Confederate Currency; 1861 Montgomery Issued Notes

Confederate Currency; 1861 Montgomery Issued Notes.

The 1861 Montgomery issued notes of the Confederacy are among the most desired of all American banknotes. The four denominations issued, $1000, $500, $100, and $50 (Criswell Types 1 to Type 4 respectively) combine rarity, impeccable state of the art security printing, and the optimistic sense of history that the Confederacy was to be long lived and independent to our modern era.

Even though the North won the Civil War and the Confederate debt was refused, the Montgomery notes are still treasured. Fewer than 600 “Montgomery’s” of all types are known. The current census (2000) totals only 111 $1000 Type 1 notes and 150 $50 Type 4 notes.

As banknotes in their own right, the Montgomery issued notes’ beauty is just about unparalleled. The National Banknote Company in New York City executed the four note plates with amazing diligence and execution. Each type has a superb green lathe tint protector and green borders. The vignettes are of the highest artistic style of this prestigious, almost “renegade” firm, dwarfed in size by the recently merged firms that became the American Banknote Company. The contract work done in New York for the soon-to-be enemy is in itself dubious, and certainly worthy of detailed study. The hidden intrigue behind this issue of notes is the icing on the cake of their desirability.

The four notes, when issued, must have drawn great optimism from the executives and supporters of the Confederate cause. However, the redeemers of such notes received later notes and bonds which became worthless.


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