1869 $1 LEGAL TENDER LARGE SIZE NOTES
RARE COIN NEWS
By Adam Crum
Several months ago I called a market bottom of United States Large Size Notes ( See the full story ) – and according to the February 2010 Currency Dealer Newsletter the activity is strong. “None of the cited sell through levels suggest a shirking or faltering marketplace, and indeed, the results for Obsolete, Nationals, Small Type and especially Large Size Type, suggest significant buyer support at current levels.” It goes on to say regarding specifically Large Size Notes, “results here can be summed up as confirming higher levels of demand and buyer interest…”.
The longest-lived type of U.S. paper money, the United States Notes or Legal Tender Notes, was first authorized in 1862 and is still current today, though none have been authorized since 1969. The notes were backed only by the credit of the government.
The Series of 1869 $1 Legal Tender Note is commonly called the “Rainbow Note.” In fact, all denominations in the series of 1869 owe this appellation to the colorful tint of their paper. The face of the $1 note features the portrait of George Washington at the center. This was the first appearance of George Washington on any federal $1 denomination and he remains on the $1 denomination today.
A vignette exhibiting the artistic beauty of an old master – of Christopher Columbus making sight of land – is located on the left obverse of the note.
The series of 1869 legal Tender Note is the only note which bears the label “Treasury Note” instead of the label “United States Note,” found on all later issues (series of 1874, 1878, 1880, 1907, 1917 and 1923).
The back of the note is extremely interesting with an array of contiguous geometric “flowers” surrounding the intertwined letters “U.S.” and a block of text describing the penalties for counterfeiting. The all-green colored backs also gave way for the term “greenbacks” for these early American Notes.
The historical significance and beauty of these notes has been recognized and four denominations of these Series of 1869 Notes are represented in the book, 100 Greatest American Currency Notes by Q. David Bowers. The $1 Note was awarded the number 41 spot in the book.
For the FR18 type, PMG has certified a total of 103 notes and PCGS Currency has certified a total of 23, for a combined total of only 126 notes in AU53 or better. Finest Known has acquired a small hoard of these certified notes, mostly in Choice Uncirculated to Superb Gem condition. In fact, this recent acquisition represents 43% of all certified notes in AU to Superb Gem by both leading certifying agencies.
After speaking with three other leading experts in the currency field, one theme rang through: This is the only hoard of its kind that ANY had ever heard of; in fact, one begged me to offer HIM the deal.
I am very excited to offer such an array of one the most sought-after Large Size Currency notes in the market. The following list are the grades and offering prices for this wonderful deal. Please be advised that availability is “first come-first served.” Given the current state of the market, these beautiful notes will not last long.