Postage Currency

The First Issue of U.S. Government stamp money is the only one of the five issues to be identified by name as Postage Currency. The initial printing of the First Issue was released through Army paymasters on Aug. 1, 1862, and was provided for general circulation a few weeks later. The first design of fractional currency was supposed to be very easy to use for the general public. They were issued for the 5, 10, 25, and 50 cent denomination. The five cent note has a picture of a five cent stamp. The same goes for the ten cent note which has a picture of a ten cent stamps. There were no 25 or 50 cents stamps in the 1860s, so each of those notes had multiple pictures of lower denominations. You can see why this type of money was originally called postage currency. The varieties you need to be aware of here relate to straight edge or perforated edges and whether the note does or does not have the ABNCo monogram. As you can see in the pictures the 25Cent note has the perforated edges and the 50Cent note has the ABNCo monogram. The idea of perforated Postage Currency was a carry-over from the postage stamp printing process and was discarded when the demand for Postage Currency exceeded the capacity of the perforating machines. Inasmuch as the Bureau of Engraving and Printing had not yet been established, contracts for printing of the First Issue were awarded to private bank note printing companies. The National Bank Note Company printed the face, and the American Bank Note Company (ABNCo.) printed the back. You don’t have to have an extreme rarity for your fractional currency to be worth a tremendous amount of money, but it always helps.

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