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Old Money from The First National Bank Of Helena | 1649

The First National Bank Of Helena

The First National Bank Of Helena in Montana printed $524,000 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 1866 and stopped printing money in 1896, which equals a 31 year printing period. That is a fairly normal lifespan for a national bank. During its life, The First National Bank Of Helena issued 18 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 First National Bank Of Helena was located in Lewis And Clark County. It was assigned charter number 1649.

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The First National Bank Of Helena in Montana issued 3,000 sheets of $1 original series territorial national bank notes. Many territorial banks had outputs in the 2,000 to 4,000 range. When dealing with any first charter one dollar bank note, you can always take the number of sheets printed and multiply it by three to get the total number of actual bank notes printed for this denomination. These are technically called original series one dollar territorial national bank notes. Most collectors just call them territorial aces. Believe it or not, they are actually quite available. Around 100 of them are known to exist. Thanks to small hoards from towns like Salt Lake City, Yankton, and Denver, a collector can buy a nice looking territorial ace without spending tens of thousands of dollars. The rarest examples will certainly still cost more than $10,000, but others can seem like bargains.
Original Series $1 Territorial National Bank Note

The First National Bank Of Helena printed 3,000 sheets of $2 original series territorial national bank notes. Keep in mind that there was just one two dollar bill printed per sheet. So in this case the sheet number equals the total output of notes. Just like with the one dollar denomination, original series $2 territorial bank notes have survived at a surprisingly high rate considering they were only issued by 19 different national banks. The good news for sellers is that these are still really valuable. Prices are as low as $10,000 for something ugly and relatively common. It is possible for the rarest examples to be worth more than $50,000.
Original Series $2 Territorial National Bank Note

The First National Bank Of Helena also printed 3,300 sheets of $5 original series territorial national bank notes. Many territorial banks had outputs in the 2,000 to 4,000 range. You can do some quick math and take the sheet output, multiply it by four, and get the total number of original series $5 territorial bank notes issued by this bank. Only 30 banks in the country even printed these notes. Today there are only about ten surviving examples known to exist. Most of them are low grade and they are rarely available on the collector market. We are talking about bank notes printed before 1875, so the number of new discoveries being found 140 years later is minimal. Prices range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars based on any number of valuation factors.
Original Series $5 Territorial National Bank Note

The First National Bank Of Helena also printed 1,120 sheets of $10 original series territorial national bank notes. A total sheet output in the lows 1,000s is a great sign that you own a very rare bank note. Now here is an amazing fact. We know that 42 national banks printed this type of bank note, yet only four examples are known to exist. That population of four is split between two banks in Denver. So the question becomes, what happened to the rest of them? The easiest explanation is that no one knew these would ever become rare and collectible, so they got spent and eventually destroyed by the government upon redemption. Any original series ten dollar bill from a bank other than Denver would certainly be a welcome find.
Original Series $10 Territorial National Bank Note

The First National Bank Of Helena also printed 1,120 sheets of $20 original series territorial national bank notes. In this case, the number printed really doesn’t matter because so few are still outstanding. Seventeen different banks printed original series $20 territorial national bank notes. And just like with the ten dollar denomination, just four $20 bills are known to exist and they all happen to be from Denver. Other national banks in Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming all issued these notes. For some reason though, the collecting world has yet to find a survivor from any of those states.
Original Series $20 Territorial National Bank Note

The First National Bank Of Helena also printed 3,894 sheets of $5 series of 1875 territorial national bank notes. Many territorial banks had outputs in the 2,000 to 4,000 range. Most first charter five dollar territorials that we encounter today are from the series of 1875. Despite saying series of 1875, these were actually printed as late as 1901 by a handful of banks. So while these might appear ancient, some are much newer than the series date would suggest. With that said, these are still rare items treasured by collectors. Exactly 42 national banks printed series of 1875 five dollar territorials. That list of banks pretty much included all of the territories from Arizona to Wyoming. Please give us a chance to help you establish the value of your note. You will likely be pleasantly surprised with how these bank notes are valued in today’s market.
Series of 1875 $5 Territorial National Bank Note

The First National Bank Of Helena also printed 2,539 sheets of $10 series of 1875 territorial national bank notes. Many territorial banks had outputs in the 2,000 to 4,000 range. Thirty-two different banks printed series of 1875 $10 territorial bank notes. There is a nice mix of notes from states like North Dakota and some Western states as well. Prices for these range from high four figures to low five figures. Of course condition, bank, or serial number rarities could command more money. This is often the first type of bank note issued by pioneer banks in very remote areas. The survival number currently stands at 16 examples, but we usually handle a new discovery at least once a year, so that number is slowly rising, but this will never been a common bank note.
Series of 1875 $10 Territorial National Bank Note

The First National Bank Of Helena also printed 2,539 sheets of $20 series of 1875 territorial national bank notes. Don’t get too caught up on the number of sheets printed. Twenty dollar series of 1875 territorial bank notes are very rare. They were only printed by 28 banks and only six unique notes are known to exist to collectors. This is the rarest denomination (below $50) for first charter territorials.
Series of 1875 $20 Territorial National Bank Note

