Fifty Cent Fractional Currency

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50-Cent Fractional Currency

50-Cent Fractional Currency


In the years leading up to and including the American Civil War, coins were at a premium. Folks started hoarding them, or selling them for metal scrap, and they became scarce. Which made it awfully hard for people to make change during day-to-day transactions. So all sorts of methods were developed to cope with the shortage. Some used postage, which eventually led to stuff like Aunt Mary's encased postage coin. Other businesses started minting their own coinage, now known as "Hard Times" or "Civil War" tokens. And the the government stepped in with official "Fractional Currency"--tiny little bills, sort of like large postage stamps, to take the place of the missing coins.

Here we have a fifty-cent bill, signed by Colby and Spinner. I am told Mister Big Nose on the front is Spinner himself--many people call this a "Spinner bill". It is surprisingly flat and crisp for its age, so I'm guessing this particular bill didn't get too much circulation, but I have NO IDEA. It was sitting in the envelope with all the others. I can't be bothered to grade any of this stuff; all I've done is put them individually in archival museum-grade currency holders and put them up for sale. There's no pinholes, tears or anything. Just super-thin margins, which is not uncommon since these were all hand-cut, apparently.


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