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Three Confederate Notes... Fake Or Real?

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Valued Member
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 Posted 12/03/2020  5:57 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Nells250 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
HI folks

I keep finding things I didn't know I had! Ran into these three Confederate notes and I ASSUME they are either counterfeit or "junk".

I come from stamps but I thought I heard many years ago that as soon as the Civil War ended, all Confed. notes were worthless. I also know that the South had so little paper for things that people would make envelopes out of wallpaper, etc.

So that would explain the very thin paper used.

How can I tell if these are legit? Some areas "look good" but some do not.







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 Posted 12/03/2020  6:08 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add matthewvincent to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
One thing to look for is "bleed through" where
ink was used for signatures and numbers. Or ink smudges.
Brother, can you spare a "BARBER" dime?
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 Posted 12/03/2020  6:10 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Nells250 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Bleed through to the reverse? Or ink bleeding into the paper fibers on the front?
Edited by Nells250
12/03/2020 6:11 pm
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 Posted 12/03/2020  6:14 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add matthewvincent to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Either or both would be good signs.

Brother, can you spare a "BARBER" dime?
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 Posted 12/03/2020  6:23 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Nells250 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply




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 Posted 12/03/2020  6:46 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add WheatBack to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
They're all genuine. The big sign is these were all pen signed by hand. Serials were all done by hand. Ink will be dark brown. Paper is usually thin and tissue paper-like.
Edited by WheatBack
12/03/2020 6:48 pm
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 Posted 12/03/2020  6:56 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Nells250 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
WheatBack - do you feel those signatures are right? After doing those mega-scans, I am still on the fence.

What printing method did they use for these bills? These do not feel or look intaglio THOUGH at first I thought they were. When I did the close-up scans I could see they are not as crisp.
Edited by Nells250
12/03/2020 6:56 pm
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 Posted 12/03/2020  7:08 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add matthewvincent to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
In your photo there are two examples signed by the same person Notice how they are not identical. If by machine they would be a perfect match.
Brother, can you spare a "BARBER" dime?
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 Posted 12/03/2020  7:10 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add WheatBack to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Yes, you can tell they were done by hand. Notice the flow and pressure of the signatures. Notice the lighter and darker areas where pressure/less pressure was applied when they were signed. You can see it on the serials too.
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 Posted 12/03/2020  8:29 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Nells250 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The two that matthewvincent mentioned do look a lot better than the third... that one seems to have a lot of skips in the ink, like the paper was textured. I guess I am not used to seeing ink writing that looks so... well... dull! I have a lot of paper in my various collections and it is always very easy to tell printed (or even El Fakeola) from real ink.

I'm not used to hand signed money!
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 Posted 12/03/2020  8:35 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Nells250 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
AHA!

Notice in this note the SAME skip in the ink:

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 Posted 12/03/2020  10:39 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add captaincoffee to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
For these and other obsolete notes, you have contemporary counterfeits, spurious notes, altered notes, and reproductions. The first three are old (fake) notes, and reproductions are modern. Counterfeits are attempts to make fake copies from the time the actual note was in circulation. Spurious notes are fake notes that did not attempt to copy a real note (a totally made up image with the name of a real bank). Altered notes are...altered...usually a legit note from a bankrupt bank that is changed to look like it came from a valid bank. Even the North issued fake confederate currency to destabilize the market. All of these old fakes are actually collectible to a certain degree if you can correctly identify them for what they are. Oh, there are also remainders (unsigned and unissued notes) that were subsequently forged with signatures.

Modern reproductions are the "junk" and what you find in a gift shop at a civil war museum. For the $20 confederate states series, the following are the well-known reproduction serial numbers:

1861 11220, 15247, 76007, 131720
1862 39590, 61372
1863 77786
1864 1372, 2625, 10482, 13410, 22224, 23483, 35021, 46410, 56809, 68327, 76627, 80967, 93941

So there is some good and some bad with what I see in these notes. I agree with @matthewvincent that the two notes with the same (but varied) signatures appear to be hand-signed. Also, if it appears to be thin rice paper, that is a good sign. I don't like the way one of the notes appears to have dark black signatures, where I'd expect it to be a little faded and more brown due to the iron gall ink. I also don't see that dark signature showing through on the reverse. I can't tell if these are on a brownish parchment (to make them appear old) or the color has simply faded and the paper is just in poor condition.

So, these may be genuine, but I'm sure you are aware that the condition...not so good. Probably makes them more of a novelty than something collectors would be after (if you are interested in value).
Valued Member
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 Posted 12/04/2020  5:27 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Nells250 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Here are a few more scans from that one bill we are all iffy on:





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 Posted 12/04/2020  6:03 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add SteveInTampa to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
They all appear to be genuine.
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 Posted 12/05/2020  2:12 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add suipakpaikungfu to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
They look OK to me.
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 Posted 12/06/2020  2:34 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add GregAlex to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
They look like the real deal, but the condition is marginal. This CSA issue was lithographed. Very few Confederate notes were engraved. Also, only the early issues were printed on the tissue like paper.
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