PMG's Featured Note of the Month: US 1880 $20 Legal Tender

Posted on 2/16/2021

This note features the signature of the first African American US Senator to serve a full term.

US 1880 $20 Legal Tender, Fr# 132 graded PMG 25 Very Fine and pedigreed to the Mike Coltrane Collection.
Click image to enlarge.

Country: United States

Catalog Number: Friedberg# (Paper Money of the United States) 132

Date: 1880

Denomination: $20 Legal Tender

Varieties: There are 18 Friedberg numbers for 1880 $20 Legal Tender notes, accounting for variations in the seal, serial number color and signature combination. Friedberg# 131, 132 and 133 feature Register of the Treasury Blanche Bruce's signature at the bottom left of the notes.

Blanche Bruce
Click image to enlarge.

What makes it special? Blanche Bruce was the first African American to serve a full term in the US Senate, representing Mississippi from 1875 to 1881. He served as Register of the Treasury from 1881 to 1885 and again from 1897 to 1898. The United States designates February as Black History Month to celebrate the achievements of African Americans.

Did you know? Bruce was born into slavery in Virginia in 1841. In 1880, at the Republican National Convention in Chicago, he became the first African American to win any votes for national office by either major party, finishing fifth in a crowded vice-presidential field to Chester A. Arthur.

Total graded by PMG: PMG has graded 20 of Friedberg# 132.

PMG median grade: PMG 25 Very Fine.

PMG highest graded: PMG 63 Choice Uncirculated

Sales highlights: The PMG 63 Choice Uncirculated example realized $14,950 in a Heritage Auctions sale in September 2007. In September 2018, Heritage sold two examples graded PMG Choice Fine 15, which realized $602 and $660.

PMG Registry: Friedberg# 132 can be collected as part of both the Large Size Legal Note Complete Set (No Stars) and Large Size Legal Note Complete Set (with Star Notes), but none of the top sets have this slot filled.

Related Articles

If you’d like to see more articles about paper money, sign up for free to become a member of the PMG Collectors Society and then choose the PMG and related e-newsletters to be delivered to your inbox.

Stay Informed

Want news like this delivered to your inbox once a month? Subscribe to the free PMG eNewsletter today!


You've been subscribed to the PMG eNewsletter.

Unable to subscribe to our eNewsletter. Please try again later.

Articles List