Rare Summerside Bank of P.E.I. bank note on auction block

A Moncton, N.B., man is selling an 1872 $5 bill from the long-gone Summerside Bank of P.E.I.

Minimum bid for $5 bill is set at $54,000

This rare Summerside Bank of P.E.I. $5 bill is up for sale on eBay. (Brian Bell/ eBay)

A rare $5 bill from the Summerside Bank of P.E.I. is up for sale.

Its value has significantly increased since 1872 however, with a $54,000 minimum asking price on eBay. 

"It's the only known surviving $5, 1872 note from this bank," according to Jared Stapleton, president of the Canadian Paper Money Association. 

"It's not even in the national currency collection at the Bank of Canada," he said.

The Summerside Bank of P.E.I. existed between 1866 and 1901, when it was bought by the Bank of New Brunswick, which was eventually absorbed by the Bank of Nova Scotia. 

According to Stapleton, the Bank of Canada attempted to purchase the note at auction when it was put up for sale just over a year ago, but the bank was outbid by a private collector.

The bank note was printed in 1872 by the Summerside Bank of P.E.I., which closed in 1901. (Brian Bell/ eBay)

"This would be one they [Bank of Canada] are interested in," he said.

Brian Bell, the bill's owner, said it was in his father's collection for years until he sold it at auction to the private collector who beat out the Bank of Canada. Since then, the purchaser again auctioned the note, and Bell bought it back. 

"I’m more of an investor and that one there had some sentimental value for me. So I bought it, more as an investment."

Bret Evans, managing editor of Canadian Coin News Magazine, said the bill is special.

"I have no idea why these notes are so scarce, but very few of these notes were cashed in," he said. "There are a couple little tears — not the prettiest I've ever seen, but an incredible note. It was in circulation obviously."

Bell's father, Geoffrey, bought the note in the 1990s from a Fredericton-area collector. He paid $20,000 at that time.

"It’s gone up substantially in that time and it’s got room to go yet. So it’s a great investment. It’s done well for [my father] and it will do well for me, I hope," Bell said.