Last time we took a look at some of the great designs in the Large Size Silver Certificate series, which ran from 1878 through 1928. Another series with some iconic designs is the Legal Tender Series that typically appeared with a red seal (as opposed to the Silver Certificates which usually bore a blue seal.) These were also referred to as “United States Notes.”

A truly great design is one that, by virtue of its vignette, engraving or paper color, captivates collectors and becomes a note that many wish to own. Most are given a nickname for easy referral. We’ll have a look at a few classics from the Legal Tender Series.

Among the earliest Legal Tenders were the 1869 “Rainbow Notes,” so named because of the multi-colored tint used on the paper. Nine denominations ranging from $1 through $1000 were issued, though the notes over $100 today are all but unknown and even the $50s and $100s are quite costly.

Rainbow
The Legal Tender $1 of 1869, one of the famous “Rainbow Series” of notes.
Bridging the gap between the old and new, is this large size $1 from 1923-1927.
Bridging the gap between the old and new, is this large size $1 from 1923-1927.
The long-lived “Woodchopper” design graced the Legal Tender $5 for sixty years, from 1869 to 1929.
The long-lived “Woodchopper” design graced the Legal Tender $5 for sixty years, from 1869 to 1929.
Whether on the back of the nickel, or the front of a $10 bill, collectors do love their bisons.
Whether on the back of the nickel, or the front of a $10 bill, collectors do love their bisons.
No it’s not a $20, despite the familiar portrait. This is the last Legal Tender $10 design.
No it’s not a $20, despite the familiar portrait. This is the last Legal Tender $10 design.
While an incredibly rare note in any grade, the huge Eagle on this early $100 note is a sight to behold.
While an incredibly rare note in any grade, the huge Eagle on this early $100 note is a sight to behold.

Should any of the above notes tickle your fancy, the following is a guide to the approximate value in various grades of each of the notes.

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While you won’t likely find a Large Eagle $100, a number of the rest of these can be found on Collectors.com. Good luck and happy collecting!

All photographs courtesy of Heritage Galleries.

https://www.ha.com

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