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Old Money from The Merchants National Bank Of Galena | 979

The Merchants National Bank Of Galena

The Merchants National Bank Of Galena in Illinois printed $694,420 dollars worth of national currency. That is a high amount, but condition and serial numbers can make otherwise common currency from this bank quite valuable. This national bank opened in 1865 and stopped printing money in 1933, which equals a 69 year printing period. That is considering a long operation period for a national bank. During its life, The Merchants National Bank Of Galena issued 17 different types and denominations of national currency. We have examples of the types listed below. Your bank note should look similar. Just the bank name will be different. For the record, The Merchants National Bank Of Galena was located in Jo Daviess County. It was assigned charter number 979.

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The Merchants National Bank Of Galena in Illinois printed 2,300 sheets of $1 original series national bank notes. A print range between 1,000 and 2,500 is small. Combine that with something that was printed before 1875 and you can imagine that these notes are few and far between. One of the most interesting things about early first charter one dollar national bank notes is all of the different slight variations you can find. Some notes have a red charter number, others do not. Some have red serial numbers and some have blue serial numbers. Some are printed on white paper and others are printed on paper with a slight blue tint. You can really find lots of different ways to collect these. Generally speaking, prices for “first charter aces” are down from their highs. So there are some bargains in this arena of collecting.
Original Series $1 National Bank Note

The Merchants National Bank Of Galena printed 2,300 sheets of $2 original series national bank notes. It is important to know production numbers for original series two dollar bills for informational purposes. All $2 bills printed before 1875 are very rare and highly desirable. Most survivors represent the only known example for that bank. Collectors call these $2 bills lazy deuces. The large two on the face of the bill is pictured horizontally, thus making it look lazy. Don’t be fooled by the silly name though. These can be worth significant amounts of money on many occasions.
Original Series $2 National Bank Note

The Merchants National Bank Of Galena also printed 7,850 sheets of $5 original series national bank notes. Just because a print range is between 5,000 and 10,000 doesn’t mean that individual notes will be easy to buy. That number isn’t really high or low. Some notes are extremely rare and some could be from a hoard. Values are determined based on condition and the number of known survivors. Each five dollar original series bank note has a spiked red seal. That is pretty much the only design difference between it and later issues. These are really beautiful notes. One neat thing about these is that the back of each note has a vignette of the corresponding state seal. Some of the state seals are very imaginative. Collecting by state seal was very popular early on in the hobby. Today most collectors are more concerned about bank of issue and condition. Serial number one bank notes are also extremely popular.
Original Series $5 National Bank Note

The Merchants National Bank Of Galena also printed 800 sheets of $10 original series national bank notes. Any issue of less than 1,000 sheets should be considered extremely scarce. The survival rate for that output is miniscule at best. Rarities like this are of extremely high interest to us. These notes were issued during the glory days of the national bank note era. Each $10 bill was pen signed by the president and cashier of the bank. Small towns and large cities both issued these notes. Of course the small town issuers tend to be scarcer today. Prices range from $500 to thousands of dollars (and more if the condition and rarity warrant it). Contact us if you need help valuing your bank note.
Original Series $10 National Bank Note

The Merchants National Bank Of Galena also printed 800 sheets of $20 original series national bank notes. That issue number may or may not sound like a lot of sheets depending on your experience with collectible currency. However, all original series $20 bills are rare. The production amount is irrelevant when it comes to values. These seem like common issues until you want to buy one. These just aren’t readily available from rare banks in very fine or better condition. We definitely feel like these are undervalued in today’s market.
Original Series $20 National Bank Note

The Merchants National Bank Of Galena also printed 620 sheets of $1 series of 1875 national bank notes. It is rare to see a sheet output of under 1,000 like this. However, it did happen for some very scarce issuers. Series of 1875 one dollar first charter national bank notes were only printed between 1875 and 1878. That is the shortest production period of any national bank note. That doesn’t automatically mean that these are worth thousands of dollars, but they could be. Collectors often don’t differentiate between original series and 1875 notes because they look so similar.
Series of 1875 $1 National Bank Note

The Merchants National Bank Of Galena also printed 620 sheets of $2 series of 1875 national bank notes. If you are lucky enough to have a two dollar note from 1875 then don’t get too hung up on the number of bills printed. All notes are rare and in demand; we would be happy to help you value yours. There was only one $2 bill printed per sheet of national currency. So that sheet number also equals the total number of bank notes printed for the denomination. And as we said above, these were also only printed until 1878. That is one of the main reasons they are so rare today.
Series of 1875 $2 National Bank Note

The Merchants National Bank Of Galena also printed 3,905 sheets of $5 series of 1875 national bank notes. Hundreds of banks had sheet outputs between 2,500 and 5,000. That is pretty typical for a medium sized national bank in the 1870s. Series of 1875 $5 bills are some of the most commonly encountered bank notes from the first charter series. Only the original series $1 bill is more available. Some banks exclusively issued five dollar bills. So if you want an example from one of those banks then you don’t have many options. These notes have a rounded red seal and red serial numbers. They also all have a red charter number.
Series of 1875 $5 National Bank Note

