This month I have invited Heritage Auction’s Currency Vice President Dustin Johnston to share some of his thoughts on consigning, purchasing and inventory keeping of bank notes. Johnston joined the Heritage team in 1998 and has been active in nearly every aspect of the business. Prior to joining Heritage, he won a number of literary and exhibiting awards from the ANA. Dustin also served as an Exhibit Judge and Numismatic Theater Speaker for the ANA. He oversees the management of the Currency division including consignment acquisitions, purchasing, cataloging, and inventory management. He is a member of the PNG, ANA, IBNS, and SPMC. Currently, he serves as Vice President for the Professional Currency Dealers Association, and a board member for the Professional Numismatists Guild and Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation.
Q: What inspired you to become a professional in the bank note field?
A: My numismatic interests started in coins. At Heritage, I was exposed to a ton of currency and loved every bit of it. After gleaning some currency knowledge from Allen Mincho and Len Glazer, as well as influence from Peter Huntoon, I actively sought to make currency the central part of my career.
Q: What path did you follow to become a Currency Vice President?
A: The position comes with responsibilities that are equal parts numismatic expert and administrator. I immersed myself in the material, while working to improve the client experience and technologies that make our Currency division second to none.
Q: Do you have a personal bank note collection? If so, how long have you been a collector?
A: I love currency and have broad interests. National Bank Notes from Arizona have been my main focus for over a decade. Now, I seek out Scandinavian paper money, WWI POW currency, and anything that is related to the 1918 Armistice as well.
Q: What is the most interesting bank note you have encountered as a consignment?
A: There are too many to list. These include the Serial Number 1 Fairbanks Red Seal, the Baby Face Nelson Cash Hoard, and the 1914/1918 Federal Reserve Proof Set from the Grinnell Auction. You’ll run out of print space to list all of the really great items with incredible stories that we have handled!
Q: What trends do you see taking place in the COVID-19 marketplace?
A: As unfortunate as this pandemic has been, most collectors have had extra time at home to read, study, and seek out items for their collection. Combine that with disposable income that otherwise might have been spent on other restricted activities like travel, and we have seen an increase in bidding and higher prices overall.
Q: What advantages exist for buyers and sellers via online auctions?
A: Online platforms bring a mass…