Treasury Notes of the War of 1812

Sell Treasury Notes of the War of 1812 to the Best Buyer in Las Vegas & Henderson, NV

A Treasury Note is a short-term debt instrument issued by the United States before the Federal Reserve System was established in 1913. The United States government relied on these instruments for funding during periods of financial hardship, including the 1812 War, the 1837 Panic, and the American Civil War since there were no other options, such as federal paper money or a central bank.

While the Treasury Notes were neither legal tender nor representational money when issued, some of them were used as money in place of official government paper money. However, instead of providing a circulating medium, its issue was always motivated by supporting federal expenditures. 

These notes were usually hand-signed, had a large denomination of at least $50 paid interest, were payable, and matured in no more than three years. However, specific issues lacked one or more of these features.

Brief History

The history of treasury notes stemmed from the unstable early finances of the United States’ central government. Between 1775 and 1779, the Continental Congress created Continental Dollars to aid in the financing of the American Revolution. Continental Dollars were supposed to entitle the holder to an equal quantity of silver Spanish Milled Dollars, but they were depreciated repeatedly and never redeemed in silver, despite the American victory.

With the destiny of the Continentals in mind, the Founding Fathers made no provision for paper money in the Constitution, and they forbade states from making anything other than gold or silver legal tender. Continental Dollars were redeemed at about 99% loss compared to their face value as part of the 1790 Compromise. However, the United States chose to fulfill its revolutionary war bond obligations in full by pledging publicly owned land and the new federal government’s credit against the bonds. As a result, America’s early creditors had good reason to be skeptical of paper money and a good reason to respect the country’s obligation.

When the government’s ability to raise money through the sale of long-term bonds was hampered by the declaration of the 1812 War, the US had neither paper currency nor a central bank. That is why it used its borrowing authority to issue short-term debt in the form of Treasury Notes payable for public dues or bond purchases. After setting a precedent, the Treasury continued to issue such notes on a sporadic basis until the Civil War.

From 1812 until 1815, Treasury Notes were issued in several different denominations. The majority of these notes paid 525% interest (or 112 cents per day on a $100 note), had a one-year maturity, and could be used to pay public dues. While $37 million was issued, only $17 million was available at any given time.

As the war carried on, the federal government’s finances deteriorated, and on August 31, 1814, banks outside of New England ceased specie payment. The value of Treasury Notes has fallen below the value of gold. On October 1, 1814, when the government attempted to withdraw deposits from a Boston bank to cover interest payments, the bank stated it could present Treasury Notes to the government, which were then rejected by holders of government bonds who expected cash payment.

These events influenced the final Treasury Note act of the era, which was signed on February 24, 1815. These last notes were divided into large, which is $100 and up, and small, which is $100 and under denominations, and they did not have an expiration date. The huge notes continued to pay interest at 525% per year, but they could also be used to fund 6 percent interest bonds at par.

Characteristics of Treasury Notes

Treasury Notes were redeemed at face value by the government for the payment of taxes and the purchase of publicly owned land, and hence could be considered paper money to some extent. The interest rate was determined to make interest computations as simple as possible on several issues, with a $100 note paying either 1, 112, or 2 cents each day.

Second, the issues made were not significant. The value of these notes fluctuated, being worth more or less than par depending on market conditions, and they quickly vanished from the financial system once the crisis that prompted their issuance was resolved.

Most treasury notes were non-legal tender antebellum Treasury Notes, but financial innovation during the Civil War caused the word to be associated with legal tender instruments such as the United States Notes issued in 1862 and the Compound Interest Treasury Notes issued in 1863. 

The introduction of these new obligations, combined with changes brought about by the National Banking Act, effectively eliminated most of the use of the old Treasury Notes as money. Then, the term Certificate of Indebtedness was coined to refer to new notes that had the pre-war notes’ debt-like characteristics. Treasury bills currently meet the Treasury’s short-term debt requirements.

Best Buyer of Treasury Notes

Nevada Coin Mart is the best place to sell your treasury notes. We test items using non-destructive ways and top-of-the-line facilities and equipment to thoroughly examine the condition and value of your treasury notes and other valuables.

