PMG-certified Civil War-era Printer's Proofs Being Offered by GreatCollections

Posted on 10/8/2019

The sets of four denominations of 1861-dated printer’s proofs are graded up to 64 Choice Uncirculated.

Paper Money Guaranty® (PMG®) has certified four incredible pairs of 1861-dated printer’s proofs of some of the earliest banknotes issued by the US government. The notes are being offered by GreatCollections in an online-only auction that ends October 20, 2019.

A printer's proof of an 1861 $5,000 US Interest Bearing Note graded PMG 63 Choice Uncirculated.
The front is above; the back is below.
Click image to enlarge.

Printer’s proofs are made by a banknote printer to test a note’s design before production. The four pairs offered by GreatCollections are uniface proofs of the front and back of the following notes, mounted on card stock:

The proofs were printed by the American Bank Note Co. of New York.

A printer's proof for an 1861 $5 Demand Note graded PMG 63 Choice Uncirculated.
Click image to enlarge.

The 1861 Demand Notes, considered the first US paper money, were issued by the US government to help cover the enormous cost of the Civil War. They also were the first notes to be known as “greenbacks.”

Interest Bearing Notes weren’t intended to be circulated. Before the country had a permanent central bank or federal paper money, the US Treasury issued these notes to raise cash when the country was dealing with financial stress, such as during the War of 1812 and, in this case, the Civil War.

The three sets of Interest Bearing Notes each have five coupons redeemable with interest at six-month intervals. The notes themselves would be redeemed for the sixth interval. To view the listings for the three Interest Bearing Notes at GreatCollections, click here.

“These amazing notes were an important step in the genesis of US currency,” said Ian Russell, President of GreatCollections. “Their quality is outstanding and we expect them to attract a lot of serious interest from bidders.

“We submitted them to PMG because of the company’s expertise and experience with such significant rarities,” Russell added.

Mark Salzberg, Chairman of PMG, said the company was honored to grade these beautiful and rare notes.

“We are thrilled that we had the opportunity to certify these proofs, which are an important part of the country’s numismatic history,” Salzberg said. “Notes like these are seldom seen at auction.”

The 1861 $100 Interest Bearing Note printer’s proof, graded PMG 62 Uncirculated.
Click image to enlarge.

For more information and to bid, visit the GreatCollections website,

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