| Posted: Sat Aug 11th, 2007 19:47||
(This version of "zaphod's" introduction to Confederate currency was reprinted here from our main forum with permission from the author.)
On another thread, I was encouraged to post a few images of Confederate currency. I thought I would do so, at least until someone complains. I hope others will join in posting images, asking and answering questions, and hopefully having a little fun with this fascinating and often misunderstood area of currency collecting.
The current Confederate "type set" consists of 70 different designs. Two notes, formerly given type numbers (T-47 and T-48) have been determined to be bogus notes and are no longer part of the set. To avoid confusion, the type numbers were never realigned, consequently numbers range from 1 to 72.
Of the remaining 70, six notes, usually called "the Big Six," are rare and expensive. These notes are Types 1 - 4, T-27 and T-35. The most common of these currently has about 165 examples known to still exist. The least common has roughly 100 survivers. Since I don't number among the wealthy, I won't be showing you any of those.
My first note is a T-5. These were printed by the New Orleans branch of the American Bank Note Company using the name "Southern Bank Note Company." They were printed on one side using intaglio plates, and feature high quality red fiber banknote paper. A total of 5,800 were printed, of which 5,798 were issued. These were among the last notes signed by the Register and Treasurer. Notes beginning with T-7 were signed by clerks "for Register" and "for Treasurer." (The Register at this time was Robert Tyler, son of US President John Tyler.)
My second note is the T-6. This note is also a SBNC product, and like the T-5, had an original issue of 5,798 notes.
Continuing with the type set, the next note is T-7. While the earlier notes promised to pay, with interest, "Twelve Months After Date...," the next authorization extended that to "Two Years After Date..." with no interest.
The T-7s were lithographs printed by Hoyer & Ludwig, and are found on both thick bond paper and thin paper. While often not mentioned as one of the tougher notes, the T-7 is a bit of a sleeper. They can be more difficult to find than one might expect, and if a collector is obsessed with full borders, it becomes even more difficult.
The T-8 is another Hoyer & Ludwig lithograph. Similar varieties exist with thin and thick paper, as well as various printing varieties. A total of 123,564 notes issued. (I failed to mention the issued number of T-7s was 37,155.)
The T-8 is probably the earliest note that is affordable to collectors with modest budgets.
Moving on with the Hoyer & Ludwig lithographs, we come to the T-9. Total number issued: 264,988. These also exist printed on thick and thin paper, with several varieties. Some have the "for Treasr." printed twice in different locations. These are fairly common and reasonably priced in mid-grades. Uncirculated notes can be found.
The T-10, oddly enough, was issued in smaller numbers, the total being 170,994. With the lower denomination, these tended to circulate more, and survivers are more common in low grades. They begin to get pricier in grades of Fine or better, and none are reported to exist in full Uncirculated condition.
The Confederacy evidently was concentrating on the larger denominations to fund the War, giving less emphasis to smaller denominations needed for daily commerce. The T-11 is one of the earliest notes with a denomination of $5, and as such, represented the smallest denomination in circulation. Only 72,885 notes were issued, and they circulated heavily. Most are found today in AG condition, torn, backed, and with at least small pieces missing. Notes in VG to F are often repaired. In a solid VG, prices run about $5,000. None are reported better than VF, and those can sell for $12,000 - $15,000.
The T-12 is one of the more intriguing notes, though probably the least artistic. It is the only note issued that was printed by J. Manouvrier of New Orleans. The Confederacy contracted with Manouvrier for notes with a $5 and $10 denomination. Some of the sheets had been stolen prior to issue. The thieves were caught and most of the stolen notes were recovered, but as some of the $10 notes were missing, the entire printing of that denomination was destroyed. I have not heard that anyone alive has ever seen one of the missing $10 notes.
Regarding the $5, bankers were worried that the simple design lacking portraits or vignettes might be too easy to counterfeit. The Confederacy cancelled the contract, and only 15,556 notes were issued. No counterfeits have ever been identified.
The T-12 is the first note to have a printed back, and the only 1861 issue with a back design. The color was a light blue which evidently faded badly, and often is hidden once the paper becomes soiled. These circulated heavily with relatively few surviving. An unmolested Fine would be $5,000+, consequently this is another note either missing from a lot of collections, or represented by a lower grade specimen.
| Posted: Sat Aug 11th, 2007 20:03||
|As it became more evident that the Civil War would last longer than earlier estimates, the Confederacy kept extending the time at which they would honor their currency. From twelve months after date to two years after date, and with the next issues, this became "six months after the ratification of a treaty of peace between the Confederate States and the United States...."
The T-13 is among the first of these issued with the later payable date. These are once again lithographed uniface notes printed by Hoyer & Ludwig. A total of 607,227 were issued. They are common and affordable at less than $200 in XF. Uncirculated specimens are not too hard to find. Full bordered notes command a premium, as do those on whiter paper.
