The Civil War Cash That Cost American Pickers $1,000

“So, if it’s worthless, why do Mike and Frank pay $1,000 for it?” you might ask. While Confederate money was considered to have no value once the Confederacy was dissolved, the bills have changed in value significantly in the 156 years since the end of the Civil War. As a result of their rarity today, they are seen as antiques, not legal tender (via Investopedia). However, while they are certainly not spendable at your local convenience store, they are worth a substantial sum all the same. 

During their search for Civil War memorabilia, Mike and Frank are offered a number of Confederate bills and quickly zero in on one $500 bill that has a picture of Confederate General Stonewall Jackson in the lower right corner, and a $10 bill marked “counterfeit.” Prior to sale, the seller notes that he is unsure if the $10 bill was legitimate Confederate currency that was marked counterfeit by the Union or, indeed, an entirely fraudulent bill. Such an oddity makes the bill even more rare as an antique.

The owner asks $800 for the “counterfeit” bill and $450 for the Stonewall Jackson bill. After noting that the bills will go into a museum, the owner decides to cut Mike and Frank a deal for $1,000 for both of them. They gladly accept and shake hands to finalize the deal.

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