Museums do sell property, and in these tough economic times numismatic items are prime candidates for deaccquisition. One southern state is dipping into its archives to dispose of confederate-era obsolete paper money. -Editor The S.C. Department of Archives and History is hoping that the sale of some 150-year-old banknotes will generate new money for the cash-strapped agency.
The surplus property division of the S.C. Budget and Control Board has listed the Civil War-era money for sale on eBay. For instance, the starting bid for a canceled $4 bank note — issued from the Bank of the State of South Carolina, which collapsed during the Civil War — starts at $150.
The Bank of the State of South Carolina was one of the few banks of the era operated by a state; it was founded in 1812.
“With the state budget cuts, we’ve lost about one-third of our budget in recent years,” said Charles Lesser, senior archivist for the department. “We’re in very dire budgetary times. This is one way, an imaginative way, of keeping our heads above water. And we’re making space (in the vault). Every little bit helps.”
Should any history buffs be offended by the sale, Lesser was quick to reassure that the state is not selling off any original, precious or last-remaining items from the department’s vault.
He estimated that, at one point, the department had some 1 million sheets of canceled banknotes, if not more.
“The notes were supposed to be destroyed in the 1880s but they were not,” Lesser said.
To read the complete article, see: State sells Confederate-era cash to raise money (www.charlestonbusiness.com/news/26791-
Wayne Homren, Editor
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