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Second Issue: 10/10/1863—02/23/1867

The second issue was authorized by congress on March 3, 1863. Even by then counterfeits had emerged, so variations in size, paper, and, design were necessary. The portrait of Washington was chosen to grace the obverses of all denominations, which included 5, 10, 25, and 50-cent notes. S.M Clark, Superintendent of the National Currency Bureau, succeeded in having a gilded oval added, framing each portrait, thus causing the issue to be nicknamed the "porthole" series. Probably added to thwart counterfeiting, the ovals ultimately reduce the aesthetic appeal of an obverse vignette that is, hands down, the most impressive of any printed in the fractional series. Combining elements of both the Hamiltonian and Jeffersonian economic visions, the scene includes technological innovations such as the steamship and locomotive in concert with horse-drawn wagons loading cargo in bales, kegs, and pallets. Each reverse type sported its own color scheme, the 5C notes brown, the 10C notes light to dark green, the 25C notes shades of purple, and the 50C notes light to near ruby red.

The fractional series is not known for its vignettes, favoring instead embellished portraiture. Issue two, even with the unusual embossed oval, is the elegant exception.

Second Issue Five Cent Note


Washington on Obverse

Brown/Purple reverse without surcharges



Near iridescent bronzing and gem obverse margins distinguish this well inked example. It's beautiful, it's graded, and reasonably priced. Only a barely perceptible crease on reverse lower right corner keeps it from UNC grade.




PMG Graded "Choice" About New 58


FR 1232




2nd Issue 5centt


2nd Issue 5cent      2nd Issue 5cent 

Second Issue Five Cent Note

Washington on Obverse


Reddish Brown Reverse Without Surcharges




Very clean exmple, with great body and graphics for the grade. A decent collection piece at a great price.



Slightly Toned paper with sharp corners and good margins front and back. Perfect centering on port hole image, and very red, almost purplish color on the "brown" reverse. Very Good looking AU.





2nd Issue 5cent


2nd Issue 5centt      2nd Issue 5cent


Second Issue Five Cent Note

Washington On Obverse

Reddish Orange Reverse With 18-63 Surcharges

Nice Margins, Bright Gray/White Paper


FR 1233





2nd Issue 5cent      2nd Issue 5cent   


Second Issue Five Cent Note

Washington On Obverse


High End Example. The paper is crisp, and ash white. All corners are sharp. The obverse grapic is gem margined. The yellow orange reverse crowds the left, but stays inbounds.


No surcharges on reverse.



2nd Issue 5cent      2nd Issue Five Cent   


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