The First National Bank Of Helena also printed 1,900 sheets of $5 1882 territorial brown back national bank notes. A total sheet output in the lows 1,000s is a great sign that you own a very rare bank note. 1882 five dollar territorial brown backs are the lifeblood of the territorial collecting community. They were issued by virtually every territory (with exception of Alaska, Nebraska, and Porto Rico). A total of 109 national banks printed $5 brown back territorials. There are around 120 notes known to exist. That is a pretty high survival rate. Ironically though, the fact that lots of these exist is part of the reason that they are so collectible. More than one collector can reasonably try to put together a set. Ultra-rarities are always expensive, but often times they end up as outliers to collections. 1882 five dollar brown backs have always been popular. When you combine that with the appeal of a territorial, then you have a real winner. You can contact us to learn the true value and rarity of your note. In the meantime, take the number of sheets printed and multiply it by four, that will give you the total number of 1882 $5 territorials issued.
Series of 1882 $5 Territorial Brown Back

The First National Bank Of Helena also printed 1,030 sheets of $10 1882 territorial brown back national bank notes. A total sheet output in the lows 1,000s is a great sign that you own a very rare bank note. The ten dollar 1882 territorial brown back was printed by more than 200 national banks, and more than 200 pieces are known to exist today. That number tends to go up by a handful each year as more are discovered. Often times the $10 territorial was the first and lowest denomination a bank received. About a dozen #1 specimens are held by collectors today, and there are probably many more still held by descendants of early pioneer bankers. Territorial bank notes are the cream of the crop when it comes to national bank notes. Most are at least rare and some can be very valuable. As always, the exact value is still based on bank of issue and condition. Something ugly from Oklahoma might only be worth $3,000, but other examples could be worth well over $10,000.
Series of 1882 $10 Territorial Brown Back

The First National Bank Of Helena also printed 1,030 sheets of $20 1882 territorial brown back national bank notes. That number also represents the total number of twenty dollar bills printed for the type. Whether you have a ten or a twenty dollar territorial brown back, you should work with an expert to establish the value. Twenty dollar notes from this series were only printed at the rate of one to three compared to tens, but sadly, $20 1882 brown backs really don’t command a premium for their extra rarity. Only around fifty are known to exist today.
Series of 1882 $20 Territorial Brown Back

The First National Bank Of Helena also printed 214 sheets of $50 1882 territorial brown back national bank notes. That is a remarkably small number. Any note known to exist from a print run like that would be a true statistical miracle of survival. The $50 1882 territorial brown back is a great rarity. Only two are known to exist. You have to remember that $50 was a large sum of money during the time these were originally printed, which started in 1882 and lasted until 1908 (on very rare occasions). People could save a coin or maybe even a five dollar bill as a curiosity item or a keepsake. No one really wanted to tie up $50 for the foreseeable future. There was no collectible paper currency market until the 1950s. So even if you had something like this sixty years after it was originally printed, it was still just worth the face value of $50. Of course that has all changed today. These are now great rarities appreciated by the collecting hobby.
Series of 1882 $50 Territorial Brown Back

The First National Bank Of Helena also printed 214 sheets of $100 1882 territorial brown back national bank notes. That is the same output for individual $50 bills. Most regular issue $100 brown backs are worth around $5,000. However, we are talking about territorial $100 brown backs. These are much rarer. In fact, they were only printed by a total of 25 different national banks and only about ten are known to exist! So needless to say, these are quite rare. This high denomination was printed by all of the usual territories you expect to see: Montana, Washington, Arizona, Hawaii, North Dakota, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Utah. The notes that are known to exist are split between Oklahoma, Utah, and New Mexico. So if you have a new state, then that will certainly be in demand.
Series of 1882 $100 Territorial Brown Back

The First National Bank Of Helena also printed 2,603 sheets of $5 1882 brown back national bank notes. That it is not an exceptionally low number of sheets. However, you have to remember that we are talking about bank notes printed before 1902. Even a large print number could have a very low survival rate. 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 First National Bank Of Helena also printed 1,730 sheets of $10 1882 brown back national bank notes. That sheet output number is small. Don’t expect too many of these to be available to collectors. 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 First National Bank Of Helena also printed 1,730 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 First National Bank Of Helena also printed 291 sheets of $50 1882 brown back national bank notes. Fifty dollar 1882 brown backs are few and far between. When the print number is under 1,000 like this bank then there is a great chance that you have a very rare bank note. The most common 1882 $50 brown backs are worth about $5,000. However, some can be worth more than $10,000 based on condition, serial number, and bank of issue.
Series of 1882 $50 Brown Back

The First National Bank Of Helena also printed 291 sheets of $100 1882 brown back national bank notes. High denomination $50 and $100 brown backs were printed on the same sheet. So the number of sheets printed also equals the number bills printed for each denomination. You can see that $100 brown backs are extremely scarce on this bank. We are very interested in purchasing $100 1882 brown back national bank notes. We have paid more than $15,000 for some examples. Send us pictures of what you have and we will respond quickly with an appraisal and offer.
Series of 1882 $100 Brown Back

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