Replicas of Obsolete Notes

Reprinted from The Numismatist, December 1992. Numismatist is the monthly publication of the American Numismatic Association.

Many times throughout the year the ANA receives phone calls from individuals inquiring about the origin and value of obsolete notes, which predominately date from the 1770s to the 1860s. Most are amazed at our skill in providing the serial number once we are given the date. Amazement fades to dismay when they are informed that "grandpa's heirloom" is actually a cheap imitation produced some 30 years ago.

Often they offer a fainthearted comment about the authentic appearance of the yellowed notes. we explain that these replicas are printed on paper that has been chemically treated to give it an antique, parchment-like look. The replicas usually are printed on paper that is crisp and wavy, with a tan color and browned edges.

Thousands of replica notes were produced prior to the Hobby Protection Act of 1971-73. These copies greatly outnumber the originals and. for the most part, were intended to mark the centennial of the Civil War. Tourists could buy packets of replicas at historic battlefields or other places of interest. Some notes also were produced to promote goods or services.

In England in 1964, replicas of Confederate notes were included in packs of chewing gum as part of a promotion by ABC Chewing Gum of Romford, Essex (see F. Philipson's article, "A Sticky Confederate Issue," in the June 1974 issue of Bank Note Reporter). The notes have black lettering on pink faces and white backs, and measure 5 1/2 X 2 3/4 inches (genuine notes are 7 1/4 X 3 1/4 inches).

The telltale sign of a replica is the static serial number. Serial numbers on genuine specimens are handwritten and advance consecutively with every note. Replicas are produced in quantity and bear the same number.

The accompanying list highlights replicas known to ANA. It should not be considered complete, as others undoubtedly exist. Thanks to Ed Fleischmann, who compiled the main body of this work in 1979 during his tenure with the ANA Certification Service.