The T-14 is the next lower denomination in this series, and another Hoyer & Ludwig lithograph. The total number of notes issued was 479,660. Like the T-13, these are affordable, but getting a little tougher to find in nice condition. Both the T-13 and T-14 were counterfeited, and a few of the counterfeits are dangerous. A collector is wise to be suspicious, and cautious when buying. The adage "Buy the book(s) first" is vital in collecting CSA notes!
(The serial number of the above note is consecutive to the 1996 Criswell plate note!)
The T-15 is the largest denomination from the last group of notes printed by the Southern Bank Note Company. Since New Orleans fell to the Union early in 1862, the South was deprived of their services from that point on.
This is another note printed with intaglio plates, and the engravings are among the finest of the period. Indeed, the subtlety and artistry puts our 21st Century notes to shame. These were also printed on high quality red fiber banknote paper. Only 14,860 were issued, and the survival rate is very low. This will certainly be one of the first notes to join the "Big Six" on most collectors' forget-about-it list. A VF+ note is nearly five figures, and only a very few survive in higher grades.
With T-16, we see the first appearance of work by Keatinge & Ball. These notes are high quality and feature a beautifully engraved portrait of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. A number of varieties exist with different types of plain or watermarked paper. A total of 426,016 were issued. There are also contemporaneous counterfeits of this note which can be deceptive. In the Fine range, these currently run about $200. AU or better breaks into four figures.
The T-17 is another Hoyer & Ludwig lithograph, and their most ornate. The total number of notes issued is 43,732. This is a little tougher note for collectors, with solid Fines running about $1000. The T-17 also has a reputation for being one of the issues usually found badly cut, and full bordered notes command a premium.
It should be noted at some point that Confederate notes were printed with several notes to the sheet, and the sheets were cut apart by hand. Often this was done carelessly. There is evidence that several sheets were often cut at the same time, and if lower sheets in the stack were out of register with the top sheet, the cut could be way off. Some types were printed very close together on the sheets and would have been difficult or even impossible to cut apart accurately under the best of circumstances.
In any event, the principles regarding borders and margins I have seen applied to Federal notes cannot be made to stick here. Full bordered notes are NOT the norm, and a slightly miscut note is NOT significantly impaired. It is often best to assume that a slight miscut is worth the average price for a given grade, and the full bordered notes command a premium.
The T-18 is another Hoyer and Ludwig lithograph, with a second series printed by J. T. Paterson. Paterson bought out Hoyer & Ludwig's Confederate contracts in 1862, and moved their equipment and men to Columbia, South Carolina. Several type notes have both H & L and Paterson varieties. A total of 2,366,486 notes were issued.
The Type 18 is still common, as are many of the counterfeits of this type. This was perhaps the most heavily counterfeited Confederate note with at least 22 varieties cataloged.
The T-19 is another of the last group of Southern Bank Note Company notes, and one of their most beautiful. With a printing of 14,860 notes and a low survival rate, like it's sheetmate the T-15, these are often missing from collections.
With the T-20, we encounter the first cataloged work of B. Duncan. These are lithographed notes, and the engravings are frankly not up to the standards of the other printers. This is one of the more common 1861 notes, 2,834,251 notes having been issued. As these circulated heavily, it is relatively difficult to locate high grade, uncancelled, genuine specimens. This type was heavily counterfeited, and some of the counterfeits can be dangerous. Most high grade T-20 specimens seen on sites such as eBay turn out to be the counterfeits.
| Posted: Sat Aug 11th, 2007 20:15||
|The T-21 is another attractive two color note lithographed by Keatinge & Ball. A total of 164,248 of these were printed. Varieties include different watermarks and color variants. Most are the "dark-green" overprint. The "yellow green" is popular and carries a bit of a premium. This is a little tougher note than some, with uncancelled Fines bringing about $500, and the rare uncirculated notes about five to seven times that!
The T-22 is another of the last group of Southern Bank Note Company intaglio notes. As usual, the engravings are well executed and the printing first rate. A total of 58,806 were printed. The survival rate is not terribly high, and high grade notes are few and far between. The prices enter four figures before one reaches VF.
The T-23 is the work of Leggett, Keatinge & Ball. These are found on good quality plain or red fiber banknote paper. This type may be a bit of a sleeper, as it seems to get little attention, but nice examples are very difficult to find. The orange overprint had a tendency to either fade or wear off. Additionally, when present, it is often found to have turned brown. I have been told that Criswell and friends tried to de-acidify a number of notes, and the treatment was responsible for the color change. Whether this is true in all cases, I cannot say. High grade notes are very rare and expensive. Even low grade hole-out cancelled notes bring a few hundred, consequently this is often another hole in many a type set.
The T-24 is another attractive note from Leggett, Keatinge & Ball, or Keatinge & Ball as the company became known after Leggett left in early 1862. These were printed on various types of paper, including plain, red fiber, CSA block watermark, CSA script watermark, J. Whatman watermark, TEN watermark, and even NY script watermark! A total of 278,400 were issued. They're not uncommon in grades up to Fine, but harder to locate and a good bit pricier in VF or better.
