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Reference Items
Fractional Currency

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Civil War Fractional Currency At the outset of the Civil War coins were being hoarded for their metallic value and quickly disappeared from circulation. For change, some merchants issued credits slips, while a variety of other alternate substitutions were devised. Among these were postage stamps that were traded for change.

Stamps were a convenient and logical substitute, but still not perfect as they stuck to each other and to everything else. In some cases stamps were placed in clear marked envelopes. Some merchants encased stamps in a metal disc with a piece of clear mica over the face of the stamp and with an advertisement on the metal back. As enormous quantities were needed, the supply of stamps was soon exhausted.

In the course of these events, small paper notes in simulation of the current postage stamps, and in convenient size and in denominations of 5 cents, 10 cents, 25 cents and 50 cents were issued. These first issues were called Postage Currency and the notes were redeemable for stamps. Pictured here are examples of the First Issue of 21 August 1862.

Member - John Beckendorf
Item #: CIV-153

75 CSA Small Change Script

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Denomination of 75, issued by the private firm of Columbus Life and General Insurance Company of Columbus, Mississippi in 1864. Small change script notes were issued by private companies to augment the small change notes (only in denominations up to the amount of 50) issued by the Confederacy. Note also that the script note was printed late in the war, when paper was in very short supply in the South. The paper is recycled with the former printing still visible on the reverse.

Member - Mike Sorenson
Item #: CIV-130

Confederate $100 note

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1861 Confederate $100 Note. The central vignette is of slaves loading bales of cotton. Sailor standing at lower left. Plain reverse. Bold ink signatures of R.J. Delony for Register (left) and J. W. Jones for Treasurer (right). This is an example of a difficult to locate Hoyer and Ludwig issue, especially in this grade.  This note grades gem uncirculated with only slightly tight upper margins. One small age spot exists just above the right "C" but is not distracting. Well inked with notable detail and clarity. There are no signs of handling, no folds. Small crimp at middle right margin which existed in the paper stock prior to printing. A scarce and early 1861 issue.

The printing partnership of Ludwig & Hoyer worked out of Richmond, Virginia. Their print contracts also included local scrip and Virginia banknotes. Their last major printing was this issue in 1861 and the partnership dissolved in 1865.

Member - Mike Sorenson
Item #: CIV-129

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