During the Civil War, the U.S. government first issued currency for general circulation. The Union had stopped paying out coins, and needed a way to facilitate trade and finance the war. The people were demanding a currency that was guaranteed good by the government. Accordingly, in 1861 the first Federal currency notes were issued.
Between 1861 and 1928, the U.S. issued currency (we refer to it as "large size" because it was bigger than the currency we now use) in many different types. There were Silver and Gold Certificates, backed by precious metal, Legal Tender Notes authorized by Congress, and Federal Reserve Notes issued under the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, among others.
Many of these notes are colorful and beautiful, featuring gorgeous vignettes of events and people of American history. As few people could afford to save quantities of paper money, these notes are generally quite scarce today. This has remained one of the most active areas of the currency market.
F-61a. A gorgeous example with vibrant color and nice centering.
A problem-free Civil War era beauty with fresh paper and bold embossing. Ink could not be any more vivid. Notations include great color along with the EPQ designation.
A pleasing mid-grade Rainbow that comes with good color and very even centering. Very desirable.
A beautiful 'Rainbow' Ace that exhibits vivid color and fresh original paper with full margins. The plate number '4' is fully visible at the top. Strong eye appeal.
Rainbow Series. A lovely example with ink that is still strong and vivid. The paper, which contains blue tint, has retained its originality and brightness. It exhibits only light folding with great eye appeal.
A beautiful 'Rainbow' deuce with strong color, good embossing, and original paper that still retains a fresh appearance. The borders on the front are much nicer than one would expect for the grade and a partial plate number, "24" can be seen at the bottom. A tough and popular note at any grade level and very scarce this nice. Strong eye appeal and very desirable.
Scarce in any grade, this mid-grade higher denomination 'Rainbow' note borders on rare and resides in a comment-free holder. A large red seal and subtle blue tinting towards the right provide pleasing eye appeal. Borders are well centered. Very desirable.
Gorgeous large brown spiked seal.
Large Brown Seal. Very bright and fresh.
Large Red Spiked Seal. Very scarce type.
An attractive 'Brown' seal with plenty of strong color, bright paper, and even margins.
A well margined note with strong color, original paper, and even margins.
Jackass type. Large round seal. Fantastic quality with original embossing visible even through the holder.
A beautiful brown seal deuce on the cusp of grading uncirculated. The note is well centered with deep hues and brilliant white paper. Eye appeal is excellent.
Wide margins surround bold inks. The paper is brilliant and the embossing is sharp. Much tougher than the later notes and very desirable.
A pleasing problem-free note that is well margined, still retains plenty of color, and exhibits modest wear that is well within what would be expected for the grade. A very scarce note, only 28 examples are known according to Track & Price in all grades. Very desirable.
F-135. A marvelous example of this large red seal note. Big jumbo margins all the way around. With just a touch more back side centering this jewel could have hit the 67 level and been really expensive! A prize for any collection. They simply do not usually look this good.
Very scarce with only 100 examples known in all grades according to Track & Price. A well centered and problem-free 'premium' example.
Portrait of Stephen Decatur. A scarce problem-free note that exhibits nice margins and even wear.
Woodchopper. Large Brown Spiked Seal. A very scarce issue with only 76 notes recorded in the Track and Price census. This nearly new example is well margined and displays vivid color.