The T-25 is a bit of a sleeper, as they are less common than the near-twin T-26, and usually found stained, badly trimmed, or having other impairments. The genuine notes are high quality lithographs by Keatinge & Ball. Counterfeits exist in either semi-dangerous lithographs or very dangerous intaglio prints! The total number issued is 178,716.
The T-26 is identical to the T-25, except for the addition of two red "X" overprints. The total number issued was 514,400. There are three varieties of the overprint, known as fine lace, solid (believed to be a later state of the fine lace), and coarse lace. There are also a significant number of varieties, with combinations of notes with or without a dash over "Bearer," with or without "of" in the fundable clause, and various watermarks. As a type note, it is fairly common and not terribly expensive, though like many, they get tough above VF or so.
The next note that would belong here is one of the "Big Six," and is probably the rarest CSA note today. The T-27 is a Hoyer & Ludwig lithograph, of which only 8,570 were issued. Current estimates of the number of survivers run between 75 and 100 pieces, many of which are locked up in institutional collections and a private hoard or two. The design of the T-27 is identical to the T-28, except for a different vignette at the upper left. In the case of the former, a variation of the central vignette previously seen on the T-10 and T-11 was used.
The T-28 (below) was another Hoyer & Ludwig, and later J. T. Paterson, lithograph. A more substantial 1,074,980 notes were issued. These are common and fairly inexpensive, though a little harder to find in nice high grades.
The T-29 is a B. Duncan lithograph, and possibly his most embarrassing note. The central vignette of a slave picking cotton was apparently plagiarized from one found on a Lexington, N.C. note. The copy was poorly executed, the end result being more of a caricature, and a potentially insulting one at that. (The scene was expanded from the original.)
With an issue of 286,627 and a low survival rate, this note is a little scarcer, and tough to find in high grades. There are dangerous counterfeits which are fairly common. These are most easily distinguished by examining the printer's name at the lower left edge. The genuine notes say "B. Duncan," the counterfeits, "R. Duncan."
The T-30 is another Duncan note, and possibly his best. It gives the illusion, however, that the engravings were done by at least three different artists. The portrait of R. M. T. Hunter at left is crude. The central vignette, one which had evidently been in inventory before the War, is a bit better, being almost reminiscent of the work seen on Hoyer and Ludwig notes. The allegorical figure on the right is fairly well done. A total of 1,939,810 were issued. This is a common note, and higher grades, especially cut-cancelled examples, are fairly inexpensive.
The T-31 is the fourth and last note from the last set produced by the Southern Bank Note Company before New Orleans fell into Union control. It is another high quality intaglio print. This last set of notes was printed four to a sheet, from one of two plates. The A and B plate letters of T-22 and T-31 were together on one plate. The C plate T-22s and T-31s were together with the T-19 and T-15 notes.
The total run of T-31s was 58,860. Today, they are a bit scarce, and being one of the more attractive notes, they tend to be popular. Surviving notes in true VF or better are tough to find and expensive. Lower grade cancelled notes are still fairly affordable, though not exactly cheap.
| Posted: Sat Aug 11th, 2007 20:28||
|The T-32 is another attractive Leggett, Keatinge & Ball note. Sheetmate to the T-23, it also suffers from the same problems with the overprint disappearing or other times turning brown. I have also seen a seemingly disproportionate number of these on paper which seems to have browned. There were 20,333 notes issued, and the survival rate is low. Many are found hole-out cancelled and/or in low grades. These are not cheap, and high grades are exceedingly rare and expensive.
Generally speaking, most of the early $5.00 notes are a little tougher. It was the smallest denomination printed early in the War, the number printed was often fairly small, and they circulated heavily in day-to-day commerce.
Next comes the T-33, an attractive two color lithograph by Leggett, Keatinge & Ball, later just Keatinge & Ball. A total of 136,736 were issued. This note is a little bit of a sleeper in the series, as the numbers, including the price, would seem to indicate a greater availability. An uncancelled Fine catalogs at about $450, but it can be surprisingly difficult to find a nice uncancelled note. Cut cancels and either cut-out or hole-out cancels are more common, but still not seen every day. The bad news is that they don't come around that often. The good news is they often don't bring what they are worth when they do.
Like the T-21, dark green and yellow green color variants exist, the latter being more scarce. Crude counterfeits are common, and at least one deceptive counterfeit variety is known to exist.
The T-34 is very similar to the T-33, except it is just black on white. Also, theRoman Numeral "V" in the lower right corner has been replaced with the word "FIVE." These are also Keatinge & Ball lithographs. More of these were printed, the total being 228,644. The survival rate must be moderately low, as these are also a little tougher to locate than the numbers seem to indicate. While more common and less expensive than the T-33, it is likewise underappreciated and probably underpriced.
The T-35 is the last of the so called "Big Six." A total of only 7,160 notes were issued. As an early $5.00 note, they circulated heavily, and the paper did not stand up particularly well. Only about 100 are known to survive, with many locked away in institutions and a private hoard or two.
