The Thrill of Discovery: A Rare Note from a Common Bank

In the world of collecting National Bank notes few things are as exciting as a new discovery. While the discoveries that attract the most attention are those from the Western Territories or rare localities with minimal circulation, lot 95381 in our November 30 CCO U.S. Currency Auction is different in the respect that it comes from a common bank in the Midwest.

This note hails from Jacksonville, Illinois, the seat of Morgan County, a rural county located just outside the state capital in Springfield. It was issued by one of the three national banks that operated in Morgan County during the issuing period.

From 1864 to 1932 those banks issued a combined total of $6,061,960 in National Currency, a figure that generally indicates widespread availability. In fact, Jacksonville is a common location as these figures suggest.

However, what makes this note special is that it’s the sole remaining $5 Brown Back recorded not only of the 8,000 such pieces issued by the Ayers National Bank, but also for any of Jacksonville’s three charters. In addition, data courtesy of the National Bank Note Census reveals a total of 21 Brown Backs (of which 20 are $10s and $20s) out of 242 notes recorded overall on this community.

Graded Very Fine 30 by PMG, this note retains excellent eye appeal and originality. It has, received a comment for “Minor Rust,” which is evident along the bottom margin on the reverse, but in no way compromises the overall eye appeal of this pleasing note.

For the Illinois specialist or devoted collector of 1882 Brown Backs this note represents a rare opportunity and one that is likely not to be repeated for some time. This note and others like it are to be presented in our upcoming November U.S. Currency CCO Auction. To view the entire auction visit To consign your numismatic items to one of our upcoming auctions, please call 800-458-4646 or email [email protected].

Join our mailing list

Don't miss an auction!

Subscribe to our newsletter.


Contact Us

West Coast Office • (800) 458-4646

Midwest Office • (800) 817-2646

East Coast Office • (800) 566-2580

[email protected]

Hong Kong Office • +852 2117 1191

[email protected]

Global locations

Additional representatives
available worldwide.

* Walk-ins welcome

Follow Us

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter

There was an error signing you up to our newsletter.
Please enter a valid email address

I'm Interested In...

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Stack's Bowers Galleries e-newsletter.