The Merchants National Bank Of Galena also printed 5,562 sheets of $5 1882 brown back national bank notes. A print range between 5,000 and 10,000 suggests that there should be at least a couple of notes known to exist. You can take the total number of sheets printed and multiply that number by four to get the exact number of 1882 $5 brown back bank notes this bank issued. Each note has a portrait of James Garfield on the left hand side of the bill. These are very popular with collectors because they have different text layouts. Some notes are worth as little as a few hundred dollars, but most are worth a good deal more.
Series of 1882 $5 Brown Back

The Merchants National Bank Of Galena also printed 546 sheets of $10 1882 brown back national bank notes. Very few national banks issued such a small number of 1882 brown backs. There were three $10 bills printed on a single sheet of 1882 brown backs. The design of the bill is similar to all earlier ten dollar national bank notes. The nickname comes from the fact that these bills have a brown seal and brown overprint. Despite saying series of 1882, these were actually printed by some banks up until 1908. The date you see in cursive relates to when the bank first started issuing brown back notes.
Series of 1882 $10 Brown Back

The Merchants National Bank Of Galena also printed 546 sheets of $20 1882 brown back national bank notes. As you can see, the sheet output is the same for $20 brown backs as it is for $10 brown backs. There was only one $20 brown back printed on a sheet. So the sheet output also equals the total note output. One neat thing about all brown backs is that they each have a different back design based on which state issued them. The back left hand side of the note shows the state seal of which ever state the national bank was located in. Generally speaking, 1882 $20 brown backs are pretty difficult to locate. They typically were printed in small numbers and they don’t have a great survival rate.
Series of 1882 $20 Brown Back

The Merchants National Bank Of Galena also printed 800 sheets of $10 1902 red seal national bank notes. All red seals are very rare. But that sheet output is extremely low. We would love to see a picture of what you have. Collectors love ten dollar 1902 red seals. They usually represent the rarest bank notes printed by any national bank. Don’t let the term “series of 1902” confuse you. These were actually printed for about six years between 1902 and 1908. That is obviously a very short issue period which means that many red seals are quite rare. Each note has a portrait of William McKinley. Be sure to check the number under McKinley. If it is #1 then you are dealing with a note from the first sheet of bank notes issued. Number one bank notes are worth even more money than the already rare red seals.
1902 $10 Red Seal National Bank Note

The Merchants National Bank Of Galena also printed 800 sheets of $20 1902 red seal national bank notes. Twenty dollar red seal bank notes have poor survival rates. They don’t command premiums compared to the ten dollar denomination, but they are definitely rarer. All 1902 red seals were printed on four note sheets. There were three ten dollar bills and one twenty dollar bill per sheet. The 1902 $20 notes have a portrait of Hugh McCulloch on them. The charter number and seal are both printed in red ink. The serial numbers have a slight blue tint to them. The charter number is printed around the border of the note several times. The bank’s title is right in the middle of the note and the state of issue is printed just below the title. Remember that all national bank notes are valued based on their condition and rarity. The same rule applies to 1902 $20 red seals.
1902 $20 Red Seal National Bank Note

The Merchants National Bank Of Galena also printed 3,746 sheets of $10 1902 blue seal national bank notes. Many small national banks could be in business for years and only print between 2,500 and 5,000 sheets of blue seals. 1902 $10 blue seal bank notes all have a portrait of William McKinley on them. Values can range from as little as $40 up to over $10,000. There really is no trick to know what is rare and what is common by just doing an internet search. You really need to work with an expert (like us) in order to determine the value of your specific bank note. There are at least ten different factors than can make some 1902 $10 blue seals worth more than others. We know exactly what to look for and we would be happy to provide a free appraisal and our best offer.
1902 $10 Blue Seal National Bank Note

The Merchants National Bank Of Galena also printed 3,746 sheets of $20 1902 blue seal national bank notes. The same rarity rules for 1902 $10 blue seals also apply to $20 blue seals. Just remember that $20 bills are by nature three times rarer (unfortunately they don’t command a premium over other denominations). Hugh McCulloch is pictured on the front of each bill. Contact us if you need pricing help.
1902 $20 Blue Seal National Bank Note

The Merchants National Bank Of Galena also printed 426 sheets of Type1 1929 $10 national bank notes. That may sound like a very small number, and it is. However, when it comes to small size notes, that print range usually allows for a handful of survivors. Each $10 bill from 1929 has a portrait of Alexander Hamilton on it. The black number written vertically is the charter number. The charter number never affects the value; it is just an identifier. The ten dollar type1 national bank note happens to be the single most common national bank note, with over 65,000 known to exist from all banks. Of course each note is valued based on its condition and rarity. Some are very rare.
Series of 1929 Type1 $10 National Bank Note

The Merchants National Bank Of Galena also printed 111 sheets of Type1 1929 $20 national bank notes. That is an extremely small sheet printing number. Survivors are still likely but definitely not guaranteed. Andrew Jackson is featured on the front of each 1929 $20 bill. Be sure to take note of the serial number on your specific bank note. If it is 000001 then you can expect a nice premium. There is a special market for serial number one bank notes. Of course, even if the number isn’t #1, it could still be collectible and have a high value just based on its condition and rarity alone.
Series of 1929 Type1 $20 National Bank Note

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