USD 75000 - 100000
GREECE. Ethniki Trapeza tis Ellados. 500 Drachmai, 1923. P-77. PMG Extremely Fine 40.Printed by ABNC. This is a coveted note for Greek banknote collectors not just for the extreme rarity it possesses but because the reverse has an image of Hagia Sophia, the spiritual center of Eastern Orthodoxy from 360-1204 AD and 1261-1453 AD. Just two examples of this issued variety have been encapsulated by PMG. This type was never meant to enter circulation when it did: an employee from the American Bank Note Company stole some of the notes, added serial numbers, and spent them without the third signature ever being added. We know this because of a Telegram sent in 1928 by the National Bank of Greece which reads:<p><p>"Agency Bank of Athens sent their Head Office one bank note five thousand drachmas circulated in New York<p>Seems very probably genuine but brings number evidently false<p>Number is 210482 without letters and number of series<p>Please note that banknotes five thousand drachmas already prepared have not yet been put into circulation<p>Communicate urgently with Bank Athens and Banknote Company and cable <p>We think this banknote is stolen in the factory during fabrication and before numbering".<p>A copy of the 1928 and 1931 telegrams are included in this lot (the 1931 telegram is in Greek, whilst the 1928 is in English).<p>This note lacks the aforementioned third signature, series, and genuine serial number. It is safe to assume the National Bank and ABNC would have destroyed these notes upon receiving them after they had been falsely issued, and although this note has been cancelled, it has somehow still survived today. This miracle is one of two examples graded by PMG, and it is the first that we can recall handling. We can surmise that even the most advanced collections are missing this piece from their holdings, and we can expect to see spirited bidding on this lot.<p>PMG comments "Cancelled, Trimmed, Minor Discoloration". PMG Pop 1/None Finer.