By Steve Carr
National bank notes collecting is limited only by your imagination. Click
"read more" to learn about several common ways to collect this series.
These types are:
Original Series (issued 1863-1975)
Series of 1875 (issued 1875 – 1902)
Series of 1882 “brown back” (issued 1882 – 1908)
Series of 1882 “date back” (issued 1908-1914)
Series of 1882 “value back” (issued 1914-1922)
Series of 1902 “red seal” (issued 1902-1908)
Series of 1902 “date back” (issued 1908-1915)
Series of 1902 “plain back” (issued 1914 -1929)
Series of 1929 “type 1” (issued 1929 – 1934)
Series of 1929 “type 2” (issued 1934-1935)
National Gold Bank Notes (issued in California only, 1870 – 1884)
There are several different “sub types,” including $5 1882 “brown backs” with Treasury signatures that are either on top of each other (stacked) or side by side on either side of the note (in-line), $10 and higher denominations of “brown backs” that had either horizontal or vertical Series printing, and notes with or without a regional letter or a Treasury serial number. A complete type set of nationals would include more than 20 notes, depending on the differences that appeal to you.
2)By serial number. Serial # 1 notes are fairly common and are avidly collected. So are special serial numbers, like lucky number 8. Still others collect a number run, from notes serial numbered from 1 to 10 (of 20, or….). There are also a few runs of notes where the treasury serial number and the bank seal number have the same numbers. Similarly, notes with matching serial number and bank charter numbers are possible from most banks. Finally, the last serial numbered note issued by a bank are avidly collected.
4)Collect a note (or more) from your hometown. If there was more than one bank in town, collect one from each. If you hometown did not have a National Bank, collect from banks inside your county or state.
5)Collect by denomination. Nationals were printed with values of $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, $500, and $1000. One and two dollar notes were only issued through 1878, but are not rare. $5 through $100 notes were printed throughout the note issuing period. The $500 and $1000 notes were only issued through 1885. In 1938, when the latest figures on redemptions are available, 173 $500 notes and 21 $1000 notes were outstanding. Only 3 or 4 $500 notes are known today, only one in collector’s hands. This note once belonged to Amon Carter, an early collector and dealer in currency.
6)By plate date. Each national has an engraved date on its face. This date represented the date the bank was organized, chartered, or had a title change. As mentioned last week, notes are known for December 25, January 1, April 15, February 29, and July 4. In fact, every day of the year is represented. Find a note with your birthday, the birthdays of others in your family, or/and any date you want. This usually takes some time, but you get to look at a bunch of notes while you are searching.
7)By Treasury signatures. Engraved signatures of the Register of the Treasury and the Treasurer of the United States were added to the design of the note when its plate was produced. Thirty-four different signature combinations appear on nationals. This was the most common way to collect prior to 1980 and seems to be gaining popularity.
That’s a lot to chew on…. Guess I’ll stop here and finish next week. As I said, there are an infinite number of ways to collect these notes. To me, that makes them special.