1863 Five Cent Fractional Currency

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5-Cent Fractional Currency

5-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.

This is a five-cent fractional currency bill, part of Aunt Mary's set of fractional currency. Like I've noted before, what these bills lack in actual face value they more than make it up with the sheer verbiage all over their tiny real estate. This is called a "second issue" bill. Once again we have George Washington gracing the front, encircled by a gilded oval that gives these notes the nickname the "porthole" series. It is obviously circulated, but appears to be intact. Another cool bill for someone to collect and share with their friends!


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