The T-36 is one of the most common 1861 notes, almost in spite of its low denomination. First printed by Hoyer & Ludwig, the majority were printed by J. T. Paterson. A total of 3,694,890 were issued according to Criswell. (I qualify the issue total because, as I recall, there was a mathematical error in the computation of the totals of one of these more common 1861 notes. Unfortunately, I do not recall if it is this, or something like the T-18, that is inflated by about 100,000. In either event, the error was on a common note.)
Genuine notes are common. As expected, they are a little tougher in higher grades, especially with full borders, but when found they are not terribly expensive. There are counterfeits of this note that can fool the beginner and/or a non-specialist dealer.
The T-37 is another fairly common $5.00 note, this one produced by B. Duncan. A total of 1,002,478 were issued. Most surviving examples are in grades of Fine or below, and are not expensive. Higher grades can be difficult to locate, and the prices rise accordingly. A fairly deceptive counterfeit exists, so caution is advised, although the counterfeit has roughly the same value and may even be worth a bit more. (Since the publication of Counterfeit Currency of the Confederate States of America by George Tremmel in 2003, counterfeits have become popular. Prices for many are at all-time highs, though the more common ones, like the Upham woodcut facsimiles of SBNC notes, are still well below the value of their scarce genuine counterparts.)
The next note, T-38, is distinguished as a type by date only. These are not separated in early records from what is now known as T-42. The printer, B. Duncan, erroneously used an earlier authorization date and printed the date "September 2,, 1861" on the first shipment of notes. The Confederacy caught the error, and the later (T-42) notes were dated June 2, 1862. In spite of the error, the first notes, approximately 36,000 of them, were released for circulation.
These circulated heavily and are very scarce. Most survivors are in very low grade, often with tears and/or pieces missing. A solid, unmolested VG+ is near four figures, and the finest known is about a VF+.
The T-39 is an interest bearing note, and this likely led to them surviving in large numbers. A total of 284,000 were issued. They are common today, and not very expensive, even in high grades.
The type began with Hoyer & Ludwig, but only a relatively small number were printed before the transfer to J. T. Paterson. When issued, the actual date was written in by hand. All of the H&L notes were issued within the first five days, May 5 to May 9, 1862.
The vast majority of T-39s (as well as the T-40s and T-41s to follow) are found with stamps or notations of "Interest paid to ..." on the back. There is a wide variety of stamps from 1863 to 1865, some with the name of a city, others without. Some will bear postmarks or notations when issued, and among the more interesting and collectible are those issued by Confederate quartermasters. Some collectors will collect these by date of issue, types of interest or other stamp, military endorsement, etc.
Deceptive counterfeits exist.
This type is often referred to as the "straight steam" to differentiate it from the very similar T-40. Actually, the two types are most easily distinguished by looking at the lower left corner of the central vignette. The T-39 has the rail come to a nearly square corner, while the T-40 has a shorter rail, and the vignette is rounded off.
| Posted: Sat Aug 11th, 2007 20:36||
|The T-40 is a J. T. Paterson note, and differs from the T-39 only by a slightly altered vignette. They are not separated in Thian's Register of the Confederate Debt, and I have heard that it was only named a separate type by Criswell, in an attempt to boost sales. A total of 214,400 of these were issued.
Once again, the survival rate is high, and most have interest stamps or notations on the back. Deceptive counterfeits exist. There is also one variety of counterfeit with attributes of both T-39 and T-40!
These are often called "diffused steam." In addition to the differences in the steam, the vignette has other subtle or not so subtle differences. The lower left corner of the central vignette is rounded off in the T-40. Some of the trees in the background are also different. A close examination under magnification reveals other distinctions.
I thought I'd take a brief aside here, and post a couple of my favorite notes. I bought this one about six years ago from a local coin shop, because I thought it would be "neat" to have a military endorsement. They offered it to me cheap because of the ink burn hole.
The inscription reads:
Issued Feby 7th 1863
W. F. Haines
I found out later who Major William F. Haines was. He served as Quartermaster with the First Missouri Regiment under the command of Major General J.S. Bowen. Just before Vicksburg fell, he was ordered by General Bowen to destroy all remaining unissued Confederate currency to keep it from falling into Union hands. Haines did so. I have not been able to discover whether he evaded capture, or was paroled, but found himself in the South again, and on the hook for the missing currency. The Confederate Congress passed the following law to releive him of responsibility.
"PRIVATE LAWS OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, PASSED AT THE FOURTH SESSION OF THE FIRST CONGRESS
Joint resolution for the relief of W. F. Haines. Feb. 16, 1864.
