$8 Continental Currency, 1776

By: Handini

Shown below is an $8 Continental Currency note of the 5th issue, that is notes dated July 22, 1776. Denominations of this issue included $2, $3, $4, $5, $6, $7, $8, and $30 notes (Source: Pick). I find it interesting that there is a large jump from $8 to $30 with no in-between denominations for this issue. Another interesting thing to note is how $30 is the highest issue for the 5th issue but by the time the 11th and final issue is printed, there were denominations as high as $80 issued as the Continental Dollar became devalued throughout the American Revolutionary War.

$8 Continental Currency (1776)
Image Contribution: Handini

$8 Continental Currency (1776)
Image Contribution: Handini

$4 Continental Currency 1779

By: Handini

Shown below is a $4 Continental Currency note of the 11th issue, that is notes dated 14th of January, 1779. Denominations of this issue included $1, $2, $3, $4, $5, $20, $30, $35, $40, $45, $50, $55, $60, $65, $70, and $80 notes. (Source: Pick)

$4 Continental Currency (1779)
Image Contribution: Handini

$4 Continental Currency (1779)
Image Contribution: Handini

Summit County Bank, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio

By: Handini

The Summit County Bank of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, issued fractional currency, not all banks issued fractional notes so this is a nice addition to my collection. The note is a remainder note however, as it lacks a serial number. PCGS grades this note as an AU 55, although it appears to be more of an MS 66 note. I will have to examine the note carefully to see if there is any flaw that is not obvious. Of course they're known for being extra stringent on their grading standards.

5 cents, Summit County Bank, OH (1862)
Image Contribution: Handini

5 cents, Summit County Bank, OH (1862)
Image Contribution: Handini

Collecting Signatures

By: Handini

I recently purchased a colonial PA note from 1772 with the signature of Adam Hubley. He was a Lieutenant Colonel who commanded the 10th Pennsylvania Regiment in the Battle of Paoli (1777) (Source: USHistory.org), the Battle of Brandywine (1777), and the Battle Of Germantown (1777), during the American Revolution.

1 Shilling, Pennsylvania (1772)
Image Contribution: Handini

Other Denominations of April 3, 1772 PA colonials include:

                                            3 pence
                                            4 pence
                                            6 pence
                                            9 pence
                                            1 shilling
                                          18 pence
                                            2 shillings 6 pence
                                          40 shillings                                                                                    (Source: Pick)

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.

Bank Of The Valley, Winchester, VA

By: Handini

The Bank of the Valley of Virginia, was authorized in 1817 (Source: Affleckand headquartered in Winchester, VA. It operated from 1818 until it failed in the 1860's (Source: Haxby). There are many different varieties of notes from this bank in denominations of $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100 as well as notes from various branches throughout the state. In addition to the main branch in Winchester, the towns of Charlestown, Christiansburg, Leesburg, Moorefield, Romney, and Staunton harbored their own branches of this bank.

$5 Bank Of The Valley, VA (1856)
Branch At Staunton
Haxby VA-255-G220
Image Contribution: Handini

The dates of operation for the different branches:

                                       Branch                                             Years In Operation
                                    Winchester (Main Branch)                               1818 - 1865
                                    Charlestown                                              1818 - 1865
                                    Christiansburg                                           1853 - 1865
                                    Leesburg                                                   1818 - 1865
                                    Moorefield                                                  1853 - 1865
                                    Romney                                                     1818 - 1865
                                    Staunton                                                    1847 - 1865                    (Source: Haxby)


By Handini

Yesterday, I wrote a post about some currency that didn't arrive in the mail even though the tracking number claimed it arrived. This morning I called the local post office and they said that the item was accidentally scanned as arrived but it would arrive today. It arrived. Now there is no need for me to contact local coin shops to keep an eye out for my notes. No need to scan the eBay listings, and no need to report a theft.

Lost In The Mail Or Stolen?

