Comments and Observations

This section has general comments and observations.

What is the rarity of the coins depicted?  By this, I mean how commonly would the coins depicted have circulated in the United States?  The homeland Spanish 20 reales coin, a three-year type, seems the most unlikely coin to have turned up in the United States.  This coin is shown on the Bank of Tennessee dollar and, less accurately, on the Mechanics Savings and Loan Association, Savannah, Georgia, dollar note.  Coins from Guatemala were likely less common than those of the other Spanish colonies.  Guatemalan coins are depicted on several notes.  Coins of Mexico were likely the most circulated foreign coin in the United States.

The Bank of Tennessee notes were issued at the main office in Nashville and at numerous branches.  The designs are all the same, but the branch can be determined by the signers.  This information is in the Garland Tennessee book.  A more recent compilation of bank presidents and cashiers was provided to me by long-time Tennessee collector and dealer Bill Sharp, and I believe it to be more accurate than Garland's compilation.  It is available here (PDF).

Are there other states that issued notes with Spanish coin vignettes?  I have seen documentation for such notes for Maine, Texas, Louisiana, and South Carolina.  None are in this collection.

There are more Spanish coin notes from Maryland than from any other state.  Two Baltimore printers, John Murphy and Joseph Robinson (separate firms) printed a large number of primarily scrip notes that featured a Spanish coin image.  Other Maryland printers also used the image, but their notes are quite rare.