Preamble. WHEREAS, W. F. Haines, Quartermaster of Major General Bowen's division, immediately before the capitulation of Vicksburg was consummated, destroyed a large sum of treasury notes belonging to the Government to prevent said notes from falling into the hands of the public enemy: And whereas, the Treasury Department has no legal authority to give credit for the notes so destroyed: Therefore, Major W. F. Haines to have credit at the treasury for treasury notes destroyed. Resolved by the Congress of the Confederate States of America, That the Treasury Department give the said Major W. F. Haines, in the settlement of his accounts as said quartermaster, credit for the amount of treasury notes belonging to the Government, which he may show by satisfactory evidence, to have been destroyed by him at Vicksburg, by order of Major General Bowen. APPROVED February 16, 1864."
Some five and a half years after buying the first, a friend pointed out the following note on eBay.
As you no doubt have guessed. I bought it. Hole or not, THIS one wasn't cheap, but it was going to come here!
Returning to the type set, the next note is the T-41. It is another 1862 $100 note, and the last of the interest bearing notes. This one was printed by Keatinge & Ball and features a central vignette of three slaves working in the field. This same vignette was used on the T-4 SBNC note. A total of 678,600 were issued, and the survival rate is high, making this a common note today.
Like the T-39 and T-40, these are usually found with interest stamps or notations on the back, and sometimes markings of issuers or quartermasters.
The T-42 is the same as the T-38, but with the date corrected to 1862. This is another B. Duncan lithograph. A total of 1,520,000 notes were issued. As this (with the misdated T-38) was the first $2 note authorized, these circulated heavily. Even so, the T-42 is not a particularly rare note. Circulated grades are reasonable, with a big jump to CU.
These notes were printed very close together on the sheet, and are usually found cut into one or more frame line. Indeed, I had one miscut note having extra width at the bottom, such that both the bottom of the note and the top of the note below it on the sheet were visible. This is not particularly unusual. What made it worthy of comment was that, while all four frame lines were visible at the left, by the right corner, only three existed. In essence, the images overlapped on the stone, making the notes impossible to cut apart preserving full borders on both notes.
| Posted: Sat Aug 11th, 2007 20:42||
|The T-43 is once again the same design except for the addition of a green overprint. This overprint, according to sources, was done on instructions by B. Duncan in the hope of keeping his men busy and out of mischief. Since it had not been specifically authorized by the Confederacy, they initially refused to pay for the additional labor, however Duncan was ultimately reimbursed for the cost of the extra printing.
A total of 194,900 were issued. These are somewhat less common than the T-42, and prices jump significantly from Fine to Very Fine with higher grades bringing borderline astronomical sums.
The T-44 is another B. Duncan note, and the first $1 note authorized by the confederacy. A total of 1,689,860 notes were issued. Like the $2 note, they circulated heavily, but examples in high grades are not too scarce. These were likewise printed very close together on the sheet, and fully margined notes are relatively scarce.
The T-45 is identical to the T-44 except for the addition of a green overprint. This was done at the same time, and for the same reasons an the overprint on the T-43. Like the $2 note, those with the overprint are less common in all grades, and become extremely costly in high grades. The total issued was 412,500, and judging by the availability, the survival rate was not very high.
Counterfeits of all four of these last Duncan notes exist, and can be a little tricky to spot without experience.
The T-46 is the last we'll see of Hoyer & Ludwig notes. These have an incorrect date on them of September 2nd, 1862, and this date is the reason for such a late type number. It should, however, have read 1861, and is listed among the 1861 notes in the Confederate Register. Three varieties exist because of another error. In the original engraving, the payable clause begins " Six Month after...." The error was caught, and the missing "s" added to the lithographic stone. Subsequent notes read "Six Monthsafter..." with no space between words. Later still, this "s" evidently wore off, and is once again weak or missing.
A total of 635,250 were issued. Thease are not too scarce today, and are fairly inexpensive through the middle grades. High grade uncanceled notes are a bit tough and priced accordingly. There are fairly deceptive counterfeits of this note.
The notes bearing the numbers T-47 and T-48 are no longer considered part of the type set. For a time, some thought these were a sort of trial issue by the Confederacy. Today, it's difficult to see how these were ever considered genuine issues, as they do not appear in Confederate records, there are some odd things about the paper and the engravings, and apart from the two Fifty Cent notes (1863 and 1864), no genuine notes were produced with printed signatures.
The design of both the T-47 ($20) and T-48 ($10) was influenced by the T-46. There is a similar, though if genuine it would be a strangely not identical portrait of R. M. T. Hunter at lower right. Much of the lettering is the same, but with "...Months after..." properly spelled and spaced. The central vignettes are different as are the denomination medallions and markers.
The origin of these notes is unknown.
With the T-49 the series makes a number of changes. The multiplicity of designs had to have been confusing. Imagine eleven different $10 notes in circulation simultaneously, and that's only counting the Confederate treasury notes! It would be difficult for anyone to be adequately familiar with all of the designs to be able to spot the bulk of the counterfeits, and perhaps even bogus notes like the T-47 and T-48. From this point on, the designs would be standardized. All except the Fifty Cent notes were engraved by Keatinge & Ball, and some types would be printed not only by Keatinge & Ball, but B. Duncan, J. T. Paterson, and/or Evans & Cogswell, also.
