How Can I Find Out If 1863 Currency Is Real or Fake?


Quick Answer

Collectors of 1863 currency can check to see if a particular item may be real or fake by checking for bogus currency serial numbers. Old Currency Values, and similar companies, post serial numbers from Civil War era currency that is known to be fake. Therefore, this would be the first step. If the currency's serial number is not listed, seek the opinion of experts concerning value.

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Full Answer

According to Old Currency Values, around 97 percent of Confederate paper money on the collector's market is fake. This means that there is a high probability of an old 1863 note being worthless. They also state that authentic Confederate notes do not have much collector value.

Fractional currency was created by the U.S. government as a response to a serious metal coin shortage during the Civil War, according to Collectors Weekly. In 1863, currency became available in fractional denominations of three, five, 15, 25 and 50 cents. Collectors value this currency, especially the five cent notes featuring the image of Spencer M. Clark, Superintendent of the National Currency Bureau. Fractional currency circulated widely among other currency until 1876.

Another indicator that may be helpful with authenticity is that metal coins during the Civil War do not have the "In God We Trust" motto.

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