An old Confederate bill brings a rush of excitement...Before the appraiser arrives.
During sweltering weather in the foothills of western North Carolina, I was doing indoor chores, such as cleaning out drawers and cubbyholes. I asked my son if he would like to have a $1,000 Confederate bill I found in my grandfather's ragged Bible. His eyes grew round as bowling balls. "Mom," he gasped. "If it's authentic, it's worth $50,000!"
I said, "Oh, no. Confederate money is worthless." After Googling, he assured me of its worth. Yes, all the markings matched. Dated May 28, 1861. Proper signatures. Printed in Montgomery, Ala., first capital of the Confederacy; therefore more valuable than had it been printed in Richmond, Va., where the capital moved to later.
Weak-kneed and trembling, I went to the bank and told the head teller I had a $50,000 article in my purse. Eyes popping, she asked, "Do you want to invest it?" When she saw the crisp Confederate States of America bill she carefully wrapped it in tissue, placed it in a bank envelope, and gave me the name of a trustworthy dealer in a tiny town just a few minutes from my home.
When I went to his establishment I did not tell him it was on my person but that I would go and get it when I knew what procedure to follow. He called a currency specialist in the neighboring town who said he could meet me in half an hour, after he had gone to his bank. And depending on the condition of the bill, he would be prepared to pay between $10,000 and $30,000.