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At the start of the U.S. Civil War, the Confederate States of America began to print their own money. Almost immediately it began to lose value due to inflation (except in 1864). By the end of the war it was considered, for all intents and purposes, worthless.

However I am sure anyone now in the year 2019 would love to get their hands on any of these confederate bills as they can garner you anywhere from $100 to thousands of dollars just for 1 bill.

My questions are

  • Since the money was considered worthless at the end of the war, did most people just throw it out?
  • If any was kept, was it kept more as a souvenir of sorts?
  • Is there record of anyone hoarding it all with the assumption it would one day be worth something?
  • And what I'd like to know the most is at what point in history did these bills break even again? Meaning what year did their value increase to the point that they held the same purchasing power as back when they were in use during the war? So for example a confederate $100 bill goes from $100 down to $0 and back up to $100 for a short time before it exceeds $100 in value. About what year did this happen?
  • @TomasBy yes in fact that was actually what prompted me to ask this question, however I asked it wrong. I will fix it, thank you. – wardr Dec 3 '19 at 13:54
  • The answer might be found in this book by Peter Frick. – Spencer Dec 3 '19 at 14:06
  • Possibly related: Lost Cause of the Confederacy. (Collectors are another possibility of course.) – Denis de Bernardy Dec 3 '19 at 14:51
  • Confederate money never lost value. After the war a Confederate bill was worth exactly the face value in confederate money, which had no value. So a Confederate one dollar bill was always worth exactly one Confederate dollar. What changed was the value of a physical piece of Rebel paper money in US dollars or other legal tender, which went from zero to valuable collectible decades after the war. – MAGolding Dec 3 '19 at 18:54
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The value of Confederate money, as a currency has not changed, since the issuer (Confederate States of America) no longer exists.

Many tall tales exist on how the currency was used after the war.

The most amusing one can be seen in episode 1 of the Beverly Hillbillies.

What is true, is that many Confederate Bonds were horded (mainly in Europe) in the vain hope that they would one day be redeemed by the United States.

However, at the close of the war the re-established Federal authorities ignored these foreign bonds, like all the other bonds of the Confederate government, or of state governments under the Confederacy.


The value of an individual Banknotes or Coins have changed based on the conditions common for collecter items

  • quality, rarity, demand

Sources:

  • thanks but I'm mainly looking for the exact year the value of the notes exceeded the value printed on the note - in US dollars. – wardr Jan 15 at 6:40
  • @wardr The buying value of each note (independent of denomination) is US $ 0.00, so there is no year. – Mark Johnson Jan 15 at 8:41

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