Baby Bonds and Baby Induced Insomnia

I often like to relate my currency blog to current events, but this week’s blog relates to a life event. My wife and I recently welcomed our first child into the world. Our son, Carden Luca Ciociola, was born on December 11th, weighing in at 7 pounds 3 ounces and measuring 19.5 inches. After a bout of jaundice in his first week little Carden is doing great and his mom and dad are over the moon (albeit sleepily). After racking my brain in the middle of another sleepless night to figure out how to tie the birth of a child into a currency blog, I settled on what to me is the obvious tie in, Baby Bonds.

The State of Louisiana approved Act 104 on April 10, 1880, authorizing an emission of notes to replace the state certificates of 1874. These notes would be interest-bearing circulating notes of the $5 denomination. Each note originally included 11 coupons valued at 7 ½ cents each and paid semi-annually. The coupons could be clipped to redeem the interest equivalent to 3% annually. These notes are popularly called “Baby Bonds” due to the appearance of a young girl on the right side of each note. Ironically, Baby Bonds aren’t really bonds and the baby I would say looks more like a toddler. Obviously Baby Bonds has a better ring to it than Toddler Bonds or Toddler Notes!

These notes were produced by the Western Bank Note Company based in Chicago. There are a number of different varieties including varying watermarks and plate characteristics. Hugh Shull lists eight varieties in his book A Guide Book of Southern States Currency. Most of these varieties are pretty common save for examples with a hand signed Treasurer’s signature and notes bearing the T.H. Saunderson and Co. watermark.

This is the last Stack’s Bowers Currency Blog of the year. It has been a great year for the currency department and Peter, Aris and I eagerly look forward to all that 2016 has in store. If you will be attending the FUN Show in Tampa in a few weeks, please stop by and say hello. We will be accepting consignments to our 2016 auction events as well as buying and selling U.S. and World currency.

If you have any currency related questions please contact Currency Specialist Brad Ciociola at [email protected] or Director of Currency Peter Treglia at [email protected]. We wish you a safe and happy holiday season and wonderful 2016!


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