Colonial and Continental Currency

Prior to the first official U.S. Government money being released in 1861, Colonial and Continental Currency were being circulated as America's earliest paper money. Many of these issues bear signatures of the signers of the Declaration of Independence or Constitution. Today, all are scarce or rare.

[photo: $3 Colonial Note]

This $3 Colonial Note was issued by the State of Massachusetts-Bay. The punch signifies that it has been redeemed for "THREE Spanish milled DOLLARS."

[photo: $6 Continental Note]

An early Continental Note,
hand‑numbered and signed.

Colonial Currency

Colonial Currency is pre-Revolutionary War paper money created in response to a growing economy and desperate coin shortage. Beginning with Massachusetts in 1690 to 1781, individual colonies issued notes to pay for public works, trade deficits, and other items of necessity.

Continental Currency

Continental Currency was authorized by the Continental Congress, and issued beginning in 1775. These notes provided a way to help finance the American Revolution. Originally, the notes bore the legend the united colonies, which was changed in 1777 to the united states. The final Continental Currency was released in 1779.