Weird Maryland dollar bill

14 Mar 2018  Wed

Generally, when we talk about denominations and values of coins and banknotes, we think of numbers like 1, 2, 5, 10, 50, 100 etc. But what if we tell you that back in the day the British American Colony of Maryland had banknotes of values as odd as 1/9th and 2/9th of a dollar.

Sounds weird, doesn’t it?

Well, see it for yourself. The note depicted in the image is a 1/9 dollar bill issued on 10th of April 1774. A total of 57,000 bills of this sort were issued in 1767, 1770 and 1774. To fight against forgeries and counterfeit notes, a dent was deliberately cut in the upper left corner of the note. Another trick used to find authentic notes was deliberately inserting typos like colon after the word “Annapolis”.

The legend on the reads “This Indented Bill of One ninth of a dollar, fhall entitle the Bearer hereof to receive bills of exchange payable in London, or gold or silver, at the rate of four shillings and sixpence sterling per dollar for the faid Bill, according to the Directions of an Ac of affembly of Maryland. Dated in Annapolis: this tenth Day of April Anno Domini 1774.” With hand-written serial number “No. 9879” in the top left corner, “ One-Ninth of Dollar” in the upper right corner and hand-signed by the Treasurer in the bottom.

However, the substitution of “f” instead of an “s” is not to be taken as a deliberate typo as during the 18th century, the small letter “s” was often written as “f”.

Image Courtesy: Google Images.