    I agree. Curious… what is a good reference for finding relative numbers of large notes? The red book I have mainly lists the printing of only small size notes.
  9. SteveInTampa

    SteveInTampa Always Learning

    Great thread @logantrky and welcome to Coin Talk.

    Out of all the books in my numismatic library, the Whitman Encyclopedia of U.S. Paper Money by Q.David Bowers is the most comprehensive source for information regarding both small and large size U.S. notes. Not only does it show how many notes were printed for a series, but it also shows a current estimated population.

    The photographs and descriptions are top notch, which is what we have come to expect from Q.David Bowers. The book also has a price guide for 5-7 grades.

    My pick for sleeper notes are large size Nationals, and large size iconic notes....Bisons, Chiefs, Educational's etc.
    KSorbo, krispy and logantrky like this.
  10. KSorbo

    KSorbo Well-Known Member

    My Friedberg Red Book also has some estimates for large type if you are looking for something cheaper. The Bowers book has much more detail though.
    logantrky likes this.
  11. Bill G.

    Bill G. New Member

    Prices are driven by supply and demand. Due to small supplies of some issues, currency prices have risen sharply in the past decade with a relatively small influx of collectors. This indicates a lot of price appreciation potential as more collectors enter the field. I'm amazed to see even common notes selling for multiples of what they sold for just fifteen years ago. A lot of Baby Boomers are retiring with time and money on their hands. I see a lot of upside for currency.
    logantrky likes this.
  12. logantrky

    logantrky Member

    Just ordered this online a few minutes ago. Thanks, @SteveInTampa !
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