Rare Alaska $5 Bill Is Scheduled For Auction

A rare Alaska $5 bill is all set to be auctioned off to someone without enough cash to bring the item home, according to UPI. The uncirculated note is expected to bring in around $200,000, and that’s on the low end of the spectrum. The minimum bid for this extremely rare bill is $120,000.

The rare $5 bill was presented to former Vice President Charles W. Fairbanks as soon as it hopped off the press over 197 years ago. For several decades, the note, which features an image of President Benjamin Harrison in place of President Abraham Lincoln, was considered to be a Fairbanks family heirloom. Not surprisingly, many collectors are eager to get their hands on the item in question now that it’s on the market.

The Associated Press reports that the rare Alaska $5 bill, an item that spent most of its life inside a frame, will be auctioned off by the folks at Heritage Auctions of Dallas. Once Charles Fairbanks IV caught wind of how much the currency was worth, he quickly removed the bill from his home and placed it inside a deposit box for safe keeping.

“Why stress out and worry about something?” Fairbanks explained. “It’d be like having a Monet in the house.”

According to Dustin Johnston, director of Heritage’s currency auctions, the $5 bill in Fairbanks’ possession is just one of four notes in the $5 denomination issued by the Alaska bank way back in 1905. Almost 15 years ago, one of the bills made it to auction where it fetched an extremely handsome $100,000.


University of Alaska Museum of the North in Fairbanks has possession of a third bill, which reportedly looks as fresh, crisp, and clean as the day it popped out of the printing press. Unfortunately for currency collectors looking for near-mint items, this particular version of the note is not for sale.

“It’s a wonderful, wonderful find,” Dustin Johnston stated. “It’s easily in the top five of what I’ve handled.”

How much would you pay to own a rare Alaska $5 bill?