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What is Fractional Currency?

There are many questions as to what Fractional Currency Notes are. They are the most unusual of all U.S. currency notes ever printed. During and after the Civil War, people hoarded coins for their Precious Metal content. A serious shortage of all denominations of coins developed. Since a way to make change was desperately needed in commerce, a remedy to this situation was found when the government printed various small denomination notes. These Fractional Notes were not well received by the general public at the time, but are highly collectible today! Fractional currency notes were active U.S. Notes for several years after the last issues were created.

First Issue U.S. Fractional Currency Notes were printed between August 21, 1862 and May 27, 1863. The First Issue contains notes of 5, 10, 25 & 50 cent denominations. They are the so-called Postage Currency notes because they look like the postage stamps of the day.

Second Issue U.S. Fractional Currency Notes were printed between October 10, 1863 and February 23, 1867. This issue contained 5, 10, 25 and 50 cent notes. All denominations have a bust of George Washington in a bronze oval frame.

Third Issue U.S. Fractional Currency Notes were printed between December 5, 1864 and August 16, 1869. This issue consists of 3, 5, 10, 25 and 50 cent notes. Each denomination has a different design.

Fourth Issue U.S. Fractional Currency Notes were printed between July 14, 1869 and February 16, 1875. This issue consists of 10, 15, 25 and 50 cent denominations. The Treasury seal appears on these notes for the first time. The 15 cent note only appeared in the 4th Issue and is the scarcest denomination.

Fifth Issue U.S. Fractional Currency Notes were printed between February 26, 1874 and February 15, 1876. Each note is of a different design.

Proof and Specimen notes were also printed and are sometimes printed only on one side, or are printed with the word "SPECIMEN". They are scarce and highly desirable.

The History of Large Size U.S. Currency

The History of Large Size U.S. Currency

Why Should I Collect Currency?

Why Should I Collect Currency?

Why are Prices Higher on Paper Currency Products than Bullion

Why are Prices Higher on Paper Currency Products than Bullion

Learn More About Precious Metals

Buying Precious Metals doesn’t have to be intimidating. Whether you are making a long-term investment or simply admire the beauty of Precious Metals, APMEX provides the tools to help you make the best choice for your portfolio.

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