Where Are All The Florida Red Seals?


We got back from 2013 Florida United Numismatists Show in Orlando about a month ago.  It was a good time as usual.  However, while I was there I started asking myself a serious question.  Where are all the Florida red seals?  There are officially 31 1902 red seals known to exist according to census records.  I personally know of at least three others.  There is also probably another handful rumored to exist or hiding in private collections.  So as of right now the most one could reasonably assume that exist would be around 40.

The towns in Florida that currently have existing red seals are Apalachicola, De Funiak Springs, Gainesville, Graceville, Jacksonville, Key West, Madison, Marianna, Miami, Perry, Quincy, St. Petersburg, and Tampa.  That is 13 towns in total.  However, over the past twenty years we have only seen four towns ever come up for auction.  Those towns are Jacksonville, Madison, Marianna, and Apalachicola.  Despite being relatively rare items, these red seals traditionally sell in the $4,000 to $7,500 range.  So where are all the other red seals?  Specifically:

Gainesville – Very Fine
Graceville – Extremely Fine
Key West – Very Fine
Perry – Extremely Fine
Quincy – Extremely Fine

Those notes, in those grades, would be very interesting to see.  I have a black and white copy of the Graceville somewhere.  However, I have never seen the other notes.  It’s not like they are lost.  They are just tucked away in private collections somewhere.

One of the most excited things related to Florida red seals is the possibility of what could still be found.  Red seals were also printed by banks in Alachua, Arcadia, Chipley, Fort Myers, Jasper, Lake City, Milton, Ocala, Pensacola, Sanford, and St. Augustine.  Some of those banks are common, and some are quite rare.  A high grade red seal from any of those towns would be a great discovery.

Want to share a find with us?  We would love to see pictures of any red seal from Florida.  We can help you with the value and give you our best offer.  We are motivated buyers.  Info@RareNationalCurrency.com


For good measure I included a decent looking VF red seal from Madison, FL.  This sold for around $7,000 in 2012.