Collecting U.S. Large Size Type Notes

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1901 $10 Legal Tender Bison note (Wikipedia)

Collecting U.S. Large Size Type Notes home page

U.S. Large Size currency was issued from 1861 until 1929 when the U.S. Government switched over to the small size notes. Included in this category are large size Demand Notes, Legal Tender Notes (United States Notes), Silver Certificates, Treasury (or Coin) Notes, Federal Reserve Bank Notes, Federal Reserve Notes, and Gold Certificates. These types include some of the most artistic and beautifully designed notes ever issued by the U.S. Government and are one of the most popular paper money collecting categories.

U.S. Large Size Currency Types

1869 $5 Legal Tender Rainbow note (Wikipedia)

U.S. Large Size currency was issued from 1861 until 1929 when the U.S. Government switched over to the small size notes. Each Large Size Type was issued in one or more Series, and each Series was issued with one or more combinations of Treasury officer signatures. The following links provide more information on each of these Large Size Types.

Demand Notes (Dated 1861)

Legal Tender Notes (United States Notes) (Series 1862-1923)

1896 $2 Silver Certificate Educational Deuce (Wikipedia)

Silver Certificates (Series 1878-1923)

Treasury Notes (Coin Notes) (Series 1890,1891)

Federal Reserve Notes (Series 1914,1918)

Federal Reserve Bank Notes (Series 1915,1918)

Gold Certificates (Series 1863-1922)

Other Large Size Type Topics

1864 $20 Compound Interest Treasury Note (Wikipedia)
In 1863 and 1864, Compound Interest Treasury Notes were issued by the U.S. Government in denominations from $10 to $1,000. They paid out 6% annual interest three years after issue.
Interest Bearing Notes were issued by the U.S. Government from 1863-1865 in denominations from $10 to $1,000, and bore a 5% or 7.3% interest per annum. The 5% notes matured at one year while the 7.3% interest notes matured at three years.
The U.S. Government issued Refunding Certificates in 1879 in the $10 denomination (only). These notes accrued their 4% per annum interest indefinitely, which was meant to persuade people to buy them. However, over time few of these notes were redeemed, so in 1907 Congress passed an act stopping the accrual of interest, fixing the value of the notes at $21.30.
This 2005 Paper Money article by Donald H. Kagin provides a definitive overview of the often overlooked U.S. Treasury Notes issued between 1812 and 1815 to help finance the War of 1812.
This 2015 Paper Money article by Peter Huntoon and Shawn Hewitt discusses how to identify replacement notes for Large Size Type from mid-1903 until the use of 'Star notes' was instituted in the 1910-1920 timeframe.

Ways to Collect Large Size Type Notes

There are several ways to collect Large Size Type notes, including:

  • By Type: Collect a note for each design (Type/Series/Denomination) for your favorite Large Size Type (ie Silver Certificates), possibly excluding the higher denominations over $20, which can be prohibitively expensive.
  • By Denomination: Collect all of the different designs for a specific denomination.
  • By Friedberg#: For each design, each different combination of federal officer signatures has been assigned its own Friedberg#. Some collectors collect a note from each Friedberg# for a Type or Series, and some high-end collectors even attempt to collect a note from every Friedberg#!
  • Just collect the notes you Like! Many collectors (including those that specialize in collecting other categories of paper money) will just collect those Large Size Type notes that appeal to them for whatever reason.
  • Or ?????: Use your imagination! There is no wrong way to collect paper money!

SPMC Paper Money Articles Index (Large Size Type)

This Index page lists all 170+ articles on U.S. Large Size Notes that have appeared in the Paper Money Journal since the first issue in 1962.

Research Resources

Standard References on U.S. Large Size Notes

  • Paper Money of the United States. A complete illustrated guide with valuations (22nd Edition-2021) by Arthur L. and Ira S. Friedberg
This is the standard reference guide on all types of U.S. paper money from colonial times to the present (especially Large Size Type Notes).



An active forum for all paper money collectors and all paper money collecting topics.
This is a link to the Heritage Currency Auction Archives for Large Size Type Notes.


  • The SPMC Paper Money Journal is published bi-monthly and covers all facets of collecting paper money. Online and print options available for membership.