USA Fractional Currency 10 cents 3.3.1863


USA, Fractional Currency, 10 cents, 3.3.1863, Face: Meredith, red seal, long, thin, key – 4.8mm, key teeth 1mm wide, fifth issue, P122b, F1265, Unc

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During the Civil War small change substantially disappeared from street commerce. The federal government put out successive issues of Fractional Currency to fill the void.

The USA got into the paper money business during the Civil War. Everyone was hoarding coins, they had to do something. Once they started they found that they kind of liked what paper money did to the economy.

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.