Rare $20 Silver Certificate of Deposit

26 Feb 2018  Mon

$20 Silver Certificates of Deposit were predecessors of Silver Certificates. They were issued under the Bland-Allison Act of February 28, 1878. These notes were not circulated widely but were given to banks and agencies.

It features a portrait of Commander Stephen Decatur, the text “CERTIFICATE OF DEPOSIT” and the text “SILVER DOLLARS” in a series of vignettes on the obverse. The reverse has a text which reads “SILVER CERTIFICATE”. It is produced using blue-tinted paper. It is engraved and printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. These banknotes were payable in cities like New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.

These notes have two printed Treasury signatures and a hand-signed countersignature of another Treasury official. Nobody knows the exact types and numbers of countersignatures. The idea was chucked when 1880 Series notes were printed. These new notes featured a large red Treasury Seal where the key faces to the right.

The image shown above depicts a Rare Triple Signature 1880 $20 Decatur Note called Fr. 308 (W-2160). 1880 $20 Silver Certificate of Deposit, graded PCGS Very Fine 35.

It replaces Large Red Treasury Seal and “Twenty” of the 1878 series and has a countersignature of T. Hillhouse. It also has a Large Brown Seal with “XX” below it. Out of the 200,000 notes that were produced in total, only 11 known examples exist today. The offered note is the finest of its type as well. The note has good margins and is printed on bright paper with boldly engraved inks and overprints. This example was moderately circulated. One such note was sold in 2005 for $46,000.

Image Courtesy Stacks Bowers