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."

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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