In addition to the standardization of designs, printed backs were added to all notes with denominations higher than $2. (A notable exception will be the $500 note of 1864 which was uniface.)
All of the 628,640 T-49 notes issued were printed by Keatinge & Ball. The engraving is high quality, and the notes are very attractive in high grades. This issue is a bit of a sleeper in the series, however, as they are more difficult to locate than one might expect. While the number printed comes close to matching the interest bearing T-41 and significantly exceeds both the T-39 and T-40, in fact, it exceeds the combined total of these latter, all of the interest bearing notes are much more common. The prices for T-49 are in keeping with the relative scarcity.
The T-50 is another note printed exclusively by Keatinge & Ball. The obverse is virtually identical to the T-16 from 1861, with the addition of a back design. The total issue was 414,400 notes. The printing was usually good, but a number of notes seemed to feature a lighter green overprint on a light bluish-green paper, resulting in lower contrast. Boldly printed notes on whiter paper, with resulting high contrast can be difficult to find. The type itself, like the T-49, is not as common as some might expect.
The T-51 was engraved by Keatinge & Ball, with notes printed by J. T. Paterson and B. Duncan. A combined total of 776,800 were issued. This was the first $20 note to feature a reverse, in this case, an ornate design printed in blue. At this time, the Confederacy was working to reduce the problem caused by counterfeiting. Progress was evidently made, as there are uncommon counterfeits of only the $100 note (T-49) from this series. Tremmel reports a solitary specimen of a $5 counterfeit on white paper. No counterfeits of the T-51 have ever been identified.
| Posted: Sat Aug 11th, 2007 20:57||
|The T-52 is the only $10 note to be printed on pink paper. Similar paper was used for the smaller denominations in 1862, and for the $1 and $2 notes in 1863. The new back design was printed in blue. A total of 3,060,000 were issued. This is the highest denomination of this series to be common and relatively inexpensive even in high grades.
The T-53 is the only $5 note printed on pink paper. Except for the date and the color of the paper, this same design was used in 1863, and a very similar obverse design was used in 1864. This note also featured an ornate back design printed in blue. A total of 2,833,600 notes were issued. These are fairly common and affordable even in high grades.
The T-54 Is another of the new standardized designs which will become familiar, as it survived the later two incarnations with only minor changes. While higher denominations were given reverse designs in an attempt to make them more difficult to counterfeit, the additional cost of printing both sides was not considered worthwhile on these lower denomination notes. A proof $2 note (which may be unique) does exist with an unadopted back design.
While the number issued, 603,000 total, is relatively small, these are common with high grades fairly easy to find and inexpensive.
Finishing the 1862 issue, we come to the T-55, of which 1,141,200 were printed. This again is a uniface note, though according to Criswell a two sided proof exists in a private collection. In spite of the higher number of this denomination issued than the $2 notes, these $1 notes are tougher to find in high grades, as one might expect that they circulated more. They're affordable through virtually all grades and may actually be underpriced at the top.
By 1863, the Confederate government was concerned with inflation, and attempts were made to reduce the amount of circulating Treasury notes in an attempt to halt it. The $100, $50, $20, $10 and $5 notes of 1863 all bear a red date stamp with the month and year of issue. The bearer of any such note would have twelve months from the first day of the month stamped on the note to fund them into interest bearing bonds. After that date, the notes would be payable without interest two years after the ratification of a treaty of peace between the CSA and the USA. A large number of these notes must have been funded into bonds, as a significant percentage of the notes surviving have been canceled.
The T-56 is the largest denomination of the 1863 issues. The design is nearly identical to the T-49 with the following exceptions: The date has been changed; The clause was changed from "Six months after the ratification of a treaty of peace between..." to "Two years after the ratification of a treaty of peace between..."; Serial numbers were machine stamped in red, rather than handwritten; The above mentioned date stamp was applied in red; "!st Series" appears on many (not all) of these notes. The back design was the same as on the 1862 notes. The total number issued was 1,950,400. These are not considered rare, but fully bordered high grade specimens can sometimes be tough to locate. Prices run a little higher than the more common notes.
The T-57 is the third incarnation of the Keatinge design for the front of the $50 note, with changes befitting the deries. These include the date stamp, machine numbering, and the Ratification clause. The green overprint also tends to run lighter on the T-57 than it did on either the T-16 or T-50. The back design is the same as that used on the T-50 of 1862. A total of 2,349,600 were issued. They are still fairly common and not too expensive. Choice, clean, uncut and fully bordered examples are available, but not always easy to find.
The T-58 is nearly identical to the T-51, except for details such as the date, the change in the ratification clause, and the date stamp. The back design is the same as the earlier note.
(In general, in these posts, I have stayed away from the subject of watermarks, as so many different ones were used, often on the same issues. This can get involved, and my posts were meant as a brief survey of the designs, not a comprehensive catalog of varieties. There may be differences in watermarks found from one series to the next, but it can be confusing. For example, in addition to the CSA block letter watermark used on some T-58s, there is some paper with the CSA block letters surrounded by a wavy borderline. There are also rarer varieties with J. Whatman paper, and Wookey Hole Mill paper. The Whatman paper had a watermark that would show on only one of eight plate positions, so the remaining seven notes would appear on plain paper. Then there may have been actual plain paper. Confused?)
