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Fourth Issue: 07/14/1869—02/16/75

This issue was printed in denominations of 10, 15, 25, and 50 cents and has the distinction of comprising, overall, the most beautiful set of notes for any given issue. Like an award-winning album, there is not a note in this collection that does not ring true. Though there are individual bills from other issues more sought after, taken as a whole, those of the fourth issue are generally the most desirable of any given printing.

A new type of paper, with embedded silk fibers was used, and both the American and National Bank Note Companies were re-employed to hire the most accomplished engravers for the portraits. All obveses included the Treasury Seal for this issue for the first time, again mainly to discourage counterfeiting. Some of the notes sport a pinkish hue across the obverse, adding to their value, and some fade to a ephemeral blue on the right side; once again adding to their worth. They include Lady Liberty on the 10 cent, sporting the forward-pointing cap of Liberty currently favored by Smurfs. These caps were often carried on poles by patriots heading into battle to symbolize the freedom they had gone to war for—there were few flags to go around, and the "freedom" cap was well known.

The 15-cent note is the personification of Columbia, which was in fact the name by which the united colonies were known before the revolution. Beneath her portrait find the familiar Roman sign of political authority known as the "fasces" utilized in the designs of many American coins and currency. Atop her head sits an eagle, but she doesn't seem to mind. Rounding out the radiant field of the Fourth issue is a nicely done Washington 25-cent note, and three gorgeous 50-cent notes: one of Lincoln, one of E.M. Stanton who was Secretary of War under Lincoln; and a third of Samuel Dexter who was Samuel Adam's Secretary of the Treasury, a seminal leader in the temperance movement, and by all accounts, as learned a barrister as ever argued before the Supreme Court. Three designs for the 50-cent bills were occasioned by a flurry of counterfeits of each type, the scarce Lincoln enjoying only a six-month print run before the Stanton, then the Dexter, finished the series. The ownership of any EF or better example of a Fourth Issue fractional is a treasure.

Fourth Issue Ten Cent Note

Bust Of Lady Liberty On Obverse


Slight Rounding of Corners. Signs of Light Handling Consistent With Grade.


No Major Distractions. Good Color and Margins Front and Back.


Small Seal


FR 1261









Fourth Issue Ten Cent Note

Bust Of Lady Liberty On Obverse



Signs Of Handling Consistent Witih Grade. Slight Vertical Crease, And Very Small Stain On Reverse Top Margin. No Pin Holes. Paper Slightly Darkened, See Photo.


Bust Of Liberty Engraved By C. Burt, Who Also Engraved The Bust Of The Fifty-Cent Lincoln.









Fourth Issue Ten Cent Note


Bust Of Lady Liberty On Obverse


Margining On Obverse, And A Barely Seen Crease At Lower Left On Reverse Keep This From Higher Grade, But Not From Being Impressive.












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