Lisa S. asks: I have a 20.00 bill dated 1929 with a red seal it has 906 stamped on both the right and left front side and “First National Bank and Trust of Lexington KY on the front also. Can you give me some history on this bill and tell me if its worth face value or more?
The note that you have is a National Currency Note. This type of currency was issued for a period of about 50 years beginning in 1863 and ending in 1929. The original concept served two purposes. One, was to create a truly national banking system and two, to provide a ready market for United States bonds issued to finance the Civil War. It also replaced the very unreliable state bank notes in circulation at the beginning of the National Bank Note series.
The note that you have has a brown seal, is the first and last of the “small” size National Currency. The “906” is the bank’s charter number. The note comes in two types, one with black serial numbers and one with brown serial numbers.
A little of the history of this bank:Â The bank was first chartered on March 17, 1865 as was called The Lexington City National Bank. It was merged with another bank in 1913 when its name was changed to The First and City National Bank of Lexington. It became The First National Bank & Trust Company of Lexington on March 2, 1929.
According to The Standard Catalog of National Bank Notes by John Hickman and Dean Oakes, there were 25,788 type I notes issued and 5,386 type II notes issued. Both seem to bring about $35-45 in average circulated condition when offered in the paper money market. Uncirculated notes are rare!
Collectors enjoy collecting National Bank Notes and start with collecting notes from their home state. The stories about the notes are as interesting and collecting the notes themselves. If you have an interest, apply for membership in the Society of Paper Money Collectors (Bob Cochran, Secretary, P.O. box 1085, Florissant, MO 63031). They produce and exquisite bi-monthly journal about paper money, including extensive coverage of National’s for $20/yr.