Saturday, December 08, 2012

The History Behind Postal Currency

According to the American Numismatic Association's website, "As the Civil War began, many people started to stockpile their money, causing a serious shortage of coin currency. To replace the shortage of coins, people began to use postage stamps as currency. John Gault came up with the idea to 'encase' the stamps in order to provide extra protection for them.

"Even with this case around the stamps, the stamps could be taken out and used as normal postage. US Treasurer Francis E. Spinner recognized that people were using postage stamps for currency; he recommended to Congress that a new paper money series should be produced.
"In August of 1862, fractional currency, otherwise known as postage currency, was developed. The design for the postage currency was based off the design of 5-cent and 10-cent stamps. This form of money was printed in 5-cent, 10-cent, 25-cent and 50-cent denominations. Postage currency was short-lived: It existed from August 1862 until May 1863 and was replaced by fractional currency. Fractional currency, which was used until 1876, was not only a different design and size, making them easier to distinguish, but it was also difficult to counterfeit."

To read the rest of the article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM