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Finding a Confederate Treasure
By Brian Strange, Bank Note Reporter
May 28, 2013

This article was originally printed in Bank Note Reporter.
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I was 13 when my great grandmother gave me a shoebox that was full of all kinds of currency. There were two pieces that stood out among the group. They both stated “Confederate States of America,” with color and vignettes that I thought were so amazing. It was at that age my interest in history was growing at a tremendous pace, especially when it came to the Civil War.

Like all children, we have dreams of finding treasure or a buried piece of history never discovered, or rumored to have never been found. It is those dreams that fuel the hopes we have within us to continue the search.

Numismatists abroad hold this commonality in hope of finding that coin or note that has never before been seen. I, having had those same dreams, can now say I have fulfilled that dream and have made my mark on such a great and passion-driven hobby as collecting Confederate currency.

As a collector, I have always tried to acquire everything that has been discovered—to have accomplished the same things in the hobby as the collectors who have came before me. I have always felt that in modern times, with the technologies that we have today, that a big or largely significant discovery would be almost impossible.

As I can’t compare my discovery to those who came before me with all of their years of research on each and every note, I am proud to be able to claim my small but significantly important discovery and as of right now the one and only of its kind. I present to the collecting community, my fellow numismatists, this Confederate note—a T-43 with inverted overprint while also possessing the overprint reprinted in a correcting manner.

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When I came across this note, I had to take not only a double look but also a triple look to make sure what I was seeing was true. The additional green overprint is what caught my eye and made me to continue to study the note. Then I realized what I was looking at and immediately remembered a similar note that was auctioned by Heritage at the Florida United Numismatists show back in 2009 that sold for over $20,000, a T-43 with inverted overprint. I began to research the note, trying to find any kind of reference book that portrayed the existence of this note prior, to ensure I had found a new rarity.

I was unable to find anything on this note and called on Pierre Fricke to discuss this note and ask what his thoughts were. Pierre said it was an awesome discovery. We both discussed the T-43 with the inverted overprint that sold with Heritage in 2009. He said it was a one and only, and as far as he knew the one I found with inverted and corrected overprint was a one and only too.

What kind of theory do I have on these two notes? Well, the only thoughts I have is that the T-43 with the inverted overprint may have come off of the one and only sheet ever printed. The T-43 with the inverted overprint as well as the overprint reprinted in a correcting manner may have come off of a one and only sheet as well. I believe this because both of these notes have not been discovered after all of these years since collecting began during the Civil War until now.

To speak on the value of such a rarity, I can say that this discovery I sold for almost the same amount as the note that sold at the Florida United Numismatists show back in 2009. I expect the next time either of these notes become available for sale or come up for auction they should easily fetch a hammer price around $35,000. Happy hunting.

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