Fractional Bills Available from Fractional Currency.Net

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Third Issue: 12/5/1864—08/16/1869

Like the email Spam artists of today, fractional counterfeiters were relentless, and in many cases, gifted, in their specialty. The U.S. Bureau of Engraving was in full swing by the time of the Third Issue's advent, and they worked ardently to produce notes that by their sheer artistry should have thwarted most counterfeit attempts; but they didn't. Issue three has most extensive list of denominations, five, and the most varieties, 78, of any other of the five issues. Following the lead of larger denominations, all the notes of the third issue save the three-cent note (used mainly to buy postage stamps, which cost three cents) carried either autographed or printed signatures, usually of the Register and Treasurer. They were issued on better, high fiber paper with reverses that came in different colors for the same obverse. Hardly noticeable letters or numbers were hidden like Easter eggs around designs that had grown as intricate as Oriental mandalas; again, all painstakingly instituted to keep the business of printing money exclusively in the hands of the U.S. government. Denominations include 3, 5, 10, 25, and 50-cent notes (of which there were two distinct types). There was a 15-cent type printed in "specimen" form, but never generally distributed. The Third issue brought with it a level of artistry and effort heretofore unheard of with fractional notes, a level that would be sustained for the remaining two issues.

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