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1780 3 Dollar Bill From Rhode Island

1780 $3 continental currency RI

This is a replica note sold in museum gift shops and has been around for many years. All replicas bear the serial number 2298. They are printed on thick and artificially-aged parchment paper to make them look old. The printing is all black and the signatures of Metcalfe Bowler, Thomas Rumreill and Jon Arnold are not genuine.

These notes are widely available on eBay and at flea markets. Unfortunately, people often mistake them for the real thing. They are not real. They were produced in the last 20 or 30 years.

• The serial number is the very first giveaway that this is a reproduction. All #2298 notes fall into this category.

• The second indication is the solid black color on the back of the note. Genuine notes have red ink in their design (see image below).

• The third thing to notice is the signatures. Genuine notes from this period were hand signed. These signatures are printed in thick black ink.

• These notes are common and since they are not antiques, are only worth $1 to $5.

Click here to see a genuine banknote from this series, a 1780 $8 bill with hand signatures and red ink on the back.

Click here for an example of this reproduction currently for sale for $5 from a history store (see description under, “Colonial Banknotes Set B”).

rhode island three 2298 1780

The back of this reproduction note is all black, unlike the genuine example with red ink below.

rhode island three dollars

A genuine $3 banknote from Rhode Island’s 1780 series features red ink as a counterfeit protector as well as hand signatures. (Via Heritage Auctions.)

Genuine (Via Heritage Auctions.)

The front of a real piece of Continental Rhode Island currency will have inks of varying color, such as the serial number and signature here. (Via Heritage Auctions.)

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