Old Money from The First National Bank Of Athens | 233
The First National Bank Of Athens
The First National Bank Of Athens in Ohio printed $538,750 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 1864 and stopped printing money in 1917, which equals a 54 year printing period. That is considering a long operation period for a national bank. During its life, The First National Bank Of Athens 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 First National Bank Of Athens was located in Athens County. It was assigned charter number 233.
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The First National Bank Of Athens in Ohio printed 4,000 sheets of $1 original series national bank notes. It is actually pretty standard for an early national bank to have a sheet output range between 2,500 and 5,000. The exact value of a bill is still going to be based on the number of notes known and the condition of each bank note. 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 First National Bank Of Athens printed 4,000 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 First National Bank Of Athens also printed 3,750 sheets of $5 original series national bank notes. It is actually pretty standard for an early national bank to have a sheet output range between 2,500 and 5,000. The exact value of a bill is still going to be based on the number of notes known and the condition of each bank note. 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 First National Bank Of Athens 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 First National Bank Of Athens 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 First National Bank Of Athens also printed 440 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 First National Bank Of Athens also printed 440 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 First National Bank Of Athens also printed 1,615 sheets of $5 series of 1875 national bank notes. Any time you see a print range between 1,000 and 2,500 you can assume that the bank was small and that their notes could be fairly scarce. 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 First National Bank Of Athens also printed 484 sheets of $10 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. The two vignettes seen on 1875 $10 bank notes are “Franklin and Electricity” and “America Seizing Lightning”. These notes occasionally confuse novices because the year 1752 is printed on them. That is when Benjamin Franklin discovered electricity. It has nothing to do with when these bank notes were issued. The back of each $10 bill has “DeSoto Discovering the Mississippi.”
Series of 1875 $10 National Bank Note
The First National Bank Of Athens also printed 181 sheets of $20 series of 1875 national bank notes. The exact number of series of 1875 $20 national bank notes printed by this bank is good to know. Don’t expect a high number to lower the value or a small number to increase the value. These notes are scarce enough on their own that the stats don’t really matter. Twenty dollars was a lot of money between 1875 and 1901, which is the time period in which these were printed. These just weren’t saved in high numbers.
Series of 1875 $20 National Bank Note
The First National Bank Of Athens also printed 3,585 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 Athens also printed 1,232 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 Athens also printed 1,232 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 Athens also printed 2,300 sheets of $10 1902 red seal national bank notes. A print range between 1,000 and 2,500 is pretty standard for red seals. Despite being standard, in the scheme of things that is still an extremely small quantity printed. 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 First National Bank Of Athens also printed 2,300 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 First National Bank Of Athens also printed 1,935 sheets of $10 1902 blue seal national bank notes. Most banks that printed such a small number of blue seal bank notes fall into the rare bank category. 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 First National Bank Of Athens also printed 1,935 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