Label sets offer a fascinating collectible and, while not rare
when initially delivered to the Federal Reserve bank or cash distribution centers,
because so few are saved if their cost was parallel with their rarity then it
would take a king's ransom to acquire one. Major grading services can now
produce holders to accommodate all parts of a label set.
The evolution of the end labels is fascinating and a reflection
of ongoing technology. The earliest end labels were wooden slats with the
end label glued to the top slat. The 4,000 notes were held together by
steel straps. (As a side note, it is these steel straps which caused the rust
found on the edges of many $2 1976 notes, because they were stored for so many
years.) Currently, each bundle of 1,000 notes (10 packs of 100 notes) is
shrink wrapped with an adhesive label imprinted with the denomination, series,
and beginning serial number. Four bundles of 1,000 notes are then placed
into a cellophane wrapper to create a brick.
A "true" LABEL SET consists of the BEP packaging
imprinted with data, which has evolved over time. Typically, the imprint
--the series year
--the district of issue (for Federal Reserve notes)
--the serial number of the first note in the brick
--the serial number of the last note in the brick
--the caveat that star notes are inserted if the actual
of serial numbering is disrupted
A COMPLETE LABEL SET includes:
--the FIRST and LAST NOTES, identified by serial number
A TYPICAL LABEL SET includes:
--the FIRST NOTE, as identified by serial number
Further adding to the allure of these unusual items is that
either the first, the last, or both of the notes will carry a fancy serial
number. In the most exciting instances the first serial will be 00000001
and in other cases, at the end of the run, the last serial will be 999999999.
Modern "blister packs", sealed with shrink wrap and
including a bar code label that contain ten (10) packs of star/replacement
notes will have the series, district, and serial numbers of the notes in which
the stars are intended to replace. It is not uncommon to see a label
imprint of one series but the actual star notes one or, even, two series prior!
This area remains generally overlooked/under appreciated and if
interest in this specialty area increases, one might potentially expect the
value of these to soar. As mentioned: many are made, few are saved.
Recently, our firm bought a label set with serial 00000001
beginning, 00004000 ending, plus the label for $7,500. Most label sets
cost no where near that much. Although random ads appear in the
numismatic literature and online auction sites showing these between $100-250,
we have priced this set more attractively.
items in this particular sale are illustrated below. Expect individual
notes to grade at least Choice New 63 PQ, unless otherwise noted.