A total of 4,429,600 of this type were printed. They are common even in high grades, though full bordered uncanceled notes are a bit tougher to find. There are also a small number of "Stolen Forged" counterfeits. These are notes printed with genuine plates which were stolen as uncut sheets by employees of the printer. The signatures, serial numbers, and date stamps were then forged. There are diagnostic differences, but identification is a little more challenging than some of the outright counterfeits of other notes. The good news is that in today's market, the "SF-58" is worth significantly more than the genuine note.
| Posted: Sat Aug 11th, 2007 21:06||
|In keeping with the standardized designs, the T-59 is an update of the T-52. The biggest differences, of course, are the switch to white paper and the date of issue stamp. These are common and inexpensive in all grades, though cut canceled notes may outnumber uncut specimens. Full bordered notes bring a premium, as they are tough to locate. One dealer I know claimed to have looked through a hoard of 3,800 T-59's and found TWO that were fully framed, and even these were cut tight to the line in places.
The T-60 is also an update from its predecessor. Like the $10, this was switched from the pink paper used in 1862 to a white paper, and includes the date of issue stamp. Similar information regarding cancels and trim applies. With different printers, series, watermarks, etc., there are a huge number of varieties and sub-varieties of this note. As a type, it is common, but that "choice" specimen for the collection can be surprisingly elusive! The number issued was 7,745,600.
The T-61 is possibly the sleeper among the 1863 issues. While the $2 note from the previous year is common even in high grades, this one is not. It's not rare, but most seen are in Fine or below. High grades exist, but are not common. This type is also notorious for notes having been badly cut from the sheets, and full bordered specimens should command a bit more of a premium. The total number issued was 689,200.
I should have commented earlier on the quality of some of the paper used. It is not unusual in this pink paper in particular, as well as the paper used for the T-42 -- T-44 among others, for there to be tiny holes. These small voids do not affect the grade or price as much as a true pinhole or puncture. They are to be expected. If excessive, they need to be noted, but the experienced CSA collector won't get bent out of shape if a few scattered microscopic points of light show through when the note is held up to a strong light.
The T-62, like the rest of the 1863 issues, is a slight update from the 1862 notes. The only significant changes to this note from its predecessor are the date, and the removal of the line "Fundable in stocks or bonds of the Confederate States" from the top margin. (These changes were also made to the T-61.) A total of 1,645,600 of these $1 notes were printed. With the inflation of the times, these must have circulated heavily. Even so, many survive in higher grades and these are more affordable in uncirculated condition than the $2 notes.
The last of the 1863 notes is the T-63. This is the first of the Fifty Cent notes, no doubt prompted by a scarcity of coins in commerce. These were printed by Archer & Daly on pink paper, and the serial numbers machine stamped in red. Probably because of less fear of counterfeiting small denomination notes, the signatures were printed on these and the later T-72 notes. These are the ONLY two types of CSA notes which were not hand signed. The issue total is 1,831,517. They are common and inexpensive even in high grade. They are often found badly cut, so choice full bordered notes are a little tougher.
The T-64 is only the second type of $500 note, and the last issued by the Confederacy. The first was the interest bearing T-2 of 1861, of which only 607 were issued. Of the T-64, 168,400 were issued. The survival rate, as with all of the 1864 issues, is high and these are rather common. They are, however, extremely popular, even among those who do not collect Confederate currency, and the prices tend to run fairly high.
The popularity seems to stem from the high denomination, the portrait of "Stonewall" Jackson, and the Confederate flag. (Usually misidentified as the "Battle Flag" or, more egregiously, as the "Stars and Bars," it's actually a depiction of either the second or third National flag.)
Criswell breaks these into color variants with serial number ranges attached. While there are early and late number dark red overprints, they do not fall exactly within the number ranges listed, and intermediate shades of red exist in bith the dark reds and the pinks. The more striking dark red notes do bring a premium.
Inexplicably, this is the only high denomination 1864 note to be uniface. All other notes with this date from $5 to $100 have printed backs.
The T-65 updates the older design. The most obvious differences are the addition of a reddish web overprint covering most of the face of the note, and a new back design. A total of 929,200 were issued, and these are common and inexpensive today. There is a deceptive counterfeit worth about the same as a genuine note. These will typically have a light blue back that looks fuzzy or blurred.
