Fractional Currency

During the U.S. Civil War, economic conditions led to a shortage of gold and silver coins, which were hoarded for their bullion (rather than face) value. To combat currency speculation (and create a means of providing small change), the U.S. Treasury created Fractional Currency. Issued from 1862 to 1876 in denominations of 3¢, 5¢, 10¢, 15¢, 25¢, and 50¢, the notes were initially distributed as postal currency to be exchanged for postage stamps.

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