• shawn@shawnhewitt.com
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National Bank Notes

National Bank Notes are today considered highly desirable hometown money by currency collectors.  They can be collected geographically, by design and by signers.  There is a ready market for this genre of paper money.

They had their start in 1863 in an effort by the United States to finance the ongoing war with the South.  Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase is credited with the system in which banks could organize with national charters to become National Banks.  It was patterned after banking laws that several states had adopted to provide for note-issuing banks.  The banks were required to purchase U.S. Treasury bonds and place them on deposit with the U.S. Treasurer.  The Comptroller of the Currency then authorized customized notes to be printed, with the name and location of the bank, and delivered to the bank, which could then issue them against the bonds on the deposit.  These notes enjoyed free circulation around the country and were guaranteed to be redeemed at face value, whereas there was no guaranty with state bank notes.  A federal tax in 1865 on outstanding state bank notes ensured the government monopoly on authorizing the note-issuing privilege.  The system came to an end in 1935 when the note-issuing privilege of private banks was revoked, leaving only the Federal Reserve Banks to issue currency.

Notes issued after 1874 always had the bank charter number imprinted on them.  It is the large number that appears in red, brown, blue or black once or twice on the face of the note.  This number is useful in easy identification of the issuing bank.

If you have National Bank Notes to sell, the easiest method to proceed is to please contact me by sending a picture of your notes in a text message to my cell phone number at the top of this page.  An email will work as well, but a response may take longer, and an email may not get to me at all if it is flagged as spam.  If I get your text or email, I will be sure to respond.

Below are examples are National Bank Notes from my hometown area.  Whether you are buying or selling these treasures, you will find a positive experience in dealing with me.

Cut Sheet $5 1882 Brown Backs Mille Lacs County, Minnesota Nationals

We want to buy paper money like you see here. If you have a note to sell, let us know.