Confederate claims $50 Civil war currency/note, kind 4, serial letter B, No. 1345, dated may 22, 1861, deserve $12,000 in June 2017 at Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates. Photo courtesy of Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates and sdrta.net


NEW YORK – Scooby Doo fans will remember the classic TV episode, A Night of Fright is No Delight, where the Scooby corridor spends the night in a haunted mansion to collection an inheritance from an eccentric millionaire just to find out in ~ the end that the money is Confederate currency and also deemed worthless as a tool of exchange. If the present made for great entertainment, they acquired one crucial point wrong though. Confederate currency is far from worthless and also can lug 50 or 100 times its confront value today.

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Two months into its existence and just prior to the outbreak the the civil War, the Confederate government started to press its very own money to be offered in the 11 states consisting of the Confederate claims of America (CSA), frequently referred to as “graybacks” ~ the shade of the Confederate soldiers’ uniforms. Union money was called “greenbacks.” The very first currency banknote published by the Confederate states of America, very first issued right into circulation April 1861, price to roughly a million dollars worth of money. “Notes were issued because that the next three years, ending in 1864,” according to CSAnotes.com.


This hand-signed 1862 Richmond, VA $1 Confederate states of America note carried $2,750 in may 2019 at BK Auctions. Photograph courtesy the BK Auctions and sdrta.net


There to be 72 different types of Confederate notes. In virtually all cases, however, this notes were not backed by gold or tough assets, however, only a promise come pay 6 months ~ a peace treaty was signed in between the North and South. In Mississippi, though, part banknotes to be backed by cotton. After ~ news obtained out that the southern was shedding the battle (after the fight of Gettysburg), the Confederate federal government was in shambles and its note depreciated come the point where lock were almost useless as currency and also could no be traded for products or converted right into official U.S. Currency. Confederate document money is, however, fairly collectible in today’s market, relying on condition and also rarity. In general, the earlier years like 1861-62 are an ext valuable.


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A team of Confederate currency carried $2,400 in November 2019 in ~ Brunk Auctions. Photograph courtesy of Brunk Auctions and sdrta.net


Confederate notes are regularly discernible by your cut. Without advantage of high-quality cutting machinery, southerly banks and also officials would certainly hand-sign and also hand-cut the notes by hand so many notes have actually uneven margins. “This means that legitimate Confederate currency should not have actually perfectly reduced edges like you would check out on modern-day currency,” follow to the Manhattan Coin Club, i beg your pardon warns human being on that website to prevent fakes by payment heed come cut, paper and ink. Additionally owing to being cash-strapped, the Confederate federal government used lesser quality paper for printing its notes. Thin rice record was regularly used instead of a cotton-linen blend choose the U.S. Treasury department used. In many cases, steel gall squid was supplied to publish CSA notes, which commonly turned brown together it oxided and also aged. If one look at a Confederate keep in mind where the squid is as black color as the machine-printed components of the note, it’s likely a fake. Fakes room prolific today and also even throughout the civil War, the phibìc issued fake Confederate money to destabilize the market.


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This Confederate says $100 currency/note, type 3, serial letter A, No. 1224, dated may 16, 1861, offered for $21,000 in June 2017 in ~ Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates. Photograph courtesy the Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates and also sdrta.net


While people are accustomed to official currency today through its standard images and portraits on the verso (George Washington portrait top top the $1 bill, Abraham Lincoln ~ above the $5 bill, etc.), the Confederacy offered a wide variety of motifs and also images in its engraving.

The very first four notes were issued from the original Confederate capital of Montgomery, Alabama, and they demonstrate a high level of ability in their engraving and also printing. “When the Confederate government was moved to Richmond, Virginia, expert engravers and also printers were difficult to come by bring about a lower quality of notes produced,” according to the paper Money Guaranty website. “The Confederate note designs mostly showcased southern themes, including slaves, marine ships, railroads, animals and also real historical figures,” the website reads. Mythology symbolism, such together gods and goddesses, and themes unrelated come money were likewise sometimes used.


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A $100 Richmond, VA Confederate states of America note, T-5, do $2,500 in June 2019 at BK Auctions. Photo courtesy of BK Auctions and also sdrta.net


Among several of the people portrayed ~ above CSA notes were George Washington, Andrew Jackson and Jefferson Davis. Allegorical scene or pictures evincing day-to-day work scenes were additionally used. A $50 keep in mind from 1861, because that instance, depicts 2 women symbolizing industry and agriculture seated on a bale the cotton. At far left is a woman standing and also holding the scale of justice and a portrait the Washington at far right. According to Old money Values website, this note is believed to be fairly rare as less than 5,800 to be printed.

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The U.S. Civil battle era is among the most preferable periods for money collectors and Confederate money is certainly among the most colorful and most interesting.