The Las Vegas Review Journal has consistently recognized our store’s services by awarding us the Best of Las Vegas title 12 times. That is why we continue to set the standard for service delivery quality and competence. Our professionals ensure that customers and their items are treated fairly. An expert from our team will lead an in-depth discussion that will walk you through the whole appraisal process of your items.

So, if you have one at home, consider selling it at Nevada Coin Mart to make some significant and quick cash. Simply bring them in, and we will help you get the most money for them. We are open from 9 AM to 6 PM every day of the year. Visit us at Nevada Coin Mart®, 4065 S. Jones Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89103, or call us at 702-998-4000 for more information.


US $500

$500 US Dollar Bill 

Brief History

In the late 18th century, the United States was printing and using the large-denomination currency with a face value of more than $500. On May 10, 1780, the first $500 bulls were released by the authority of the legislation in North Carolina. Shortly after, on October 16, 1780, Virginia also authorized printing the $500 and $1,000 bills, and on May 7, 1781, the printing of $2,000 bills was authorized. During the American Civil War, Confederate states also printed and issued their own high-denomination currency of $500 and $1,000 bills. 

The first Federal banknotes issued on July 17, 1861, as authorized by congress included three-year interest-bearing high denomination notes of $500, $1,000 and $5,000.


Like many other high-denomination bills such as the $500 and $1,000 were discontinued by the Federal Reserve System on July 14, 1969, because of lack of use. The high denomination bills were also printed for the last time on December 27, 1945.

The Federal Reserve also recalled the large denomination bills, and the bills they collected were in turn destroyed. Larger denominations were also cost-ineffective to produce. 

Even though the Federal Reserve destroyed most of the $500 that was circulated, there are still several $500 that are still in public possession. The $500 bills that are still in public possession are still considered legal tender. Because of the $500 bill’s rarity, collectors are willing to pay large sums just to acquire the bills.

Another possible reason for the demise of the high-denomination bills was counterfeiting. High-denomination bills were more vulnerable to counterfeiting, and older bills usually lack the security features that we have today.

Will the $500 bill make a comeback?

The federal government mostly used these high-denomination bills for larger financial transactions. Today, however, high-denomination bills may not be able to make a comeback, mostly because of technological advancements such as electronic money systems. These electronic money transactions make it possible for large monetary transactions to happen without handling actual cash.


US $1000

$1000 US Dollar Bill

Brief History

To help fund the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress started to issue paper money of different denominations, including the $1,000 bill. According to Mattew Wittmann, an assistant conservator at the American Numismatic Society. An organization that researchers coins and currency. Despite its large denomination, the value of the $1,000 would only amount to around $20 in real money.

An economics professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Lee Ohanian, explains that the note was used to procure wartime supplies like ammunition.

Decades after the war, large-denomination bills like the $1,000 notes were mainly utilized for real estate or interbank transactions. 

Illegal Schemes

In 1946, the United States stopped producing the $1,000 and other large denomination bills. However, they were still in circulation until 1969 when the Federal Reserve recalled them. Then-President Richard Nixon thought that the larger bills would make it easier for illegitimate activities to be done, like money laundering. 

Another reason for its demise is that producing the $1,000 was not very cost-effective. New engraving plates would be needed to print the bills, and the bills were not being mass-produced either. Producing $1 bills were seen as more cost-effective than printing a handful of $1,000 bills.


Even Though the $1,000 and other higher denomination bills were officially discontinued on July 14, 1969, by the Federal Reserve, they are still considered legal tender in the United States.

Large-denomination bills that the Federal Reserve destroyed to avoid them being taken back into circulation to the public. However, according to the Reserve’s records, there are still 165,372 $1,000 still in public possession. These bills are considered rare, and collectors are willing to pay more than its face value just to have it.

Higher denomination bills are not making a comeback anytime soon. Although banks and the federal government historically used them for larger transactions, recent technological advances such as electronic money systems have already made it possible for large-scale transactions to happen without having physical money.