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.
Vivid ink rests upon bright original paper that is just shy of new. Margins are more than ample and embossing stands out. Great eye appeal!
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.
A lovely note that exhibits plenty of remaining strong ink and well centered margins. The paper is original and pleasing.
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.
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.
A beautiful early $20 Hamilton with the new back design. Well centered, a partial plate number 2 can be seen at the center top. Red 'XX' protectors are quite prominent and are later removed on the 1880 series notes. Lovely color rests upon crisp original paper. Very desirable and sure to please.
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.
A scarcer 'Jackass' note with only 97 known, according to Track and Price, in all grades. This large brown seal example presents deep color, bright paper and displays nicely centered margins. Wonderful eye appeal.
Jackass type. Large round seal. Fantastic quality with original embossing visible even through the holder.
Portrait of Robert Morris. A super note for the grade that exhibits bold inks, bright original paper, and wide even margins. Embossing is sharp and stands out. This example faces up with excellent eye appeal and would not look out of place in a collection of higher grade notes.
A bright large brown seal note that displays deep color and great eye appeal.
Wide margins surround bold inks. The paper is brilliant and the embossing is sharp. Much tougher than the later notes and 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.