The term “fractional currency” was first used on the second issue. They were issued from October 10, 1863 to February 23, 1867. The design elements were basically all the same for the 5, 10, 25, and 50 cent denominations. Printing ranges were between 12 million and 60 million, depending on the denomination. Each note was complete with a bronze oval on the front of the bill. This was to help deter counterfeiters. Counterfeiting was a major problem with the first issue of fractional currency. The factors determining rarity here are based on the type of paper each note was printing on, and what kind of surcharges are on the back of it. Surcharges are the small numbers or letters on the back corners of each note. The 5Cent note has four different varieties, the type that has a surcharge that reads “R-18-63″ on the back corners is by far the rarest. Others can certainly still be very collectible; they just have to be in uncirculated condition. There are six different varieties for the 10Cent note, the two most common notes don’t have surcharges at all, or have a surcharge that reads “18-63″. The other four types have surcharges of “S-18-63″, “1-18-63″, “T-18-63″, and “O-18-63″. Those are listed in order from most common to least common. There are seven different varieties of the 25Cent note; the most common type doesn’t have any surcharges. The others have different surcharges on them consisting of the normal “18-63” and either an “A,” “S,” “1,” “2,” “T-1,” “T-2,”or “S-2.” For the 50Cent note there are six different varieties known to exist. The difference with these notes is that all of them will have surcharges on the back side. What makes them rare is the combination of the surcharges, again you have the normal “18-63” and either an “A,” “I,” “O-1,” “R-2,” or “T-1.”
Again 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.