Found In Used Book, Early Texas 25-Cent Note Brings $63,250

Average dog can learn 165 words, count up to 4 or 5 and even have a basic understanding of arithmetic.

A 168-year old piece of early Texas paper money, found in one of the dozens of used textbooks purchased for only $10 last year by an Austin, Texas, area couple, sold for $63,250 in a public auction in Tampa, Florida, on January 6, 2011.

“It’s a rare Republic of Texas Exchequer note in the amount of 25 cents, dated on May 1, 1843 and hand-signed by Sam Houston, President of the Republic of Texas,” said Allen Mincho of Heritage Auctions in Dallas, Texas, (, the company that sold the note during its auction at a rare coin and paper money collectors convention in Tampa.
“These notes were printed in various denominations between 1842 and 1845, but probably less than two dozen Texas Exchequer notes are known to survive today.”
The presale estimate by Heritage was $50,000 or more. The name of the winning bidder who paid $63,250 was not revealed.
Mincho said Bill and Cindy Farnsworth of the Austin area were surprised to find the old piece of paper money in September in a used book after returning home from a Southeast Texas auction where they had purchased 11 boxes of old textbooks for $10.
Bill Farnsworth recalled: “My wife called to me and said, ‘I thought you might like to have this.’ The first thing I noticed was that the paper was real thin. I knew enough to know that (modern) reproduction currency is made on much thicker paper.”
He said he previously didn’t enjoy going to auctions as much as he wife did. “I just wasn’t a big auction fan, but I am now.”
Mincho said most of the historic Texas Exchequer notes were destroyed when they were redeemed in the 1840s because they were backed by gold. Although it has signs of wear, the surviving note sold in the auction shows no sign of cancellation, and apparently was never redeemed for its 25 cents face value.

Rare Early Republic of Texas Paper Money Sold At Auction
January 25, 2011: James Buchanan’s Liberty, Proof 70 Graded Coins, Rare Coin Market

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