Possibly Unique Federal Indent with Fractional DenominationContinental Currency Indent September 27 1785 $1 and 39/90th's PCGS Apparent Very Fine 35.
These indented bills were issued by the Continental Congress from 1782 through 1787. Early in the issuing period, the value depreciated by about 20%, but as the notes were accepted for taxes, the value quickly recovered. By 1782 Congress was unable to honor the large quantity of Continental notes that were in circulation, and their value fell to nearly nothing ("Not worth a continental," sound familiar?). These notes were then issued to circulate, and were accepted in payment of taxes (which earlier Continentals were not). The authorized signers were John Hardy and Michael Hillegas...with almost all of the known examples signed by Hardy. His bold clear signature led early collectors to refer to these then mysterious rare notes as "Hardy Bills." Newman identifies the denominations as $1, $2, $4, $6, $8, $9, $15, $20, $25, $50 and $75 but he speculates that other denominations were also issued. Notes are known only with issue dates of September 27, 1785 and October 11, 1787 but other dates were undoubtedly used. In the course of our 60-plus sales we have handled fewer than five of these ultra rare notes.
To the best of our knowledge, this is the first example that we have ever seen that included a Fractional Denomination. All others that we have seen were for whole-dollar amounts, with a bold ink line drawn through the two areas where the handwritten fraction would have appeared. PCGS has assigned the Apparent grade for minor ink erosion that has been hinge repaired. The note has the visual impact of a full XF. In 2008, we sold a VF 20 Net $4 for $3220, and in 2009 we sold a Fine 15 $1 for $1897. A wonderful item that would complement any advanced collection of Continental Currency.
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