Twenty Dollar Bills from The 1860s

The 1860s was the golden age for large size United States paper money.  1861 marked the first year that the United States printed money.  Demand notes were the first type issued.  Twenty dollar demand notes are very rare today.  Most are in poor condition.  However, all of them are valuable.  We have one pictured below.

The first twenty legal tender note issued by the United States looks very similar to the earlier demand notes.  The legal tenders usually date to 1862 or 1863.  The backs of these are very different from demand notes.  Demand notes have an almost all green back.  These legal tender notes were frequently counterfeited back in the day.  Be careful if considering a purchase.  Some of the counterfeits are very convincing.

Gold certificates were also first introduced during the early years of the 1860s.  The twenty dollar gold specimen is especially attractive.  These are very rare today.  Most were redeemed and destroyed shortly after being issued.

Another rare and unusual $20 issue from the 1860s is the interest bearing treasury note and the compound interest bearing note.  These were kind of like bonds and kind of like paper money.  They earned interest at set dates.  So most were quickly worth more than $20, which meant that they were redeemed and destroyed.

Another elusive $20 bill from the time period is the 1869 $20 rainbow legal tender.  This design was used for several later issues.  These aren’t terribly popular, but they are needed to complete the denomination set.  Prices are almost always a few thousand dollars or more.

Some of the most collected types of $20 bills are national bank notes.  National bank notes were issued by hundreds of different banks across the country.  Many are very rare today.  Some will say series of 1875.  Others could have a date of 1863, 1864, 1865, 1866, 1867, 1868, and 1869.  The date in the 1860s relates to when the national bank originally opened.  That year is not necessarily the same year that the $20 bill was printed.  Most people usually collect these by state, and some states are very rare.

If you need help valuing your $20 bill from the 1860s, then just ask us for an appraisal.  All information is free.  We are also very aggressive buyers.