Confederate says $50 Civil battle currency/note, type 4, serial letter B, No. 1345, dated may 22, 1861, earned $12,000 in June 2017 in ~ Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates. Photo courtesy of Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates and

NEW YORK – Scooby Doo fans will certainly remember the classic TV episode, A Night the Fright is No Delight, where the Scooby corridor spends the night in a haunted mansion to collect an inheritance from an eccentric millionaire only to find out at the end that the money is Confederate currency and deemed worthless together a medium of exchange. When the show made for great entertainment, they gained one vital point dorn though. Confederate currency is far from worthless and also can bring 50 or 100 time its confront value today.

You are watching: 1861 confederate $5 dollar bill worth

Two months into its existence and just before the outbreak the the polite War, the Confederate government started to press its own money to be used in the 11 states making up the Confederate claims of America (CSA), frequently referred to together “graybacks” after the shade of the Confederate soldiers’ uniforms. Union currency was called “greenbacks.” The very first currency banknote published by the Confederate says of America, first issued right into circulation April 1861, amounted to roughly a million dollars precious of money. “Notes were issued because that the following three years, ending in 1864,” according to

This hand-signed 1862 Richmond, VA $1 Confederate says of America note brought $2,750 in may 2019 in ~ BK Auctions. Photograph courtesy of BK Auctions and also

There were 72 different types of Confederate notes. In virtually all cases, however, these notes were not backed by gold or hard assets, however, just a promise to pay six months after a tranquility treaty to be signed between the North and South. In Mississippi, though, part banknotes were backed by cotton. After ~ news got out that the south was shedding the battle (after the battle of Gettysburg), the Confederate government was in shambles and also its notes depreciated come the point where lock were nearly useless together currency and also could no be traded for products or converted into official U.S. Currency. Confederate paper money is, however, fairly collectible in today’s market, depending upon condition and rarity. In general, the earlier years favor 1861-62 are much more valuable.


A team of Confederate currency carried $2,400 in November 2019 at Brunk Auctions. Photo courtesy of Brunk Auctions and

Confederate note are frequently discernible by your cut. Without benefit of high-quality cut machinery, southerly banks and officials would hand-sign and hand-cut the notes by hand so many notes have actually uneven margins. “This way that legit Confederate currency should not have actually perfectly cut edges prefer you would check out on contemporary currency,” follow to the Manhattan Coin Club, which warns world on that is website to avoid fakes by paying heed to cut, paper and ink. Likewise owing to gift cash-strapped, the Confederate federal government used lesser quality paper for print its notes. Thin rice record was frequently used instead of a cotton-linen blend like the U.S. Treasury room used. In many cases, iron gall octopus was offered to print CSA notes, which typically turned brown as it oxided and also aged. If one watch a Confederate note where the octopus is as black color as the machine-printed components of the note, it’s most likely a fake. Fakes are prolific today and even throughout the polite War, the north issued fake Confederate money to destabilize the market.


This Confederate claims $100 currency/note, form 3, serial letter A, No. 1224, dated may 16, 1861, marketed for $21,000 in June 2017 in ~ Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates. Photo courtesy that Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates and

While people are accustomed come official money today v its typical images and portraits on the verso (George Washington portrait on the $1 bill, Abraham Lincoln top top the $5 bill, etc.), the Confederacy provided a wide variety of motifs and images in the engraving.

The very first four notes to be issued native the original Confederate resources of Montgomery, Alabama, and they demonstrate a high level of ability in your engraving and printing. “When the Confederate government was relocated to Richmond, Virginia, expert engravers and printers were tough to come by causing a lower quality of note produced,” follow to the paper Money Guaranty website. “The Confederate note designs mainly showcased southerly themes, including slaves, navy ships, railroads, animals and also real historical figures,” the website reads. Mythology symbolism, such as gods and also goddesses, and themes unrelated come money were also sometimes used.


A $100 Richmond, VA Confederate says of America note, T-5, made $2,500 in June 2019 at BK Auctions. Photograph courtesy of BK Auctions and also

Among some of the human being portrayed ~ above CSA notes were George Washington, Andrew Jackson and also Jefferson Davis. Allegorical scene or photos evincing daily work scenes were likewise used. A $50 keep in mind from 1861, for instance, depicts 2 women symbolizing market and farming seated ~ above a bale of cotton. At much left is a mrs standing and holding the scales of justice and a portrait the Washington at much right. Follow to Old currency Values website, this note is assumed to be quite rare as much less than 5,800 to be printed.

See more: What Can Rats Eat Honey Nut Cheerios ? Don'T Use Cheerios

The U.S. Civil battle era is among the most desirable periods for money collectors and also Confederate money is certainly amongst the most colorful and also most interesting.