Rare U.S. Currency on Display at the INA Annual Show & Convention

The Iowa Numismatic Association is excited to announce that rare national bank notes from Davenport, Iowa banks will be on display at the INA Show and Convention October 21 and 22 at the Isle of Capri Hotel and Casino.

The national banking system was established by the National Currency Act of February 25, 1863 to provide a ready market for United States bonds issued to finance the Civil War and to provide a soundly based circulating currency that could replace the more or less insecure jumble of state and local issues then in circulation. The resulting National Bank Note issues became the country’s effective circulating currency during the 50 year period from the Civil War to World War I.

The Bureau of Printing and Engraving made printing plates with the basic bank note designs on them which would be used to print the notes. The bureau would then over print the notes with the names of the national banks. Chartered national banks could order notes in various denominations from the government. The banks would then issue bonds to the government and in turn receive 90% of that value in currency.

As currency changed, banks were required to send in the old-style notes that remained in their vaults. Of course, this did not include notes that were in the possession by the public. Collectible values of currency varies by rarity, condition and popularity. In general, the bank notes from small towns are worth more than larger towns because the populations were smaller and therefore had less notes issued to their banks.

No state in the union hosted more National Bank Note issuing banks on a per capita basis than Iowa did. Since the officers of most banks were prominent people in the community, large size national bank notes bear their signatures. However, it was not unusual for non-officers to sign the notes with the officers’ names or even use a stamp.

The notes exhibited at the show include large and small size notes from Davenport. The rarest of these notes is the original series $2 note or “lazy deuce”. There are only 4 notes of this type known from the First National Bank of Davenport. The First National Bank of Davenport was the first national bank to open for business in the United States.

Here are examples of some of the notes that will be on display at the show. We hope to see you there!



















Chris Seuntjens,
Christopher’s Fine Jewelry and Rare Coins