30 Shillings, North Carolina, 1754

By: Handini

While it is not too difficult to find colonial money from the 1770's, sometimes, earlier notes can be found. New Jersey colonials from the 1760's also turn up on occasion. Probing into the earlier decades of the colonial era however does not necessarily prove too difficult for the colonial collector. As far as North Carolina colonials go, the notes from 1748 and 1754 are not as rare as other earlier colonials. Of course, colonials earlier than that almost never turn up. Good luck finding a colonial Massachusetts note from 1690, and being able to afford it.

I recently purchased a 30 shilling note from North Carolina dated March 9, 1754. Many of these notes appear to have been so crudely cut that a lot of them have portions missing such as the 54 or just the 4 from the date. A lot of these notes bear, on their reverse, the signatures of people who came across the individual note. This was likely done to track who spent it in case it turned out to be a counterfeit.

30 Shillings, North Carolina (1754)
Image Contribution: Handini

30 Shillings, North Carolina (1754)
Image Contribution: Handini

Other Denominations of March 9, 1754 NC colonials include:

                                            4 pence
                                            8 pence
                                            1 shilling
                                            2 shillings 8 pence
                                            4 shillings
                                            5 shillings
                                            6 shillings 8 pence
                                          10 shillings
                                          15 shillings
                                          20 shillings
                                          30 shillings
                                          40 shillings                                                                                    (Source: Pick)

I love the plain and uncluttered design of this note, as opposed to the later colonials of the 1770's. Note how this note is declared to be 30 shillings and not backed by Spanish Milled Dollars, gold or silver as the Continental Currency was. Paper currency began as fiat currency and upon the realization of the distrust people had for the paper, they became backed by a tangible asset like gold or silver. With the fiat dollar of the Federal Reserve System, we have come full circle. The dollar of today will remain abundant, and even more so, than the colonial fiat notes. Thank you Bernanke. Our great great great grand children will be able to amass a large collection of 100 dollar bills from our generation for the price of a gram of copper.


  1. Well, I just bought one from Heritage Auctions - and in pretty good shape considering it is rated "Fine 15" from PCGS. Thanks for explaining what all the signatures are on the back. I noted that there appears to be signatures on the front where the currency signators would normally sign, but you explain why there are so many signatures on the back. Much appreciated.

  2. Your welcome. I hope you enjoy the note when you receive it.


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