The Short-Lived Series of 1878 Silver Certificates

Stack’s Bowers Galleries is pleased to be offering a $10 Series of 1878 Silver Certificate from the Porter Collection in the August Global Showcase Auction. Similar to those issued under the Series of 1880, Series of 1878 notes are striking thanks to the medium pinkish-red Treasury Seal, floral overprinted “TEN” plainly featured along the bottom margin, and the third engraved countersignature of any number of Treasury officials.

Authorized under the Act of February 28, 1878, a piece of legislation better known as the Bland-Allison Act, these notes are extremely rare today with no individual Friedberg recording more than 16 surviving examples. Their rarity can be traced to several factors. First, owing to their replacement at the hands of the Series of 1880, those issued under the Series of 1878 were redeemed in large quantities by banks and businesses alike making for a short-lived series with few survivors. Second, the redemption of these notes was precipitated by a dubious legal tender status which allowed these notes to only be used for customs, taxes, and public dues. Congress would clarify this status by way of a provision included in the National Banking Act of 1882. Lastly, early Silver Certificates saw limited circulation, often only through banks and businesses. Most members of the general public would only become acquainted with this form of currency with the Series of 1886.

The example of this exceptionally rare series in our August Global Showcase Auction is graded Choice Fine 15 by PMG, showing extensive circulation prior to its debut on the numismatic market and eventual encapsulation at PMG.

Discovered in the late 1960s by a Florida-based dealer, this note has appeared at various auctions, realizing strong prices and attracting significant interest from collectors and dealers alike. The chance to acquire an example of this Friedberg number is a rare one indeed and  demonstrates the uncommon nature of the notes found in the Porter Collection.

For more information about our auctions or to consign your numismatic items, please call 800-458-4646 or email [email protected].

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