KNOWN REPLICAS OF OBSOLETE NOTES

SERIAL #
ALABAMA
State of Alabama (Montgomery); $100; Jan. 1, 1864 834
ARKANSAS
Treasury Warrant; $1; Apr. 28, 1862 128346
CALIFORNIA
Wells Fargo (San Francisco); $20; Jan. 11, 1871 370455
CANADA
City Bank (Montreal); $4; Jan. 1, 1857 12549
CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA
$1; Feb. 17, 1864 82129
$2; Apr. 6, 1863 46695
$5; Feb. 17, 1864 18262
$10; Sept. 2, 1861 5089
$10; Feb. 17, 1864 40679
$20; Sept. 2, 1861 1524
$20; Feb. 17, 1864 46410
$20; illegible date (probably Sept. 2, 1861) 15247
$50; Sept. 2, 1861 18441, 23961
$50; Apr. 6, 1863 3987
$50; Feb. 17, 1864 5670, 72104
$100; May 8, 1862 108 ?
$100; Nov. 20, 1862 65798, no #
$500; Feb. 17, 1864 16760, 18278
$1,000; May 28, 1861 178A, 197A
$100,000; Jul. 5, 1861 4832
(See the June 1974 issue of Bank Note Reporter (p. 7) for a list of "bubble Gum" wrapper replicas)
CONNECTICUT (COLONIAL)
10 Shillings; Jun. 1, 1780 11259
Bank of New England; uncut sheet ($3-5-10-20) unissued no #
CONTINENTAL CURRENCY
$20; Sept. 26, 1778 270350
DELAWARE (COLONIAL)
5 Shillings; Jan. 1, 1776 62101
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Bullion Bank; $3; Jul. 4, 1862 no #
Columbia Bank; $3; Oct. 20, 1862 no #
Presidents Bank; $1; 1862 no #
(See United States, Bank of)
FLORIDA
Bank of Fernandina; $5; Feb. 1, 1860 236
Bank of Florida (Tallahassee); $4; Feb. 1, 1864 542
Bank of St. John's; $5; May 2, 1859 667
Bank of West Florida; $10; 3 Nov. 1832 1363
Merchants & Planters Bank; $20; 12 Nov. 1833 13??
State of Florida (Tallahassee); $1; Mar. 1, 1863 2396
GEORGIA
$100; Apr. 6, 1864 19567?
GEORGIA (COLONIAL)
$4; Sept. 10, 1777 2991, 19567
INDIANA
Citizens Banking House (Gosport); $2; Jul. 1, 1857 ?
Citizens Banking House (Gosport); $3; Jul. 1, 1857 2929
Citizens Banking House (Gosport); $5; Jul. 1, 1857 2658
Exchange Banking House (Indianapolis); $3; Oct. 27, 1819 no #
LOUISIANA
Canal Bank (New Orleans); uncut sheet ($10-10-10-10) no #
Canal Bank (New Orleans); uncut sheet ($10-20-20-20) no #
Canal Bank (New Orleans); uncut sheet ($100-100-100-100) no #
State of Louisiana; $100; Mar. 10, 1863 2650
MARYLAND
Sommerset & Worcester Savings Bank; $2; Nov. 1, 1862 1564
MARYLAND (COLONIAL)
$8; Apr. 10, 1774 14020
MASSACHUSETTS (COLONIAL)
$8; May 5, 1780 25480
MICHIGAN
Macomb Country Bank; $2; Apr. 1, 1758 5203
Tecumseh Bank; $1; undated no #
MISSISSIPPI
Treasury Note; $100; Jan. 8, 1862 2758
NEW HAMPSHIRE (COLONIAL)
30 Shillings; Aug. 24, 1778 992
$7; Apr. 29, 1780 1702, A702
NEW JERSEY
Union County Bank (Plainfield); $5; Sept. 12, 1859 no #
NEW JERSEY (COLONIAL)
18 Pence; Mar. 25, 1776 8418
NEW YORK
Bulls Head Bank (new York City); $3; Aug. 10 , 1864 4042
City Trust & Banking Co.; $2,000,000; Dec 21, 1839 5509
Clinton Bank; $100; Dec. 2, 1839 9
Corporation of the City of Albany; 10 cents; Jul. 17, 1862 676
Genessee County Bank; $52.12; May 5, 1865 16896
Sherman & Barnec (Buffalo); 25 cents; Jul. 11, 1862 no #
NEW YORK (COLONIAL)
5 Pounds; Feb. 16, 1771 24323
$10; Aug. 13, 1776 illegible #
NORTH AMERICA
Bank of North America (Philadelphia); $1: Jan. 30, 1862 28
Bank of North America (Philadelphia); $1,000: Jan. 30, 1862 22
NORTH CAROLINA
State of North Carolina; $1; Sept. 1, 1862 808
NORTH CAROLINA (COLONIAL)
$4; Aug. 8, 1778 126, 146
OHIO
Bank of Granville; $3; May 11, 1838 7374
State Bank of Ohio Franklin Center Branch, Columbus);
$1; Jul. 7, 1861
9131
PENNSYLVANIA (COLONIAL)
15 Shillings; Oct. 1, 1773 5520
RHODE ISLAND (COLONIAL)
$3; Jul. 2, 1780 2298
SOUTH CAROLINA
Cotton Planters Loan Association; $5; May 15, 1862 415
SOUTH CAROLINA (COLONIAL)
5 Shillings; Apr. 10, 1778 640
$8; Oct. 19, 1776 no #
TENNESSEE
Bank of Chattanooga; $2; Jan. 4, 186? no #
TEXAS
Republic of Texas; $1; June 10, 1840 2150
Republic of Texas; $2; March 1, 1841 5214
Republic of Texas; $3; Sept. 1, 1841 383
Republic of Texas; $5; Jan. 15, 1842 2231
Republic of Texas; $10; Jan. 25, 184? 5480
Republic of Texas; $20; Jan. 10, 1840 1575
Republic of Texas; $50; Jan 1, 1840 1112
Republic of Texas; $100; 1839 15?
Republic of Texas; $100; May 29, 1830 663
Republic of Texas; $500; Jan. 1, 1840 1381
Texas Treasury Warrant; $5; Oct. 6, 1862 112586
UNITED STATES
Bank of the United States (Washington, DC);
$10; Jan. 23, 1834 646
$1,000; Dec. 15, 1840 8894
$1,000,000; Dec. 25, 1840 (payable to Daniel Boone) 711
VIRGINIA (COLONIAL)
$250; Mar. 1, 1781 1165
Bank of Rockbridge; $5; Jan. 8, 1859 1692
Treasury Note; $100; Oct. 15, 1862 119, 2875