Central City, Colorado Territory. $5 1875. Fr. 401. The First NB. Charter #2129. PMG Very Fine 30.National Bank Notes that feature black charter numbers are considered rare, as just ten issuing banks are confirmed to have used them. They were printed from plates that had the charter numbers in black and in a different font than the typical red numbers used on most others. The Central City National Bank was the only Territorial issuer who used this feature. This note displays light circulation and very nice eye appeal for the grade. Superb penned signatures and ink tones are also observed. This is just the seventh offering of such a note in over 15 years; the last to sell, an inferior repaired PCGS Very Fine 20, we sold for $19,200 in our 2017 November Baltimore sale. The currently offered not is one of the finest to exist and most certainly the finest we have ever had the privilege of offering. The First National Bank of Central City, charter 2129, was organized on September 15, 1873 with a capital of $50,000, and was chartered on October 31. The doors were opened for business on January 4, 1874. A few months later on May 21, fire broke out a few blocks away from the bank. Realizing it was only a matter of time until the flames reached them, cashier Young and the bank janitor, an African-American man named Henry Poynter, stuffed $100,000 in paper money, $300,000 in securities and other valuable papers into a large metal lard can, which Poynter secretly buried under the porch of his house. The large gold-weighing scales and apparatus, ledgers and records, and other items they put into the vault. Several days later the rubble had cooled to the point at which the safe could be opened. Although some papers were scorched, everything else was found to be intact. Poynter unearthed the paper money and securities, which were safe as well. The First National Bank quickly went back into business in temporary facilities. By 1875 the bank had found a new permanent home on the first floor of a two-story building on Eureka Street. By 1879 the banks in town were doing a combined purchase and shipping business of $125,000 to $200,000 worth of gold per month. The offered Black Charter note is a famous rarity in its own right and is a tangible reminder of the golden days of Colorado mining.From the Q. David Bowers Collection.