By: Handini

Yesterday was a relaxing Saturday. I had nothing to do for once. It has been a long time since I putted around the house for an entire day. I did a little cleaning, organizing, and even laundering. I was also eagerly awaiting the mail to receive some more currency I had recently purchased off Heritage.

I would periodically check the tracking on the shipment which was supposed to arrive that day. I waited all afternoon. Eventually the mail arrived, late in the afternoon. The female mailman usually puts my orders at the door since they won't fit in the mail box but there was nothing at the door. Since sometimes an additional mail truck follows I still had hope that it would arrive. I would keep checking the tracking number to assure myself that it was still out for delivery. Finally, close to 8:00 pm the tracking said delivered. There was noting at the front door.

I called Heritage and they were closed. The post office was closed also. I then sent Heritage an e-mail indicating that the item did not arrive despite what the tracking number claims. Then I took Betty (my car) for a spin to see if the package could have been sitting in front of one of my neighbors doors and found nothing.

Luckily, I am caught up at work so I plan on calling Heritage and the post office tomorrow when they open. I hope the mail carrier remembers what door it was placed at and is able to recover it, and if not I hope I can get a refund. I also plan to call the local coin shops to give them a description of the notes along with their serial numbers in case anyone tries to sell them. I'll have to search for them on eBay, not that that will do any good. I wonder if the mail carrier could have been filling in for the usual carrier and was inexperienced, or if she too did some laundering yesterday and was the one who took it. Hopefully though, I'll receive my money.

Bank Of Yanceyville, NC

By: Handini

The Bank of Yanceyville, North Carolina operated from 1852 until it failed in 1866 (Source: Haxby). It issued notes in denominations of $3, $4, $5, $10, $20, and $50. During the Civil War denominations of 50c, $1, $2, and $5 were issued also.

$4 Bank Of Yanceyville, NC (1853)
Haxby NC-105-G4
Pennell 1550
Image Contribution: Handini

The large vignette on the lower left is of a tobacco factory and is found on both the $3 and $4 notes from this bank.

                  Denomination                                 Haxby ID                                      Pennell ID
                       $      .50                                  NC-105-G20                                       1530
                       $    1.00                                  NC-105-G22                                          ----
                       $    2.00                                  NC-105-G24                                          ----
                       $    3.00                                  NC-105-G2                                         1540
                       $    4.00                                  NC-105-G4                                         1550
                       $    5.00                                  NC-105-G6                                         1560
                       $    5.00                                  NC-105-G28                                         ----
                       $  10.00                                  NC-105-G8                                         1570
                       $  20.00                                  NC-105-G10                                       1580
                       $  50.00                                  NC-105-G12                                       1590

Certified Obsolete Notes

While rarity tends to trump condition on many obsolete notes as compared to even key date coins, on occasion one can find some obsoletes that are certified such as the two notes shown below from the Planters Bank of Fairfield, SC and the note from the State Bank Of South Carolina.

The $5 note from the State Bank Of South Carolina was certified by PMG (Paper Money Guaranty) whereas the two notes from the Planters Bank of Fairfield, SC were certified by the currency division of PCGS. A lesser known third party currency grading service is CGA (Currency Grading And Authentication) and happen to be the first currency grading service. At present, I have a total of 4 certified notes in my collection and the one I have certified by CGA is a $2 1896 Educational Series Silver Certificate which is still legal tender and therefore not shown.

$5 State Bank, South Carolina (18__)
Sheheen #148
Image Contribution: Handini

$5 Planters Bank Of Fairfield, Winnsboro, South Carolina (1857)
Sheheen #150
Image Contribution: Handini

$10 Planters Bank Of Fairfield, Winnsboro, South Carolina (1853)
Sheheen #151
Image Contribution: Handini

Overall, as far as holders go, it is apparent by these images shown that the PCGS holder is more optically clear than the PMG holder. The CGA holders are also optically clear. Both PCGS and PMG use a rigid "plastic" whereas the CGA holders appear thinner. One nice thing about the CGA holders though,  is that they are a little smaller on both the length and width making them easier to store. The PCGS holders are a little longer than the PMG holders but the PMG holders are a little wider (from top to bottom) than the PCGS holders.

