Value of 1891 $20 Silver Certificate

Series of 1891 $20 Silver Certificate – Manning

History:  The twenty dollar silver certificate was discontinued after the series of 1891 finished production in the late 1910s.  That makes the series of 1891 $20 silver certificate the last bill of that denomination and type to be printed by The United States.  The 1891 $20 bill is a redesign of the series of 1886 twenty dollar silver certificate.  The fronts of the two notes are virtually identical (with exception of some seal and serial number color differences).  However, the 1886 date has an “ornate” dark green back.  The 1891 back design is much more open and white.

Nickname:  The 1891 $20 silver certificate is often called a “Manning” note.  Daniel Manning was a former secretary of the treasury in The United States.  Most large size bank notes are nicknamed based on the portrait of the individual pictured or based on a vignette on the currency.  Manning was also on the 1886 $20 silver certificate, so when you use the nickname you need to specify 1886 or 1891.

Values and Grading:  There were six different signature combinations used on series of 1891 $20 silver certificates.  There were also two different seal colors (red and blue).  All of the varieties are valued the same.  However, for completeness we will disclose them.  Your specific bank note could be signed by Rosecrans and Nebeker, Tillman and Morgan, Bruce and Roberts, Lyons and Roberts, Parker and Burke, or Teehee and Burke.  There were some star notes issued for the last signature combination.  If the serial number begins or ends with a star symbol then it will be worth more money.  A note with a serial number under 100 also carries a premium.  Our guide below shows how the grade and condition of an 1891 $20 bill affects the value.

Choice Uncirculated or Better:  There are probably about 1,000 1891 $20 silver certificates known to exist.  Very few of those are in choice or gem uncirculated condition.  They show up from time to time, but they are definitely rare.  Prices start at $5,000 and can go up very quickly based on centering.  We would certainly love a chance to see any high grade Manning note and make an offer.

This Is A Rare High Grade 1891 $20 Silver Certificate

Extremely Fine to About Uncirculated:  We don’t see a lot of really nice looking 1891 $20 silver certificates in the XF and AU grades.  Most notes we see are either heavily circulated or brand new.  Correctly graded 1891 $20 notes in the 40, 45, 50 53, 55, and 58 grades are definitely in demand.  Many collectors have budgets that top out at a few thousand dollars, so this might be the best they can afford.  Expect to find one to three folds.  The paper should still be bright white with absolutely no problems.  Prices for 1891 $20 bills in this grade can be as low as $2,000 or as high as $4,000.

There Are A Couple Of Light Folds Barely Visible On This 1891 $20 Bill

Fine to Very Fine:  The 1891 $20 silver certificate we have pictured is a respectable looking very fine 20.  You can see several folds running over the portrait of Daniel Manning.  Besides that, the paper has gotten a little bit soft and the details are a little bit hazy.  The colors are a bit drab, but they could be a lot worse.  Lightly circulated 1891 $20 bills should sell for between $400 and $1,500.  That is a large range.  Obviously the fine 12 example isn’t going to be anywhere as nice as the very fine 35 examples.

Here Is A Lightly Circulated 1891 $20 Silver Certificate

Very Good and Lower:  We have a respectable looking 1891 $20 silver certificate in very good 8 condition shown below.  We selected a red seal variety.  The note we have pictured has some light staining on the right hand side of the portrait.  Just in general the paper is well-used and soiled from having spent years in wallets and circulation.  Most notes in the 1 to 10 grade (out of 70) won’t look this nice.  It is not unusual to see rust, margin damage, missing pieces, or other “problems” that will make the note less desirable.  Prices range from $50 to $300 for a heavily circulated note.

Many Collectors Would Gladly Pay Around $250 For A 1891 $20 Bill In This Grade

Need an Appraisal or Offer?  We are especially interested in purchasing 1891 $20 silver certificates.  We have handled dozens and we would be happy to make an offer on yours.  Just send us an email with pictures of what you have and we will respond quickly with an offer.