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Series 1863 - Original Series Bank Notes

The first National Currency issued was the series of 1863, also known as Original Series notes.
These notes were very ornate and in my opinion represent a high water mark in national bank note design.
On the back left of each note is the state seal representing the banks location.
Valuing these national bank notes you have to take the bank into consideration.
A very nice example of one of the notes below can cost less than $2000 if it's on common bank in Massachussetts.
The same note but from a bank in Washington state and all of sudden it's a note worth more than your car.

1863 $1.00 National Currency. Nicknamed The Ace 1863 $1.00 Original Series Ace
The back of the national Currency Ace features "The Landing of the Pilgrims".
The Ace is a highly desirable note in high grades and can bring a four figure price as a type note from a common bank
Many of these notes are found in very worn condition. The paper was very thin, not the quality found in later notes.
Another thing to look out for... these notes often had what is called a New England trim. They would cut the borders down.
As a type note from a common bank the range of values can be from $300 to $4500 for an uncirculated example.


1863 $2.00 National Currency. Nicknamed The Lazy Deuce 1863 $2.00 Lazy Deuce
The back features "Sir Walter Raleigh Introducing Tobacco to America" by Louis Delnoce.
The Lazy Deuce is often the first note to really capture a new collectors attention.
It's an exotic design unlike anything before or since. High grade notes are very collectible and bring strong prices when they come up.
Show up with a rare western bank on a fresh lazy duece and you might be looking to upgrade your home.
To appraise one of these notes you really need to know the bank.
For a common bank a range of values would be from $800 for a limp rag to $6,000 for an uncirculated example.

1863 $5.00 National Currency. 1863 $5.00 National Currency Bank Note
The back features "The Landing of Columbus" by John Vanderlyn (1775–1852)
The Original Series $5.00 is a great collector note because they are readily available and are pretty as well.
The note is dominated with vignettes to the point that the business end of the note is limited to the front center only.
Whats it worth? Well, again with nationals it comes down to the bank the note is drawn on.
A nice mid grade type note on a common bank will retail for between $750 and $1000.
An uncirculated example is likely worth $2000 to $3000 regardless of bank.

1863 $10.00 National Currency. 1863 $10.00 National Currency Bank Note
The back features "Hernando Desoto Discovering the Mississippi" by William H. Powell (1823–1879)
The front left of the this note is where Ben Franklin makes his first appearance on a US bank note.
Shown here discovering electricity. For some reason $10 and $20 notes aren't as popular to collect as the $5.00
Whats it worth? As a type note these would run from $600 to $1000 for a nice mid grade example.
An uncirculated note would be worth something approaching $2000.

1863 $20.00 National Currency. 1863 $20.00 National Currency Bank Note
The back features "The Baptism of Pocahontas" by John G. Chapman (1808 - 1889)
This notes back design is pretty dramatic... it's the highlight although a case can be made for the action scene on the front left.
$20.00 was fair amount of cash in 1863 so it's not surprising that these notes didn't survive in same numbers as the $5.00's & $10's.
A nice mid-grade $20 bank note will run from $800 to $1200.
A full range of values would be from $300 to $3500 for an uncirculated example.
The note shown from Denver is a lovely example with pretty hand signed signatures and bright paper.

1863 $50.00 National Currency. 1863 $50.00 National Currency Bank Note
The back features "The Embarkation of the Pilgrims" by Robert W. Weir (1803 - 1889)
Original series $50.00 national currecny notes are rare as a type and priced accordingly.
With less than thirty notes known to exists it's not surprising that the notes command a premium when they are found
A full range of values on this note as a type note would be from $3000 to $25,000 for a high grade example.

1863 $100.00 National Currency. 1863 $100.00 National Currency Bank Note
The back features "The Signing of the Declaration of Independance" by John Trumbull (1756 – 1843)
The $100 orginal series note is the king of the series and priced accordingly.
With just over 20 notes known to exist it's a very rare type.
A nice mid grade note will range from $5000 to $10000.
A nice $100 from a tough location can easily reach mid five figures.

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