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Flemington Man Adds Rare Alaska Currency to Collection

Jess Lipka was exhilarated at the chance of owning the rare $5 bill, even though his winning bid of nearly $247,000 terrified him.

AP Photo/Heritage Auctions

But he was determined to have the century-old note issued through the First National Bank of Fairbanks, Alaska. Thus his steep bid at an auction by Dallas-based Heritage Auctions last week.

The 51-year-old Flemington, N.J., man is a coin and currency dealer, but says the bill is for his private collection.

The bill was presented in 1905 to Vice President Charles W. Fairbanks, the namesake of the Alaska city.

The bill has been in the family’s possession since. Charles W. Fairbanks IV of California, the vice president’s great-grandson, recently decided to auction it.

Auction officials say it was one of just four notes of its kind.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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