The overprints (or underprints, if you want to be a stickler for chronology) on the 1864 notes will all have color variants within the given denomination. The colors will vary from light pinks of various shades, through darker pinks, and in some cases to a dark red or brick red. In general, the more pronounced colors will bring a premium. The back colors will vary Quite a bit as well.
| Posted: Sat Aug 11th, 2007 21:16||
|It's probably appropriate to interject a few general comments about the 1864 notes. In many cases, these were printed in larger numbers than their predecessors. They were the current issue when the War ended. Being newer, logically they had less time in circulation to be worn out, lost, or destroyed. Consequently, the survival rate of these notes is substantially higher than the earlier ones. A large original issue paired with a high survival rate is the reason that these ore the most seemingly ubiquitous Confederate notes on the market. They are common. Even so, that "ultimate" note combining the best cut, color, condition, and eye appeal can be surprisingly difficult to find.
The T-66 is the fourth version of the same basic design originally produced by Keatinge & Ball in 1861. This is the only design to receive so many incarnations. In keeping with the style of the other 1864 notes, however, the green partial overprint was replaced with a pink or red one, and a new back design in blue was used. The total issue was 1,671,444 notes. These are common and inexpensive, even in high grades. Dark reds are less common and bring a bit more. There are also a couple of counterfeits that can be deceiving, though one type will just look "wrong" to an experienced collector today.
The T-67 is even more common, with 4,297,004 notes having been issued. They are inexpensive in all grades. The dark reds tend to be less dark than the $50s or $100s, and seem to be less common. There is the usual range of pink colors to the front and blues to the back.
The T-68 is the only denomination to get a major alteration from the previous year. Gone is the South Carolina capitol building, and instead there is a vignette of horses drawing a field artillery piece. The reddish web overprint of the 1864 issues is present as is the new blue back. The issue of 9,145,000 notes is, I believe, the greatest of any single type. These are very common and relatively cheap in all grades, though that elusive ultimate "choice" note can be surprisingly difficult to find.
The T-69 is an updated version of the earlier T-53 and T-60, with the familiar changes of the addition of an overprint and a new back in the style of the other denominations. A total of 5,527,200 were printed. These are also common today and one of the more inexpensive types.
The T-70 is a note once again based on the earlier design. For the first time, however, it is printed on white paper instead of pink, and it sports a reddish overprint. As with all 1864 notes, this color can vary quite a bit, from pink to nearly full red, and even shades tending more toward orange. The back, as before, is blank. A total of 932,800 were issued. These are common, with high grades fairly easy to find. These tend to cost a little more than the $5 and $10 notes, but are still very affordable even in uncirculated condition. As usual the cut is often careless.
The T-71 yet again is an updated version of the standard design. Like the $2 note, this $1 design appears for the first time on white paper with a reddish overprint. The same comments regarding color and cut apply. A total of 945,600 were issued. Higher grades are a little tougher to find than with the T-70, as these lower denomination notes seem to have gotten used a bit more heavily. High grades are available but are a bit more expensive than most of the higher denominations. Still, retailing at about $225 for a choice uncirculated, they are not anywhere near the cost of some of the earlier notes.
The last note in the Confederate type set is the T-72. These were engraved by Archer and Halpin. This note is identical to the T-63 with the following exceptions: The date has been changed; The "Six months after..." clause has been changed to "Two years after..."; The serial number is machine stamped in black, not red; The engraver's business name has changed. As before, these were printed on pink paper, and the signatures were printed, not handwritten. The backs are blank.
A total of 1,132, 200 notes were issued. These are common today, and still relatively cheap even in uncirculated condition. Nicely cut, or at least full bordered specimens are not particularly common but can be found.
This concludes our "brief introduction" to Confederate paper money.
I have received a comment or two indicating that this thread may have sparked some interest. Since the adage "Buy the book first" is particularly sage advise in the realm of collecting Confederate currency, I thought I would add a short list of recommended books:
Comprehensive Catalog of Confederate Paper Money by Grover Criswell (1996).
This is probably still the best first choice. It not only contains much information on the types and varieties, but has a section on Civil War vintage counterfeits in the back. Some reference on counterfeits is vital, particularly to beginners. Thus far this year, I have gotten the attribution changed on two counterfeits listed as genuine in major Heritage auctions. The Criswell book does list prices, but these are well out-of-date.
Collecting Confederate Paper Money, by Pierre Fricke (2005)
This book is the realization of a munuscript by the late Dr. Douglas Ball and contains the most information about varieties.
Counterfeit Currency of the Confederate States of America , by George Tremmel (2003)
This contains the most complete published information to date on counterfeits.
Finally, for more advanced collectors, there is the 1972 reprint of
Register of the Confederate Debt, by Raphael Thian
This last is the one which cross references signers to serial numbers, but as it is a reprint of a book which predates all cataloging systems, it can be difficult, or at least tricky to use. While it is not 100% complete, and does contain some errors, this book makes it possible to detect many deceptive counterfeits or altered notes.
There are books by Slabaugh which have good information, but he uses a numbering system different from Criswells, and this will confuse a beginner. I have not examined anything later than a 7th edition (1991), so I can say nothing certain regarding the newer and larger editions.
I also understand there will be a new addition to the "Red Book" series published next year. This will be a book dedicated to Confederate currency authored by Hugh Shull. It's possible this will replace the Criswell book as the collector's day-to-day reference.
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