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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Old Currency...Real? Fake? or just real fake.

It isn't easy to know what to do when you open a book and find several old bills tucke din between the pages. There are enough questions of origin (how did they get there) bfore you can ask or answer the important question - Real or Fake?

The image doesn't do it justice...it looks old, it "feels" old and there are several moth-eaten holes. There's even a stain and fade marks...but there are also problems.  The ink color and the hand written issue number are all the same color. Printer's ink being different from pen ink would have them age differently. Contrary to popular belief everything wasn't printed on parchment before 1899. Take a look at these next 2 and see if you can spot the fake from the real one.

When you have them side by side it is pretty obvious. The ink on the top seems impossibly fake from the markings on the bottom, which feature 3 different colors. The real one on the bottom is actually 2-3 years older. Look at these other samples: some real some not so much...

Despite the shilling notes being fake they are supposed to be authentic and that merits a second glance. Here is the envelope they came in. 
I just noticed that the era of the fake bills doesn't match the range on the envelope, maybe some of those fakes are real?


  1. Haha... I was really into the "parchment reproductions" back in the 60s. Mom had decorated our house in the Early American motif, and I think the Founding Fathers would have felt right at home in our living room, with candle sconces, prints of colonial America, a spinning wheel, and busts of GW and TJ on the TV. So on vacations, I would pick up the parchment Constitution, Declaration of Independence, maps, and recruiting posters from that era. I also picked up a lot of repro currency in that exact same envelope you show.

    I visited Civil War battlefields/cemeteries at Vicksburg & Chattanooga last year, and this stuff is STILL available. I believe most historical-type National Park visitor center shops still carry it. Here's a link to some Civil War currency...check out the envelope at the bottom of the page...

  2. Hey... I wonder if reproductions made 40-50 yrs ago are valuable? LOL


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