Buying and Selling ALL Fractional Currency
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During the early years of the civil war, banks suspended specie payments, which act had the effect of putting a premium on all coins. As such, coins of all denominations were closely guarded and soon had all but disappeared from circulation. This put a strain on merchants trying to give small change to their consumers. This was the preempt-us of the Act of July 17, 1862 to fix the problem. Before the passing of this act, people had reverted back to the barter system. General Spinner, who at the time was the Treasurer, passed the Fractional Currency Act of 1862 authorizing the issuance of 5, 10, 25, and 50 cent notes. These were commonly referred to as postage currency.
Factional currency shields were made by the Treasury Department in 1866 to 1867 with 39 specimens of fractional currency of various denominations. The Treasury Department issued these to the bank to be able to compare to these notes to detect counterfeit notes. Complete shields are now rare and in much demand. Some notes of the first three issues of fractional currency are known as inverted reverses, or inverted surcharges. The second and third issues are know with surcharges partially or entirely missing. All of these “misprint” notes are extremely rare and highly sought after. These issues were never placed in circulation and all specimens are proofs or essays.