As we are getting ready for President’s Day, it got me thinking about how many different notes President Lincoln and Washington have been featured on. Most of us have a familiar Lincoln $5 bill in our wallet, but the first time Lincoln was on a $5 bill was the Red and Blue Seal Federal Reserve note from 1914
Then came the 1923 SIlver Certificate, fondly nicknamed by collectors the Porthole Note as it appears you are looking at Lincoln through a porthole.. This was the last year of large size currency. Although all dated 1923, these were printed through 1927.
A last note about the Five Dollar Note. There were 7 others who had their portraits on various designs of the $5 in addition to Honest Abe. They include : Alexander Hamilton, Andrew Jackson, Ben Harrison, Chief Onepapa, George Thomas, James Garfield, and Ulysses Grant.
Lincoln also graced many different National Currency notes, but we will dedicate a whole blog to National Currency.
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Now we get to some of the more esoteric notes that Lincoln has been on.
Fractional currency was just that, fractions of a dollar, just like coins. These were printed during the Civil War as people were hoarding coins due to their precious metal content. People were using postage as currency so the government started printing fractional currency to ease the hoarding issue.
The $10 “Greenback”. This was the first paper currency issued by the government since the Revolutionary War.
This interest bearing treasury note is extremely rare, having only 35 known. One sold in 2018 for $102,000.
Currency was once backed by gold. You can buy one of these type notes for $25,000, where as if you would have traded this for gold at the time, you would have approximately $650,000 (vs. gold at $1300)
Known as the Rainbow Note, this 1869 $100 is very scarce, one of only 30 believed to exist. Current value is approx $500,000!