In 1861 the Federal Government of the United States began regulating the banking system. An act of July 7, 1861 permitted the U.S. Treasury to print and distribute up to sixty million dollars in paper money. This meant that all States, municipalities, and merchants could not continue making their own currency or specie. With the Civil War occurring at this time, obviously this did not apply to the Southern states.
Large size notes were printed as follows: Demand Notes, Legal Tender Notes, Compound Interest Treasury Notes, Interest Bearing Notes, Refunding Certificates, Silver Certificates, Treasury Notes, National Bank Notes 1st, 2nd, & 3rd Charter, Federal Reserve Bank Notes, Federal Reserve Notes, National Gold Bank Notes of California, Gold Certificates.
The large size notes were printed beginning with series 1861 and ended with the series 1923. The engravers of that era designed some of the most beautiful art work on notes that collectors still cherish today, especially the $1, $2, & $5 silver certificates of series 1896 which are known as the “Educational Series/Notes”. So many of these large size notes have wonderful eye appeal and it’s hard for collectors not to want them all! I highly recommend “Paper Money of the United States” by Arthur L. and Ira S. Friedberg for additional information on U.S. currency.