This has always been an issue with both coin and currency holders where there is no standard size used across all grading services. To make matters worse to coin collectors. NGC (Numismatic Guarantee Corporation) likes to modify their aspect ratio ever so frequently so it is difficult to find two seemingly identical holders to couple and stack up nicely. Unlike PCGS where all their holders, since they moved away from the "old rattlers", fit together nicely. NGC needs to fix this issue because as the holders slide against one another they will tend to scratch. I guess that's more money for them when collectors ship their coins back to them to be put into a newer, unscratched holder.

It is a shame that PCGS doesn't make a thick holder identical to their current coin holders with an aspect ratio for currency. PCGS, PMG, and CGA holders are all too thin that I fear they could easily get damaged and put dents in perfectly crisp notes thus ruining their value. Nevertheless, one advantage of the thin holders is being able to display ones collection. After all, what's the point of collecting if you can't show it off to others and talk about their history. Therefore, the PCGS and CGA holders are better at showing off notes since they are more optically clear than the PMG holders. Regardless of this fact, these 3 notes came together in one lot and since I currently have better examples, which are uncertified, of the Planters Bank of Fairfield, I'll definitely get rid of these two and keep the one from the State Bank of South Carolina until I upgrade it to a nicer specimen.

Bank Of Pittsylvania, Virginia

By: Handini

The Bank Of Pittsylvania, of Chatham, VA was a short lived bank, authorized in 1860 and failed around 1863 (Source: Haxby). They have some nice notes with a green and black color scheme rather than the usual black and red color scheme or black color scheme mostly found on obsoletes. Nevertheless, these notes are not the rarest as evidenced by their Rarities.

$5 Bank Of Pittsylvania, VA(1861)
Haxby VA-50-G2b
Image Contribution: Handini

$5 Bank Of Pittsylvania, VA(1861)
Haxby VA-50-G14
Image Contribution: Handini

Affleck identifies 7 different varieties. One $1 note, two $5 notes, A $10 note, 2 $20 notes, and a $50 note. Moreover, one variety of $20 note (Haxby VA-50-G10a) is listed as Spurious whereas Haxby identifies it as authentic. Haxby on the other hand, identifies 11 different varieties of notes for this bank, as it discriminates between notes of printed serial numbers and those with hand written serial numbers.

Here are the catalog numbers for the notes:

                        Denomination                        Haxby ID                        Affleck Rarities
                            $    1.00                            VA-50-G14                                  3
                            $    5.00                            VA-50-G2a                                  2
                            $    5.00                            VA-50-G2b                                  2
                            $    5.00                            VA-50-G16a                                2
                            $  10.00                            VA-50-G4a                                  3
                            $  10.00                            VA-50-G4b                                  3
                            $  20.00                            VA-50-G8a                                  4
                            $  20.00                            VA-50-G8b                                  4
                            $  20.00                            VA-50-G10a                               ---
                            $  50.00                            VA-50-G12a                                5
                            $  50.00                            VA-50-G12b                                5

Note: Since one variety of $5, $10, and $20 notes is split up into two different varieties by Haxby, the Affleck Rarities may not be accurate for these notes. Moreover, G2a, G4a, G8a, and G12a have handwritten serial numbers whereas G2b, G4b, G8b, and G12b have printed serial numbers. G14 and G16a are civil war emergency issues according to Haxby.

Bank Of Fayetteville $2 Dollar Bill

The Bank Of Fayetteville, North Carolina has one of the nicest vignettes. It features a guy on horse drawn covered wagon traversing a plank road. Plank roads were very costly to maintain. A train is seen off to the distance on the left and a steamship to the right in the vignette. This vignette can also be seen on the $2 note from the Bank Of Orange County of Chelsea, Vermont. Nevertheless, the vignette looks better on the Bank Of Fayetteville note since the Bank Of Orange County has an orange tint which clashes with the vignette in this case.

