CONFEDERATE STATES 5 dollars 12.2.1862


CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, 5 dollars, 12.2.1862, Face: black and red, Capitol building at Richmond, Meminger portrait at lower right, Back: blue, ornate utility design, 1st SERIES, position F, P51d, cut cancelled, G

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The government of the Confederate States was broke from the start. All of it’s notes were promises to pay some time in the future, when the war would be won. 50 years ago you could buy them by the box for less than a dollar a piece. There were big stashes of them all over the South.

Aside from China, other governments started using circulating “banknotes” starting in the 17th century AD. The practice became general in the 19th century. In the 20th century value of paper money in circulation far surpassed the value of coinage. In the 21st century paper money is fading and credit transactions are growing.

Paper money, meaning the promise of a government to pay a set amount, and the paper promise allowed to circulate at will, was probably first used in China in the 12th century AD. At that time the merchants and governments of Europe were just writing letters to each other about what they owed.