Directions play a part in quite a few different ways in collecting, and this definitely includes collecting paper money from the early 1800’s. During this time, it was up to the banks to produce paper money–they would file for a charter with the United States government, and this would allow the bank to produce their own paper money.
Collectors often look for paper money in a couple of ways for their collections. They will look for a certain bank, city, or even state that the money was produced in.
If there was a major metropolitan area like Boston or Philadelphia, the more banks were likely to be there. The east coast of the United States has quite a few different banks that offered paper money. This was true going west to just past the Mississippi river. The farther west you went, the fewer banks you would run into.
The gold rush in California that started in 1848 was what helped bring some banks (and eventually a United States mint in San Francisco) that far west.
When you travel up north (in places like North Dakota, Washington State, and even Alaska) they have very few banks at all. There have been a few bills (collectors also call them “notes”) turn up for a few banks in these states, and are highly sought after.
You need to be careful when you are looking for paper money from the early 1800’s to add to your collection—there are quite a few outright counterfeit bills out there. Not only that, there were also a lot of bills in circulation in the 1800’s that were counterfeit. One reason was that there were many different designs that were made by the different banks out there making it harder for you to know if it was real or not when the bills were new.
Another reason is because there were a ton of banks that failed for one reason or another in the 1800’s (the money from these banks are also called “broken bank notes”). There were lists for shut down banks and fake bills that circulated to merchants or vendors, but the lists were often out dated after a while. It also took a while to get these lists circulated since mail had to go by stage coach, train or horse.
What fun direction can your collection go?