$2, Bank Of Fayetteville, NC (1861)
Pennell 780A
Image Contribution: Handini

Close Up Of Central Vignette
Image Contribution: Handini

The Obsolete Paper Money Of Virginia by Charles J. Affleck

By: Handini

The book The Obsolete Paper Money Of Virginia by Charles J. Affleck was published in 1968 by The Virginia Numismatic Association. It consists of 2 volumes and encompasses notes from the state of Virginia, which includes banks in West Virginia. It is an expensive book which will generally cost between $150 to $200 for both volumes but is well worth the purchase to a collector who is interested in obsolete notes from VA and WVA.

What is nice about this book is that it includes some color plates of some of the Bank Notes but most are still black and white. Volume 1 comprises Virginia Treasury Notes, County Notes, City and Town Notes, and Private and Business Scrip. Volume 2, on the other hand, lists the Obsolete BankNotes. It also has a portrait of Charles J. Affleck about 4 pages into the volume.

On the inside of the front cover of my copy of Volume 2 is a plaque which reads:

"The "Obsolete Paper Money Of Virginia Volume II"
consists of 1000 numbered copies.
This is copy number

and belongs to


Consequently, my edition of Volume 2 is one of 1000 copies. One thing to note however is that my copy of the book has two different publication dates. For me, Volume 1 is from 1968 and Volume 2 is from 1969. A quick search on the internet also reveals that signed copies are not that rare and don't command a premium. Nevertheless, it's one thing to look for if one decides to purchase this book.

Another thing to note is that this book uses an 8 point scale rather than the more prevalent 7 point scale for rarity estimates on the banknotes and scrip.

R 1        ∞ – 200 notes known to exist
R 2     100 – 200 notes known to exist
R 3       50 – 100 notes known to exist
R 4       25 –   50 notes known to exist
R 5       10 –   25 notes known to exist
R 6         5 –   10 notes known to exist
R 7         2 –     5 notes known to exist
R 8                    1 note known to exist

The only difference between the 8 point scale used by Affleck and the 7 point scale used by books on other states currencies is that the 8 designation indicates that only 1 note is known to exist.

Central Bank Of Pennsylvania

By: Handini

The following $5 note from the Central Bank of Pennsylvania in Hollidaysburg, PA is in my opinion one of the more artistic notes of the era. It has a lot in its vignettes, everyday scenes with beautiful orange lathework, roman numerals, a lovely portrait in the lower left corner. In addition to that, the large central V has a vignette of a guy inside it, leaning against the Roman Numeral. Overlaying that is the title of the bank in a lovely curve, versus a bland flat rule. All of these qualities puts this Northern note at the pinnacle of the obsolete currency era from the antebellum years.

$5 Central Bank Of Pennsylvania, PA(1859)
Haxby PA-175-G8a
Image Contribution: Handini

The Central Bank Of Pennsylvania operated between the years of 1857 and 1862 (Source: Hoober). It issued notes in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100. Notes get rarer as the denomination increases.

Here are the catalog numbers for the notes:

         Hoober ID                    Denomination                    Haxby ID                    Hoober Rarities
             159-1                            $    5.00                               ---                                   3
             159-2                            $    5.00                       PA-175-G8a                           3
             159-3                            $  10.00                               ---                                   3
             159-4                            $  10.00                       PA-175-G10a                         3
             159-5                            $  20.00                       PA-175-G12a                         5
             159-6                            $  50.00                       PA-175-G14a                         7
             159-7                            $100.00                               ---                                   7
             159-8                            $100.00                       PA-175-G16a                         7

Confederate States Of America $1 Note

By: Handini

The following is the $1 Confederate note in my collection.

$2 Confederate States Of America (1864)
 Image Contribution: Handini
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