Rare $1,000 'watermelon' bill sells at auction for $2M

BALTIMORE (AP) — A rare $1,000 bill nicknamed "the grand watermelon" for its ornate green zeros has sold at auction for $2.04 million.

The Baltimore Sun reports the 1890 series Treasury note sold to an anonymous buyer Thursday at the Baltimore Winter Whitman Expo.

Stacks Bower is the auction house that sold the item at the currency and coin show. Its director of currency, Peter Treglia, says the bill is "the one key item that every collector dreams of owning."

Related: Items from RMS Titanic sold at auction: 

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Items from RMS Titanic sold at auction
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Items from RMS Titanic sold at auction
A pocket watch recovered from the RMS Titanic is on display during the Titanic Auction preview by Guernsey's Auction House in New York January 5, 2012. The biggest collection of Titanic artifacts is to be sold off as a single lot in an auction timed for the 100th anniversary in April of the sinking of the famed ocean liner. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT DISASTER)
A lunch menu for the Titanic is on display at Bonham's auction house in New York April 10, 2012. Bonham's will sell off items such as telegrams, books, newspapers, and replicas from the film "Titanic" for the auction "R.M.S. Titanic: 100 Years of Fact and Fiction" on Sunday, April 15, 2012. REUTERS/Keith Bedford (UNITED STATES - Tags: SOCIETY BUSINESS)
An attendent displays a volume of thirty-four signals between the ocean liners Olympic, Titanic, Carpathia and other ships, dated April 14th to April 16th 1912, detailing the distress signals of the Titanic and rescue operations following the disaster during an auction of maritime items at Christie's East in New York, February 17. The volume of messages sold at the auction for $123,500 to an undisclosed bidder.
A cast bronze name board from the Titanic cruise ship's life boat sits on display at Christie's in New York May 26, 2006. The board and three other pieces from Titanic life boats will be sold off during the auction house's "Ocean Liner Furnishings and Art" auction on June 1. REUTERS/Keith Bedford
A cast bronze name board from the Titanic cruise ship's life boat is displayed at Christie's in New York May 26, 2006. The board and three other pieces from Titanic life boats will be sold off during the auction house's "Ocean Liner Furnishings and Art" auction on June 1. REUTERS/Keith Bedford
A pair of binoculars recovered from the RMS Titanic is on display during the Titanic Auction preview by Guernsey's Auction House in New York, January 5, 2012. The biggest collection of Titanic artifacts is to be sold off as a single lot in an auction timed for the 100th anniversary in April of the sinking of the famed ocean liner. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid (UNITED STATES - Tags: DISASTER)
Jewelry recovered from the RMS Titanic is on display during the Titanic Auction preview by Guernsey's Auction House in New York, January 5, 2012. The biggest collection of Titanic artifacts will be sold off as a single lot in an auction timed for the 100th anniversary in April of the sinking of the famed ocean liner. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT DISASTER)
A diamond-encrusted bracelet recovered from the RMS Titanic is on display during the Titanic Auction preview by Guernsey's Auction House in New York, January 5, 2012. The biggest collection of Titanic artifacts is to be sold off as a single lot in an auction timed for the 100th anniversary in April of the sinking of the famed ocean liner. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid (UNITED STATES - Tags: DISASTER)
A launch ticket for the Titanic is put into a case at Bonham's auction house in New York April 10, 2012. A rare original launch ticket that could sell for up to $70,000 will be the highlight of an auction in New York of Titanic memorabilia to mark the centennial anniversary of the ill-fated voyage, Bonham's said on Tuesday. The ticket, which has its perforated admission stub still intact, would have allowed its holder to the launching and christening of the Titanic. REUTERS/Keith Bedford (UNITED STATES - Tags: SOCIETY BUSINESS)
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Only three of 18,000 printed notes remain in private collections. One note sold in Dallas four years ago for $3.29 million.

The bill bears the face of Gen. George Meade, who commanded Union forces at Gettysburg. Treglia says it's about 50 percent larger than current bills, and is still legal tender.

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Information from: The Baltimore Sun, http://www.baltimoresun.com

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