During the civil war, postage stamps replaced coins due to a shortage. - FactzPedia

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During the civil war, postage stamps replaced coins due to a shortage.

 

During the civil war, postage stamps replaced coins due to a shortage.


The civil war brought about a lot of things and one of them is the shortage of coins.

Back then coins were still made out of gold and silver, making them far more precious hence why people tended to hoard them.

The government then decided to address this shortage by letting people pay their debts using postage stamps.

Funnily enough, though, this too has caused a shortage of stamps.

I OCCASIONALLY get letters from readers who want to know about a fairly obscure piece of numismatic history called "fractional currency." These were actual paper bills that were traded in place of pocket change in the early 1860s, the peak years of the Civil War. What many don't realize is the fascinating history behind the notes that creates a confluence of stamp and coin collecting.

During that violent and unstable decade, citizens on both sides of the war lost all faith in paper money. They were, instead, attracted to silver and gold -- commodities with physical, tangible value. Consequently, people began hoarding silver and gold coins, often burying whole mason jars filled with the coins. (Many didn't trust banks, either, in those days.) This hoarding created a dire shortage of coins, leaving many retail businesses with no means of providing change for their customers.


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