Thursday, 13 December 2007

Paper Money Collecting: US Fractional Currency

US Fractional Currency- The Lowest Denomination of US Paper Money.

During the American Civil War (1861 -1865), there was a scarcity of gold, silver and copper coins and people started using postal stamps as a means of providing change. At this point it was not legal tender, but as it worked, except for the Post Offices dislike of redeeming stamps especially soiled ones which they totally refused to accept, neither did they like the idea of selling stamps for currency, things were soon to change around.

Salmon P Chase (1808 - 1873)

The US Secretary of the Treasury, Salmon P Chase, asked for a form of postage stamp be approved as currency, and so on July 17, 1862 President Lincoln and the US Congress passed the Postage Currency Act, which approved the issue of 5, 10, 25 and 50 cent notes.
The first issue was known as Postage Stamp Currency as they were similar to the 5 and 10 cent stamps. The first issues were never legal tender but could be used as a means of exchange for lots of $5 notes. In 1863 Salmon Chased asked for the issue of a new currency that was much more difficult to counterfeit than the postage stamps.
The new fractional currency notes were colorful items back printed side. These fractional currencies ran until 1876.

The 3 cent fractional currency note is the lowest paper money note ever issued in the United States of America.

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