One of just 61 known Fr. 151 1869 $50 “Rainbow” Legal Tender Notes will be offered to bidders at the Stack’s Bowers Galleries Official Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Expo in Baltimore, Maryland October 29-November 1, 2014.
The 1869 Series of Legal Tender Notes are referred to as the “Rainbow” series due to the colorful hues of both the inks and the security paper the notes were printed on. Denominations range from $1 to $1000. The series is considered to include some of the most beautiful notes in all of American paper money.
Henry Clay appears in the portrait at right on the $50 “Rainbow.” Clay represented the state of Kentucky as a member of both the House of Representatives and the Senate. He also served three terms as Speaker of the House and was the ninth United States Secretary of State, serving under President John Q. Adams. The vignette at left is “Return of Peace” and depicts Liberty carrying a palm branch and a miniature statue of Mercury. This is a symbolic reference to the post-Civil War Reconstruction era.
The note being offered is graded Very Fine 20 by PMG and carries a pre-auction estimate of $30,000-$50,000.