Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Likely Unique North Carolina "Smallpox" Issue $50 "Independence" 1780 Issue Dated August 8, 1778

    North Carolina 1780 $50 Independence PCGS Very Fine 30.
    "This small issue consisted of the balance of the total that was authorized for the August 8, 1778 issue that was not printed due to the smallpox epidemic, £24,876 5s. The 1780 notes were authorized on April 17, 1780. Not all of the $16 notes had been printed for the 1778 issue, etc., however only $50 notes were authorized for this issue due to inflation. According to Watson in Money and Monetary Problems in Early North Carolina, in 1778 the paper notes circulated at a rate of 3.5 to 1 for specie. A mere two years later, when this issue was authorized, the rate had increased to 6 to 1 (by 1782 that had increased to a staggering 600 to 1). Richard Cogdell stated that "A string of Fish which used to cost 12d is now 1920d, or 20 Dollars."

    The only change from the 1778 notes was the 1780 date on the back, with the August 8, 1778 date remaining on the face. There were three different varieties of $50 notes. This is the variety with the motto, "Independence." Only 498 examples were printed of each of the three varieties and the present piece is the only one of the issue that we have ever handled. An extreme rarity which realized $8,050 in its only other auction appearance which was in October 2006." That was the description we used when we sold this note in our September 2011 Long Beach auction. At that sale the note brought $10,350. It remains unique to our best knowledge and is the Newman plate note.
    From the Thomas A. Gray Collection of North Carolina Colonial Currency

    View all of [The Thomas A. Gray Collection of North Carolina Colonial Currency ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2018
    5th-11th Wednesday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 185

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    20% of the successful bid (minimum $19) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 32 days left to consign to the 2019 August 13 - 20 ANA World's Fair of Money World Currency Signature Auction - Chicago!

    Learn about consigning with us

    Thank you for your quick response. I am a member of Heritage Auctions and I am happy to say that it is truly a great platform.
    Mohammed J.,
    Durban, KZ
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 April 25 - 29 Central States World Currency Signature Auction - Chicago
    2019 April 25 - 29 Central States World Currency Signature Auction - Chicago
    REALIZED $1,990,180