Twenty Dollar Bills from The 1870s
There were three different types of paper money issued by The United States in the 1870s. Surprisingly, the most common issues were probably national bank notes. Some $20 legal tender notes are occasionally available. All twenty dollar silver certificates from the 1870s should be considered very scarce.
A $20 national bank note will say either Series of 1875 or it will just have the bank’s original charter date. To further complicate things, some bills have both dates. The years 1870, 1871, 1872, 1873, 1874, 1875, 1876, 1877, 1878, and 1879 could be printed on the front of each bill. All the seal colors will be red. The seal types come in two different varieties. Sadly though, all of that information does not really affect the value. Values are based on condition, serial numbers, and most importantly the bank of issue.
There was a special and rare type of national bank note printed during the 1870s known as a national gold bank note. These only circulated in California. Less than 75 are known to exist today. They are almost more valuable than their non-gold counterparts.
Legal tender notes were printed with series years of 1875 and 1878. They have a similar layout to the earlier 1869 rainbow series. Alexander Hamilton is on both of these issues. Each bill has a red seal. Prices range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand if the note is in perfect condition.
Silver certificates were first printed in 1878. There was a twenty dollar denomination used. It is very rare today. The note has a black back that is quite unusual looking. A portrait of Stephen Decatur is pictured on each bill.
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